In the midst of endless field of corn and soybeans stands 142-acre Harrison Lake State Park--a green island of scenic woodlands in a rich agricultural region. Harrison Lake is popular for swimming, fishing, camping and canoeing.
Originally, Lake Erie was much larger than it is today--stretching from western New York to Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Harrison Lake region was at that time under the waters of Lake Erie. As Lake Erie receded to its present size, the area formerly under water reverted to swamplands. This swamp (120 miles long and 30 to 40 miles wide) became known as the Great Black Swamp due to the color of the soil and dark shade beneath the giant trees.
For many years, the swamp was a tremendous barrier to western settlement. Most settlers avoided the area, traveling around the swamp via Lake Erie to reach southern Michigan. The Ottawa Indians settled only near the well-drained lands beside the Maumee River and its tributaries. The swamp was the last area to be settled in Ohio. It served as a reservation for Indians until they were forced out in 1842. It was not until the development of soil drainage techniques in the 1850s that large numbers of settlers moved here.
Even today, northwestern Ohio remains one of the most sparsely populated regions of the state, although it is one of Ohio's richest agricultural regions.
In 1836, the United States Congress and the Ohio Legislature finally settled a 10-year argument with the state of Michigan as to the location of the Ohio-Michigan border. For years, both states claimed ownership of a strip of land 11 miles wide that extended from the mouth of the Maumee River near Toledo to the Ohio border with Indiana. Today's Ohio-Michigan boundary is the one agreed upon in 1836. Had Congress favored Michigan's claim in that year, Harrison Lake State Park may have become a Michigan State Park!
In 1941, a dam over Mill Creek was completed and Harrison Lake was created. The lake and surrounding area were maintained primarily for hunting and fishing purposes until 1950 when Harrison Lake was established as a state park and development for additional recreational usage began.
A total of 179 campsites are available with a mix of electric and non-electric sites.
143 sites have electric hook-ups
36 are non-electric
5 sites are walk-in only, and one is ADA complaint
Showers, flush toilets, & dump station are available
Pets are permitted on designated sites
Playground is located at the campground
Games and sports equipment can be borrowed by registered campers at the camp office
All types of boats are permitted on the 105-acre lake. While there are no limits on motorized horsepower; all motor boats must operate at no-wake speed.
One launch ramp provides access to the lake. The launch ramp is ADA friendly. Two ADA-friendly courtesy docks are also available.
Dog Swim Area
The park offers a designated area for dogs to swim
Good catches of largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead catfish, northern pike and carp can be taken from Harrison Lake. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Several quiet picnic areas are located in scenic areas throughout the park.
The park offers a 150 foot swimming beach. Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are not permitted on the swimming beach; however, a dog swimming area is located west of the swimming beach.
Several hiking trails, totaling about 3.5 miles, enable visitors to explore the scenic lakeshore and woodlands of the park.
Construction continues to complete a 9-hole course. No fee.
Volleyball and basketball courts, and horseshoe pits
Lake access for dogs offers a place for your pets to frolic and swim.
Nature programs are offered during the summer months.
Bicycle rental is available at the campground check-in office.
When conditions permit, park visitors can enjoy sledding, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.