Punderson State Park may be small at only 741 acres, but the memories that you’ll make here are huge. The lake that is located in the park is one of the few natural lakes in Ohio, and it totals 150 acres for you to enjoy. Just like the park’s namesake, the lake was also named after Lemuel Punderson, the first permanent settler of the area in 1808. That’s right, this park sure does hold a lot of history.
The Punderson family built a small estate on the land, and it became the perfect place for friend and family gatherings. It slowly shifted into a resort-like area, and soon it was bursting with all kinds of visitors looking to get away from their busy life in Cleveland. It grew and grew until in 1951, it was turned over for the development of the state park that it is today.
Now you can come visit in your RV to experience it all for yourself, get a feel for all the history here, and enjoy all the fun activities. In the summer, enjoy the lake, play some golf, and relax in all the lush nature. In the winter, get out in the glistening snow for skiing, sledding, and more. The possibilities are endless when you bring your RV to Punderson State Park.
Off of OH-87 and OH-44, you can get to Punderson State Park from I-90 to the north, I-271 to the west, I-80 to the south and I-79 to the east. Just 38 miles from Cleveland to the west and 43 miles southwest of Akron, you will be close to lots of shops and eateries nearby. You’ll also be close to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, just 33 miles to the southwest, which boasts 33,000 acres of flora and fauna to explore while you are in the neighborhood.
There are no driving restrictions for RVs or any other vehicles at all in the park. All the roads are double-lane roads as well. Even if you decide to come RV camping in the wintertime, the roads are taken care of for you, and you can get instructions and directions when you first enter the park. So, there are no seasonal road closures either. In fact, the park is just as popular in the winter as it is in the summer.
No matter how large your RV is, feel free to bring it along with you for all your adventures through the park. There is plenty of parking to choose from, even for your RV. You’ll find large parking lots near the Lodge and more parking areas by the marina and shoreline.
Believe it or not, the campground here at Punderson State Park resides where an Indian Village used to be long ago. Here is where you’ll find everything you need for the perfect RV camping vacation. There are 167 sites nestled between Stump Lake and Punderson Lake that offer 20-amp electricity. But if that’s not enough, there’s no need to worry. There are 20 full-service sites that have 30- and 50-amp electric hookups, as well as water and sewer hookups.
Not only will you have all of that, but you’ll also have access to a nearby dump station, shower houses, and flush toilets. Feel free to bring your pet along with you too. While you’re staying here, you can swing by to see what the Nature Center has to offer and even borrow fun games from the Camp Office. You’ll have everything you need and more when you come RV camping at Punderson State Park.
If you want a more luxurious stay and don’t have a furbaby with you, check out the manor rooms at Punderson Lodge. The lodge is at the end of W.B. Cleveland Drive on the southern tip of Punderson Lake by the pool and cabins. The lodge is perfect for those who want a bit of pampering. You’ll have several rooms to choose from including the double with two double beds, queens with a queen-sized bed, kings with a king-sized bed, or a suite that has a king bed with a living room and jacuzzi room as well.
All rooms are decorated in an English Tudor style with antique reproductions and modern amenities. You’ll have a small refrigerator, full bathroom, coffee maker, Wi-Fi, cable television, and more. In the common areas, they have a full-service dining room, conference rooms, and not one, but two pools - an indoor and an outdoor pool. There are only 31 guest rooms available, so if you want to guarantee your spot, you’ll need to make reservations ahead of time.
Why not park the rig and spend a night or two in a cabin for a change? The cabins that you’ll find at Punderson State Park can comfortably sleep five to six people, making it perfect for any family vacation. There are 26 cabins to choose from, and each one has two bedrooms, a screened-in porch, a full kitchen and dining area, and a bathroom with a shower. Located on the southern end of the park, the cabins are nice, cozy, and comfy, and you can even bring your pet to stay with you.
The Hillside Cabins tucked into the woods in Punderson Manor feel like a home away from home with all the luxuries you need to feel comfortable during your stay. They can sleep five and even include Wi-Fi, satellite TV, bedding, and a coffee pot. The Parkside Cabins are in the woods as well but are slightly bigger than the Hillside Cabins and sleep six. Other than that, they have the same amenities as the Hillside Cabins. All the cabins are close to the swimming pool, lake, and lodge. Reserve your cabin early as they get booked up fast.
If you have a big family or are planning a party, the group campgrounds at Punderson State Park are beautiful. There are three group campsites located in the main campground with 20-amp electricity. Site one is across from campsite 27 in camping area one, site two is in the center loop between campsites 76 and 82, and the third group campsite is at the end of the campground between sites 113 and 120.
All sites can accommodate up to 25 people and must be reserved ahead of time. Cook out on the provided campfire rings or bring your own barbecue grill or camp stove. You will also have several picnic tables so you can all eat together. Pets are welcome as long as you keep your furbaby on a leash or restrained properly at all times during your stay.
There are three trails that are open for snowmobiling: the Beach Trail, Erie Trail, and the Iroquois Trail. Both Erie and Iroquois Trails are moderate in difficulty level. If you’re still new to snowmobiling, you might do better on the Beach Trail because it is an easy half-mile ride. You’ll find Erie just past the campground on the west side of Stump Lake, off of Old Interurban Drive. Iroquois Trail starts at the lodge and takes you along the southern tip of Punderson Lake. The Beach Trail takes you along the northern tip of Punderson Lake off Pennywort Drive.
Dog sledding is yet another popular winter activity that many people enjoy when they visit the park. Visitors who enjoy the sport will love this park because they have a special trail just for mushers by the disc golf course next to Pine Lake. Six miles of multi-use trails are also available for dog sledding, and Mushers Trail is the perfect location to do so. This trail is rated as moderate and is just over one mile long.
There are plenty of areas in the park to go sledding. Just choose a hill that seems like the most fun to you. At the northeastern section of the park by the sports chalet on Buckeye Drive, there is also a lighted sledding hill with a tow rope to make things easier and give you a more enjoyable experience. So, if you decide to visit during the snowy season, don’t forget to bring your sled with you and be sure to dress in layers.
In the wintertime, many of the trails are open for cross-country skiing. In fact, there are six miles of multi-use trails that you can ski on. Two of the best trails for cross-country skiing are the Huron and Mohawk Trails. They are both moderate trails and about the same length. Huron is just 0.2 miles longer, at 1.5 miles long. These two trails are parallel to each other and start near the park service building on Coppedge Drive.
Fishing during the off-season is a great way to get out and enjoy all of nature. Just make sure that the weather conditions are right. Punderson Lake typically doesn’t fully freeze over, so much of it isn’t safe for ice fishing. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still plenty of fish to be caught. Pine Lake in the northwestern corner and Stump Lake in the northeastern corner are both available for fishing as well, and they are usually good for ice fishing too since they are smaller. Make sure you get an Ohio fishing license before tossing your line in the water.
There are about 11 total miles of trails, seven miles of which are ideal for hikers. The shortest and easiest trek is Whitetail Trail at just a half-mile, which goes from the Mohawk Trail to the Iroquois Trail off of W.B. Cleveland Drive near the lodge. The longest hike is Erie Trail at two miles long and takes you around Punderson Lake beginning at the marina parking lot. This path is rated as moderately difficult though, so you won’t have to worry too much about exerting all of your energy on just one trail.
Boating isn’t the only thing you can do at the lake. You can also get in the water and go for a swim. There is a 600-foot public beach that was made just for this purpose. The beach area is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to have some summer fun, so bring all your friends and family along with you when you come. Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen in the RV before heading to the park.
Punderson Lake is perfect for boating. There is one boat launch ramp for you to use at the northern end of Punderson Lake on Old Interurban Road by the marina. You can also rent a boat from the marina concession if you’d prefer to do that instead of bringing your own. Be aware though, that only electric motors are allowed on the lake. Paddling is also a fun way to get out there, and you can rent kayaks and canoes at the marina as well.
Disc golf isn’t the only form of golf at Punderson State Park. The 72-par golf course here is 18 holes on close to 7,000 acres with long three and five par holes. This course is open to the public and even championship rated - that’s how good it is. Even the most professional golfer will find challenges at this golf course, so it’s great for everyone to participate in. It’s so popular, though, that you might want to make reservations.
With one of the best disc golf courses in the state, Punderson State Park is the perfect place to play a round of disc golf. This 18-hole course was built near Musher’s Trail by Friends of Punderson State Park and has the only island basket in the whole state park system. You’ll play through the woods along Pine Lake with many scenic views so bring a camera or your phone to take pictures. The best part of all is that the disc golf course is open year-round.