WELCOME TO OHIO STATE PARKS AND BURR OAK
The purpose of the Oho State Parks is to provide an outdoor recreational experience for Ohio State Park visitors, and to provide excellent customer service with diverse recreational offerings, well maintained facilities, and value-added amenities.
The Division of Parks was created as a division of ODNR in 1949 to create, supervise, operate and maintain a system of state parks and to promote their use by the public. Through land acquisition and transfer, the park system has grown from the original 30 parks to 74 state parks in 60 counties with over 174,000 acres of land and water resources.
Facilities include nine resort lodges, three dining lodges, six golf courses, more than 9,000 campsites in 57 family campgrounds, 518 cottages, 36 visitor/nature centers, 80 swimming beaches and 19 swimming pools, 188 boat ramps and 7,583 boat docks, 463 picnic areas, and 1,167 miles of trails.
Pets are allowed in all 57 of our campgrounds in designated areas or sites, maximum 2 pets per site. Pets are welcome at select cottages at the following state parks: Burr Oak, Cowan Lake, Dillon, Hueston Woods, Lake Hope, Maumee Bay, Pike Lake, Punderson, Pymatuning, Salt Fork, and Shawnee. Pets are permitted in most day use areas, and must be on a leash. Pets are not permitted on swimming beaches.
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. The lodge was built in 1967.
Burr Oak State Park epitomizes the wilderness character of southeast Ohio. Over 3000 acres 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, the elusive wild turkey and coyote. Plus the forest provides a stopping, and nesting places for many warblers such as Black-throated Green, Magnolia, Blue-winged, and Cerulean. The lake's shore is inhabited by the industrious beaver, great blue heron, and eagles and ospreys are not unusual.Plus Burr Oak lake is a great fishing area for many sport fish, such as saugeye, walleye, larg-mouth bass, crappie and catfish.
The forest is comprised of numerous hardwoods but is dominated by oaks and hickories. In autumn, the forest can display spectacular fall colors as leaves turn to deep reds, brilliant yellows and burnt oranges. Woodland wildflowers are equally as impressive in the spring when one may see blue-eyed mary, Dutchman's breeches, trillium, wild ginger, bloodroot and hepatica blooming.
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, the church, the town's first building, still stands as a reminder of days gone by. Plus, hidden away amongst the vines and brush is the old jail and part of the firehouse.
Difficulty: Very easy. Handicap accessible
Distance: Drive up to it, and less than 100 feet of walking.
Bring your stamp, pad, and writing instrument.
As you come to the main entrance of the Park (the lodge, cabins area) on S R 78 you will see a parking area off to the right of the Main Entrance sign. This used to be a scenic overlook, but the trees have grown up so, that now the view is hidden. Pull into the parking area and park in the closest spot next to the handicap parking spot. This is not a heavily used spot, but you are quite exposed. Get out and walk to the left end of the guardrail. Behind the curved end you will find the OHIO STATE PARKS. Take the stamp back to your car and record the find and replace as you found it. Drive on down into the Park, stop in at the Lodge, or go in search of the many other letterboxes in the area. Enjoy your visit to the OHIO STATE PARKS.