Ohio: Mt. Gilead State Park|
Posted on Thursday, January 19 @ 10:29:51 CST by iljiana
Location: 4119 State Route 95
Mt. Gilead, Ohio 43338
(419) 946-1961 (seasonally)
Contact: Delaware State Park
5202 US 23 N., Delaware, OH 43015
Mt. Gilead State Park is a quiet, small park centrally located in the
state of Ohio. Picnicking, fishing and hiking can be enjoyed year-round
at this beautiful location.
A family campground, offering 59 sites with electrical hookups, is set
in a scenic pine forest and is open all year for camping enjoyment.
Facilities include fire rings, picnic tables, waste-water drains and
Two deluxe Camper Cabins are available during the summer
season on a reservation basis. The Camper Cabins are tucked in a quiet
corner of the campground. They are furnished with bunks, table and
chairs, in addition to microwave, refrigerator and ceiling fan. A
cooler, broom and dust pan are also provided. However, linens, dishes,
etc. are not provided.
Six primitive campsites are also
available and may serve as a group camp for organized groups. Pet
camping is permitted on designated sites. The camp store offers
supplies, food and convenience items.
The two small lakes at Mt. Gilead offer good catches of bass, bluegill
and other panfish. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Mt. Gilead allows boating with canoes, rowboats and boats with electric
motors only. A launch ramp is provided. canoes and paddleboats are
available for rent.
Several picnic areas are located on the south side of the park and at
the entrance off Route 42. Three picnic shelters are available on a
first-come, first-served basis or may be reserved for special occasions.
Six and a half miles of trails, including a two-mile multipurpose trail
for hikers and horseback riders, traverse Mt. Gilead State Park. Trails
provides opportunities for exercise, nature study and wildlife
observation. Trail access is from the campground, park office and Route
More To Do
rental is available and a double volleyball court, horseshoe pits and
playground may be enjoyed by visitors in day-use areas of the park. The
park hosts special events year-round and provides summer nature
programs. The 200-seat amphitheater may be rented for a variety of
outdoor functions. The picturesque gazebo may also be rented for
The campground offers a playground for youngsters, and the camp office loans games and sporting equipment to registered campers.
Nature of the Area
The wealth of natural wonders found at Mt Gilead State Park can be
traced back to the Ice Age--a time when two-thirds of Ohio was frozen
land covered with glacial ice, nearly a mile thick in places. During
this age many changes occurred in the Ohio landscape: the stream
systems were altered, topography changed and the Great Lakes were
formed. The glaciers left Ohio a legacy of valuable natural resources.
In the vicinity of Mt. Gilead, three end moraines (linear ridges of
glacial sediment deposited along the ice edge) converged and account
for the rolling terrain seen today. A beautiful stand of second growth
beech-maple forest exists at Mt. Gilead.
The mature woodlands provide a glimpse of what Ohio was to the early
settlers. Wildflowers such as wild geranium, hepatica, trillium and
bloodroot, carpet the spring forest floor. The leafy canopy is occupied
by the woodthrush, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren and other
songbirds. Skunks, raccoons, white-tailed deer and a variety of other
mammals make this park their home.
History of the Area
Mt. Gilead State Park is located in Morrow County near the center of
the state. The first permanent settlers came into the county after the
close of the War of 1812. The first gristmill and sawmill were built on
Whetstone Creek in 1821. The town of Mt. Gilead, the county seat,
served as a major stop on the underground railroad prior to the Civil
War. In more recent history, an oil boom occurred in Morrow County. In
1961, a well was drilled on the Orrie Myers' property that produced 200
barrels a day. As a result of that wells success, 30-40 well are
drilled in Morrow County annually.
The first lake at Mt. Gilead was built in 1919 on the upper level of
Sam's Creek. On July 10, 1930, a larger lake was completed below the
first one on this same tributary of Whetstone Creek. The recreational
area was originally under the supervision of the Bureau of Engineering.
In 1949, it was turned over to the newly formed ODNR Division of Parks
and Recreation to be maintained as a state park.
The town of Marion is located west of the park on State Route 95. The
President Harding Home and Museum is located at 380 Mount Vernon
Avenue. It was from this home that Warren G. Hading conducted his
"Front Porch Campaign" in the 1920 presidential elections. Guided tours
are available seasonally.
Marion also contains the Harding Memorial on Delaware Avenue at Vernon
Heights Boulevard. The memorial --a circular, pillared monument of
white Georgian marble--contains the tombs of President and Mrs. Harding.
Kokosing Lake and Knox Lake wildlife areas are found east of Mt. Gilead
in Knox County. Both lakes offer fishing and boating opportunities.
Mid Ohio Race Track is located twenty minutes from the park. The course
offers weekends of exciting racing, known nationwide on the race
The city of Mansfield is located northeast of the park on State Route
42 with six shopping centers, the Mansfield Art Center, the Renaissance
Theater and the world-famous gardens at Kingwood Center.
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