Child fishing at Salt Fork State Park (photo by Laura Watilo Blake)

5 Ohio Inland Lakes You’ll Love

These destinations within the Ohio State Parks system offer a wealth of opportunities for on-the-water fun.

Pymatuning Lake: With one side located in Ashtabula County, Ohio, and the other in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, this 14,000-surface-acre body of water offers several public boat ramps, a 500-foot swimming beach and two volleyball courts. Considered one of the state’s best fishing lakes, anglers who travel to the northeast corner of Ohio to cast a line can expect to catch walleye, yellow perch and bluegill during their day on the water. 6100 Pymatuning Lake Rd., Andover 44003, 440/293-6030

Grand Lake St. Marys: Spanning 13,500 surface acres, Grand Lake St. Marys was the world’s largest reservoir following its completion in 1845. Today, it is Ohio’s largest inland lake that does not extend beyond the state’s border. With 52 miles of shoreline, this Mercer County spot is a destination for both birders and boaters, while the Miami-Erie Buckeye and North Country Scenic trails are accessible from the Grand Lake St. Marys State Park campground. 834 Edgewater Dr., St. Marys 45885, 419/394-3611

Mosquito Lake: Mosquito Lake offers an inviting destination for anglers looking to catch bass, northern pike and walleye. This 7,850-surface-acre lake in Trumbull County, located about 6 miles northeast of the city of Warren, allows unlimited-horsepower boating, and its 600-foot public beach is a draw for swimmers and sunbathers alike. While you’re there, check out the butterfly garden at the Mosquito Lake State Park campground. 1439 Wilson Sharpsville Rd., Cortland 44410, 330/637-2856

Indian Lake: What was once known as the “Midwest’s Million Dollar Playground” remains a popular destination for Ohioans. Visitors can enjoy kayaking, water skiing, and boating on this 5,100-surface-acre lake that has five public boat ramps. Swimmers can cool off at Indian Lake State Park’s two public beaches: Old Field Beach or Fox Island Beach. There’s also a nine-hole disc golf course, as well as biking and walking trails. 13156 St. Rte. 235 N., Lakeview 43331, 937/843-2717 

Salt Fork Lake: As Ohio’s largest state park, Salt Fork State Park offers room to roam and a lake that winds through the rolling hills like a snake. The 2,952-surface-acre body of water has eight boat ramps and three boat swimming areas. Visitors can also soak up some sun at the park’s 2,500-foot public beach, one of the largest inland beaches in the state. Off the water, the park has several bridle trails. 14755 Cadiz Rd., Lore City 43755, 740/439-3521

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