About Buckeye Lake
Buckeye Lake is a 3,300 acre lake that is home to Ohio's first state park. Some of the towns that surround the lake are Buckeye Lake, Millersport, Hebron, Edgewater Beach, Thornville, Harbor Hills, Lakeside and Fairfield Beach. Those who live in and visit there can enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, ice skating, snowmobiling, camping and visits to local museums.
Buckeye Lake has an interesting history. Its ancient history dates back to the Wisconsin Glacier which pushed a wide swath of Canadian forest to Central Ohio. As the glacier melted, the resulting lakes and marshes proved to be a hospitable area for continued growth of the Canadian forest. By the time the European settlers traveled to this area, most of that forest had disappeared. One area that thrived after the retreat of the glacier, and still exists, is Cranberry Bog at Buckeye Lake. The Canadian plants still remain after 11,000 years and stand as a tribute to the Ice Age.
Buckeye Lake was a swampy area that was to be turned into a reservoir to feed the Ohio and Erie Canal system. This was done by building a dike at the edge of the swamp. The lake turned out to be too shallow to fill the Erie Canal for its barge traffic, but making the lake created a bog island. The water destroyed all of the swampy area except for the most buoyant segment which actually rose 8 feet with the new water level. Most often bogs surround glacial lakes, but in this case the lake surrounds the bog. This type of bog island is not know to exist anywhere else in the world!
Each year there is a crop of canberrries that are harvested from the bog. It is also host to numerous orchids and other exotic plant life. Visiting the island requires permission, but there is a public open house in June so that you may enjoy the blooming orchids.
In 1902 Buckeye Lake Park opened for tourists. In 1931, "The Dips" roller coaster was introduced and it became an amusement park. The park had a huge dancehall, the Crystal Swimming Pool (100 feet wide by 200 feet long) and hotels for tourists. In the 1930's and 1940's there was a 30,000 square foot round floor skating arena called Skateland. At one time it was called Palais de Dance. The Dips Roller Coaster wrecked in the summer of 1958 and was never operated again. Buckeye Lake Park closed permanently in 1970. Buckeye Lake Yacht Club has 400 members and is the only island based yacht club in the United States. Its clubhouse can be found on Watkin's Island in Buckeye Lake.
Today, Buckeye Lake is a family recreation area that boasts many restaurants, lake cruises on the Queen of the Lake II, fishing, boating and lakefront living.
Please contact Brian and his team for a tour of the area and help in finding the perfect vacation or permanent home in this lively, growing area of Central Ohio.
Historical information provided by the Greater Buckeye Lake Historical Society and from the Division of Natural Areas and preserves-Cranberry bog State Nature Preserve pamphlet.
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