Strouds Run State Park

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Location: 11661 State Park Rd, Athens

Contact: Ohio State Parks

Phone: 740-592-2302

Incredibly popular for kayaking and canoeing, Strouds Run State Park’s Dow Lake is cut deep into the Appalachian foothills. The steep ravines surrounding the lake make for an incredible time on the water. The beach is open in the spring and summer months for swimming, and canoe and boat rentals are available.

Mountain Biking

The connected mountain biking trails of Strouds Run and Sells Park combine to offer 30 miles of trails right in the City of Athens. The Thunderbunny, Sundown or Scatter Ridge trails connect the trail systems of both parks.

Click here for a free printable map of the mountain bike trails at Strouds Run and Sells Park.


Strouds Run offers campers a family camp area with sites for tents or trailers with a 150-person capacity. Latrines, waste drains, picnic tables and fire rings are provided. Ten sites are available for campers with pets. A group camp area is available for organized groups on a reservation basis. Three Rent-A-Camp sites consisting of a dining fly, sleeping cots and pads, cookstove and other gear are available by reservation. Two Camper Cabins are also available.


Boats with a 10-hp limit are permitted on Dow Lake. A boat ramp and tie-up stakes are provided. Boat rental information may be obtained at the park office.

Fishing and Hunting

Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish are taken from the lake. Hunting is permitted in designated areas. Wild turkey, gray squirrel, and white-tailed deer are abundant. A valid Ohio fishing and/or hunting license is required.


Forty miles of trails available and ready for you to enjoy. Meander through the wooded hills of Strouds Run, including city preserve lands, Athens Conservancy preserve lands, biking trails, and horse trails throughout the park. Excellent bird watching and nature study can be done along the trails. The park also offers an 8.5-mile bridle trail built by volunteers from the Ohio Horseman’s Council, Athens County Chapter, working under the Adopt-A-Trail program. The trail can be accessed from the parking lot off Township Road 21 and at locations along County Road 20. Trails are dog friendly leashes are required.


A 900-foot sand beach on the east side of the lake is open during the summer months from sunrise to sunset. Change booths, drinking water, and restrooms are available. Scuba diving with proper equipment is also permitted. Diving alone and within the beach area is prohibited.


Picnic tables and cooking grates are located at the north end of the lake and south of the dam. Each area has restrooms nearby. Three shelter houses at the north end of the lake are available on a first-come, first-served basis and may also be reserved for a fee.

Geographical History of the Park

Strouds Run State Park is in the scenic forested hills of Athens County, in the midst of the unglaciated Appalachian Plateau. Although untouched by the vast ice sheets that moved across portions of the state over 12,000 years ago, the effects of the glaciers can be seen today in the deep ravines and high hills of Strouds Run. Stream valleys served as outlets for torrents of glacial meltwaters. The erosive power of these waters began carving valleys and hillsides into familiar topography Ohioans know today. Large deposits of glacial outwash, primarily sand and gravel, were deposited along these streams and strongly affected the type of biological communities present today at the park.

History of the Area

Several mounds and ancient fortifications were found in this area by early settlers telling us that the Adena Indians once lived here. In more recent history, this was home to the powerful Shawnee Nation until the Treaty of Greenville forced them to abandon their lands in southern Ohio.

Activities: Hunting, mountain biking, fishing, hiking and horseback trails, swimming, boating.

Get There!

Strouds Run State Park is just 7 miles from Athens.

From Parkersburg: Take St. Rte. 682 off of 50, and follow the signs to Strouds Run State Park

From Columbus and US 33: take a right off of the Columbus Road exit, follow Columbus Road for just over 1.5 miles, take a left onto North Lancaster Street. Lancaster becomes Columbia Avenue. Continue on Columbia Avenue and drive over the US 33 overpass. Take a right onto Strouds Run Road – approx. 2 miles to the park.