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Ohio: Buck Creek State Park
Posted on Thursday, January 19 @ 10:29:57 MST by iljiana

Horse Rentals & Day Ride Trails

1901 Buck Creek Lane
Springfield, OH 45502

Park Office (937) 322-5284


Buck Creek State Park lies in a fertile agricultural area, rich in Ohio's history. The park's recreational facilities center around the 2,120-acre lake, offering endless water-related opportunities. Visitors enjoy the many wetlands, broad meadows and wildlife at this diverse park.

Trails

More than 9.5 miles of hiking trails offer opportunities for nature study, bird watching and other wildlife observation. A scenic 10-mile bridle trail is also open to snowmobiling, weather permitting.

Expanded Information

Buck Creek State Park is leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District at C.J. Brown Dam and Reservoir provides plenty of information to make your visit more enjoyable.

Nature of the Area

The natural features of Buck Creek State Park can be attributed to the effects of glaciers which receded from Ohio over 12,000 years ago. Low hills called moraines can be seen in the area where glaciers halted for extended periods of time and left deposits of gravel and sand. Old river valleys were filled by these deposits where numerous springs now well up through the sand and gravel. The nearby city of Springfield is named for the many springs seeping up from the broad meadows. The springs account for the many bogs and fens in Clark and Champaign counties of which Cedar Bog is probably the best known.

These wet areas harbor an assortment of rare and unusual plants including round-leaved sundew and horned bladderwort. The spotted turtle, a state endangered animal, is found in the area. The northernmost region of the park is an excellent area to observe waterfowl. The shallow waters provide a stopover for thousands of migrating ducks. Relatively rare songbirds of open meadows are also present including dickcissels, bobolinks and Henslow sparrows.

History of the Area

Buck Creek was home to Indians and pioneers. The land at the time of early settlement was mostly forested by large trees with minimal undergrowth. Occasionally, the forests were interrupted by prairie openings.

In 1780, George Rogers Clark, a Revolutionary war hero, led a band of nearly 1,000 Kentuckians in a raid against Ohio Indians. The Shawnee Indians abandoned their camp which they called Old Chillicothe (near Xenia) and fled to Piqua, the Shawnee capital, located west of the present site of Springfield. Clark pursued the fleeing Indians, and the Shawnee were defeated at the Battle of Piqua. Most of the Indians, however, had dispersed into the woodlands. One Indian hiding in the woods was the young Tecumseh, who vowed to avenge the attack. Following the battle, Clark's men retreated to their homes in Kentucky and the Indians moved north. A new Piqua was erected on the banks of the Miami River. This battle put a temporary end to Indian warfare.
With the decline of Indian threat, settlers moved into the area. In 1799, legendary frontiersman Simon Kenton settled in the region with six other Kentucky families. The group lived near the confluence of Buck Creek and Mad River. After two years, the settlers moved to different areas. Kenton established a home along Buck Creek about four miles north of present Springfield. Settlement brought change to the area as trees were cut to construct buildings. Acres were cleared and farm crops were planted. The settlers found the land extremely fertile.

The community of Springfield was founded in 1801 and has served since then as the county seat of Clark County. In 1838, the National Road (U.S. 40) reached Springfield and this opened new markets for manufacturing and agriculture. Over the years, Springfield's character changed from rural to industrial. By 1880, the community led the nation in the manufacturing of agricultural implements.

In September 1966, work was started by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to impound Buck Creek as a flood control project. In 1974, the Clarence J. Brown Dam and Reservoir were dedicated and an agreement gave the Ohio Department of Natural Resources the operation of much of the area. Buck Creek State Park was officially opened in June 1975.

Area Attractions

Nearby Kiser Lake, John Bryan and Madison Lake offer camping and other recreational opportunities. Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve, a unique area of unusual flora and fauna, is operated by the Ohio Historical Society. Located between Urbana and Springfield, the area is open April-September for tours on Saturday and Sunday

Several other state nature preserves int he area are accessible by written permit only. Contact the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves to visit Liberty Fen, Prairie Road Fen, Siegenthaler Esker or Kiser Lake Wetlands.

The Crabill House, operated by the Clark County Historical Society, is the restored home of one of the area's early settlers, David Crabill. The brick home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are available.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages a visitor center and recreational site near the dam. The center provides displays, programs and dam operation tours. Hiking, picnicking and fishing are available.

Directions

From Cleveland, Ohio:
I-71 South to I-270 South, I-270 South to I-70 West, I-70 West to Exit #62 to Route 40 West, 3 miles to first traffic light, right on North Bird Road to Buck Creek Lane. 178 miles

From Columbus, Ohio:
I-70 West to Exit #62 to Route 40 West, 3 miles to first traffic light, right on North Bird Road to Buck Creek Lane. 48 miles.

From Cincinnati, Ohio:
75 North to 675 North to I-70 East, follow to Exit #62 to Route 40 West, 3 miles to first traffic light, right on North Bird Road to Buck Creek Lane. 77 miles.

From Toledo, Ohio:
I-75 South to I-70 East, Exit #62, go West on Route 40, 3 miles to first traffic light, right on North Bird Road to Buck Creek Lane. 120 miles.

From Springfield, Ohio:
Follow Route 40 East to North Bird Road, turn North on North Bird Road to Buck Creek Lane. 5 miles from downtown Springfield.

For maps and more information:
http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/parks/buckck.htm

 
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