Jackson Lake State Park, located in an area called the Appalachian Highlands region, is a heavily wooded lakeside getaway for RV campers. The park, located on Jackson Lake in Oak Hill, Ohio is a small, but impressive place to stay and play. Campers will enjoy the lush oak, maple, hickory, and tulip trees, and find peace both in the campground as well as on the water.
This area of Ohio is called the unglaciated hill country of southeastern Ohio, and it is known for its rolling sandstone hills and dense forest. Although the area is picturesque, what makes this part of the state even more beautiful is the diverse, rich history. Before pioneers and settlers inhabited the area, this section of Ohio was home to many Native American tribes, like the Shawnees, the Mingos, and the Delawares, and even before these tribes occupied the lands, ancient tribes dwelled in the same region. These tribes left behind ceremonial mounds and relics, such as sandstone carvings. These carvings, called petroglyphs, still stand today. The Leo Petroglyph, located near Jackson Lake State Park, is just one of the relics that visitors can see to get a glimpse of the earliest inhabitants of Ohio.
RV Rentals in Jackson Lake State Park
Transportation in Jackson Lake State Park
Ohio State Parks do not charge a daily access fee to visit the parks. Visitors only have to pay for accommodations and recreation at Jackson Lake State Park. The park’s day use areas are generally open from sunrise to sunset. During the operating season, from April through mid-December, the campground is open 24 hours a day, with visiting hours from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. Contact the park for the exact operating dates and times, as these times change depending on the season.
The park is located 93 miles southeast of Columbus and 126 miles southeast of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jackson Lake State Park is also close to many cities outside of Ohio, making it a convenient location to visit. From Huntington, West Virginia, it is a 52-mile drive north, and from Lexington, Kentucky, drive 159 miles northeast.
Campgrounds and parking in Jackson Lake State Park
Campsites in Jackson Lake State Park
Jackson Lake State Park Campground
Although this is a small state park, the campground provides visitors with many amenities that make RV camping comfortable and enjoyable. This seasonally-operated campground welcomes pets and offers 50 amp electrical hookups. The campground has a hydrant, a bathhouse with showers and toilets, and a dump station. Registered campground guests should visit the camp office to rent horseshoes and other playground equipment free of charge, as well as take advantage of the free WiFi access inside of the facility. Please quiet your generators and other loud noise between the hours of 10:00 pm until 7:00 am.
Seasonal activities in Jackson Lake State Park
Boating enthusiasts will love spending the day on the Jackson Lake. The 242-acre lake (at the normal pool) is a shallow lake that allows boats of any horsepower as long as they remain at idle speed and refrain from creating a wake. Bring your boat from home and troll the warm waters while exploring inlets and shoreline. Boaters can access the lake from the boat ramp on McCorkle Road, just south of State Route 279. If you forget your life jacket, don’t worry, a life jacket loaner board is available.
Fish some of the 11 miles of accessible shoreline on Jackson Lake. Bring your fishing gear and your valid Ohio fishing license to access the waters from the shore or a boat. State law requires that all anglers over the age of 16 have a valid fishing license, so be sure to keep that with you at all times. Fish for Largemouth bass and bluegill in spring and fall, and fish for Channel catfish beginning mid-June. The lake also stocks crappie and sunfish, but their numbers are less abundant.
Day Use Facilities
Pack a lunch and head outside! The park has five lake view picnic areas where families can enjoy spending quality time together while taking in the beautiful wooded, natural environment. If you want to secure a picnic area, reserve one of the three sheltered picnic areas ahead of time. The park also has a playground, a horseshoe pit, and other outdoor sporting areas. Bring a ball or rent one from the campground office if you are a registered camper.
While hunting isn’t allowed inside of the park’s boundaries, hunters can use the park as a staging point. Park your RV inside of the park and have access to the many amenities, and then head north 12 miles north to the Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area. The wildlife area, covered in wild crabapple, Virginia pine, and oak-hickory creates a haven for squirrel, raccoon, ruffed grouse, deer, and wild turkey. Contact the ODNR Department of Wildlife for information on hunting licenses.
The fish in Jackson Lake don’t just wait around for summer fishing! Once the lake is frozen over, experienced ice fishers can try catching some of the resident Largemouth bass and crappie. Even in the winter, a valid fishing license is required for all people over the age of 16. Before heading outside onto an icy lake, take the necessary precautions to guarantee your safety on the ice. If you are inexperienced, but still want to try ice fishing, hire an ice fishing guide to teach you the proper safety techniques for fun, but a safe day on the frozen water.
Many people like to stay inside and bundle up when the weather turns cold and snowy. Thankfully, Jackson Lake State Park has fun snow-day solutions for families. Bring your sleds and your tubes and head to one of the park’s many sledding hills. The park doesn’t supply any safety or warm weather gear, so ensure you prepare for a cold day outside, and as always, be aware of adverse weather conditions.