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|Burr Oak State Park
Burr Oak Lodge, overlooking the lake from the east, offers sixty guest rooms, five meeting rooms, a dining room, full-service lounge and gift shop. Facilities for lodge and cottage guests include a swimming beach, tennis courts, playground equipment, boat launch ramp and an indoor swimming pool.
CottagesThere are 30 family cottages with air conditioning and cable tv situated near the lodge in the wooded hills overlooking the lake. Each cottage sleeps six people, has a bath with a shower, living room, complete kitchen, dining area and screened porch. Linens, towels and cooking and eating utensils are furnished.
There are 100 non-electric campsites to accommodate campers. The campground offers showers, flush toilets and a dump station. Thirteen primitive sites are offered at Dock #2 and eight primitive sites at Dock #3. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites.
BoatingA ten horsepower limit for boats is in effect on Burr Oak Lake. Five launch ramps provide access to the lake. Boat rentals, fuel and seasonal dock rentals are offered at the marina.
Fishing and HuntingThe lake is well known for its catches of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park and in the adjacent Wayne National Forest and wildlife areas. A valid Ohio hunting and/or fishing license is required.
SwimmingA public swimming beach offers enjoyment for swimmers and sunbathers. A bathhouse, showers, changing booths and a snack bar are provided. An indoor pool is available for lodge and cottage guests only.
TrailsTwenty-eight miles of hiking trails, including a portion of the state's Buckeye Trail, take hikers to scenic vistas and unique rock outcroppings. Backpackers will find the Burr Oak Backpack Trail challenging and enjoyable. This eighteen-mile loop trail winds around the lake shore and offers primitive campsites and drinking water at several locations along the route.
PicnickingPicnic areas are located in scenic areas of the park and offer tables and grills. A reservable picnic shelter with electrical outlets is available.
More To Do
The campground offers a horseshoe court, as well as playground equipment. The camp office loans games and sporting equipment to registered campers. There is a volleyball court at the beach.
Nature of the Area
Burr Oak State Park epitomizes the wilderness character of southeast Ohio. Miles of forested ridges and hollows comprise these foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The woodlands support a variety of wildlife including white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, box turtles and the elusive wild turkey. The lake's shore is inhabited by the industrious beaver and various waterfowl species.
The forest is comprised of numerous hardwoods but is dominated by stately oaks and hickories. In autumn, the forest displays spectacular fall colors as leaves turn to deep reds, brilliant yellows and burnt oranges. Woodland wildflowers are equally as impressive in the spring when violets, Dutchman's breeches, trillium, rare orchids, bloodroot and hepatica are in bloom.
History of the Area
Situated in the valley of Sunday Creek, the Burr Oak area was inhabited by Indians and, later, by settlers who found an abundance of game animals and the resources necessary for survival in the Ohio wilderness.
Coal, one of Ohio's most important mineral resources, was mined here for many years. As mining operations expanded, mining towns grew and prospered. Few of these mining towns were as notorious as the village of Santoy.
Many colorful tales were told of life in Santoy. In the true spirit of frontier life, so the story goes, a gunfight was once held over a $20 debt. The street was cleared as the two participants met for a showdown. The ensuing battle left both men lying in the street--one dead and the other critically wounded. The "Old West" came to life in Ohio when the coal company payroll was robbed by bandits who made a horse-mounted getaway through the town.
Countless other tales live on, but Santoy could not. A fire in 1924 destroyed the coal tipple and several businesses. The loss was so devastating that just three years later the second mine shaft shut down. In November 1931, the nineteen remaining voters decided to abandon the town. Today, only the church, the town's first building, still stands as a reminder of days gone by.
In 1950 Burr Oak Lake was created by the construction of the Tom Jenkins Dam across the east branch of Sunday Creek. Two years later, Burr Oak was dedicated as a state park.
Area AttractionsA portion of Wayne National Forest borders the park near the dam. The U.S. Forest Service operates a 19-unit family camp at Burr Oak Cove, off S.R. 13. Wildcat Hollow Backpack Trail, located on Morgan County Road 58, is also operated by the U.S. Forest Service and can be accessed by the park's backpack trail to extend the route.
Sunday Creek Wildlife Area, consisting of fifteen separate areas, borders the park as well. Two other state wildlife areas are located nearby--Trimble, six miles west and Wolf Creek, six miles east. Strouds Run State Park, on U.S. 50 east of Athens, provides facilities for fishing, camping, picnicking, hiking and boating.
State Route 78 between Glouster and McConnelsville earns its nickname "Rim of the World" as one of the most scenic drives in the state.
For additional information on area attractions, visit the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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