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Adams Lake State Park
Green leafy trail
Adams Lake Trail
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Location Adams County, Ohio, United States
Area Land: 49 acres (20 ha)
Water: 47 acres (19 ha)
Elevation 764 feet (233 m)
Established 1950
Administered by Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Designation Ohio state park
Website Adams Lake State Park

Adams Lake State Park is a 50-acre (20 ha) public recreation area on the north edge of West Union, in Adams County, Ohio, in the United States. The park offers fishing, boating, picnicking, and hiking.


Adams Lake State Park is in an area that was once the domain of prehistoric and mound building cultures. Serpent Mound is just north of the park along Ohio Route 41. This structure was believed built by the Adena culture that lasted from 1000 B.C. to about 100 AD. But recent findings possibly attribute the construction of the mound to the Fort Ancient culture.

The Serpent Mound is the largest effigy mound in the world. While there are several burial mounds around the Serpent mound site, the Serpent itself does not contain any human remains and was not constructed for burial purposes.

The Shawnee were the strongest Native American tribe in what is now the Adams County at the time of the arrival of Anglo-American settlers to the Ohio River Valley. The first whites to enter the area were fur trappers. They were soon followed by farmers as the Northwest Territory was settled in the years following the American Revolutionary War.

Adams Lake was created to supply drinking water to the county seat of Adams County. Ownership of the lake and its surrounding land was transferred to the state of Ohio in 1950 at which time Adams Lake State Park was founded.


Allegheney mound ant mound
Allegheny mound ants are common at the preserve.

Adams Lake State Park is home to one of the last pockets of prairie habitat in Ohio. Native American and naturally caused fires, grazing by megafauna, and periodic severe droughts may have played a role in maintaining this landscape. Plants found in this disjunct area of prairie include purple coneflower, prairie dock, and little bluestem flowers. Adams Lake prairie is a dry, sparsely vegetated area. The only trees in the prairie opening are sporadically occurring red cedar, post oak, and others which can survive the extreme soil conditions.

Rare plants in the prairie include cylindrical blazing star, scaly blazing star, rattlesnake-master and blackjack oak.


Adams Lake State Park is open for year-round recreation. Adams Lake is a 47-acre (19 ha) lake that is open for swimming and boating. Only non-powered boats with small electrical motors are permitted on the waters of the lake. There is a small boat launch at the park entrance. The lake provides a habitat bluegill, channel catfish, carp, bullhead and largemouth bass. All anglers are required to have a valid Ohio fishing license. Picnicking is permitted at the park, but all visitors are required to carry out their trash. Trash bins are not provided. A ¾ mile trail borders the southern portion of Adams Lake.

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