MOUNT GILEAD — The scenic 181-acre state park on Ohio 95 got a major makeover the past nine months.
Fred Miller enjoys walking at Mount Gilead State Park.
“It’s so beautiful and peaceful here. I love what they’re doing with it,” the Knox County resident said after a morning stroll.
Refilling of the lake began this spring after completion of a project to construct a new dam and spillway.
Gamefish are being restocked into the lake beginning in spring. Part of the project also includes a newly constructed canoe/kayak launch in the upper end of the lake.
Additional park amenities to be completed this spring include final seeding, mulching and other landscape improvements at the job site, tree planting, parking lot improvements, and placement of signage, park benches and fishing line collectors.
The park has undergone other renovations in recent years, including laying 22 new full-size concrete pads throughout camping areas to better accommodate camping vehicles visiting the park.
Also part of the improvements, the park now has a full shower house, as well as new restroom facilities.
The $7.9 million project began in August 2016.
The first lake at Mount 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.
A scenic camping area, set in a pine forest, is open all year for camping enjoyment. Facilities include fire rings, picnic tables, waste-water drains and latrines.
Four Rent-A-Camp sites which provide a tent, dining canopy, cookstove, sleeping cots and other gear are available near the west end of the park for organized groups. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites.
The park allows boating with canoes, rowboats and boats with electric motors only. A launch ramp is provided.
The two small lakes at offer good catches of bass, bluegill and other panfish. The lakes were recently stocked. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
For information, visit http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/mountgilead.