Adams Lake State Park

Doris has taken some amazing nature pictures, and wanted to take more. She suggested that we head out to a state park she had remembered seeing last year when we went to West Union. We were in different vehicles and I did not notice it at all.

I am so glad she did. It turned out that it was Adams Lake State Park and Adams Lake Prairie State Nature Preserve in Adams County, on SR41 near West Union, Ohio.

Like many Ohio State Parks, it is small. It has one paved trail that runs for 3/4’s of a mile along the lake front from the dam near SR41 to the turnaround at the dead end of the park’s access road. The park takes up 49 acres, 47 of which is the lake itself. That remaining two acres is pleasingly laid out with a playground, shelter and numerous picnicking tables and grills. A tiny stand of old forest trees resides between the access road and the hiking path, and this area is also interspersed with picnic tables, but no grills. The lake level was down a bit, likely due to the dry spring weather we had. There was a nice surprise for me. There were two prominate beaver lodges on the far side of the lake, and a third lumping of branches that could also have been a lodge. On the near side of the lake near the walking path a few trees were girdled and obvious beaver teeth marks were visible. Doris saw a small head bobbing in the lake, but I missed it.

Adjacent to the park is the 26 acre Adams Lake Prairie State Nature Preserve. By law in Ohio you need permits to access the state nature preserves or to hike in them. That is unless a state approved trail is provided, in which case you are allowed to use the trail. It is illegal to leave the trail unless you have a permit. I was happy to see that it appears the patrons of the park abide by this rule as there were no unauthorized side trails or worn areas that are common in most state parks. The gravel and dirt trails in the nature preserve total approximately 8/10’s of a mile. Part of it is a nature walk that includes signs describing plant and animal life in the area.

I am thinking of returning in the springtime to see the prairie in bloom, and the spillway of the lake in action. The dam has a double spillway, one of which is likely only for emergency overflow. Owen’s other grandparents live near this state park, so it is very likely that I will be visiting it again in the future. Next time, I’ll pack a picnic lunch.

(This is part of Thing 46)

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