History lives at Buck Creek State Park which surrounds C.J. Brown Reservoir in east-central Ohio. George Rogers Clark fought there in 1780, leading 1,000 Kentuckians in a raid against a Shawnee camp, and defeating them at the Battle of Piqua. One Indian who fled the attack was a young Shawnee called Tecumseh. Much later the Army Corps of Engineers dammed Buck Creek as a flood control project, and in June of 1975, the Park was officially opened. Today, this very modern Ohio park, which lies two miles northeast of Springfield, is a mecca for not only boaters, but outdoorsmen and nature lovers of every kind.

The park is one of the most modern and well maintained in the state of Ohio, and the Reservoir is a destination for many thousands of visitors yearly. Boating with unlimited horsepower is permitted on this 2,120 acre lake and those who come to enjoy its usually clear blue water will find a marina with full service, rental boats, food, bait and tackle open in season. There’s also a four lane launch ramp near the park office at the end of Buck Creek Lane. Fishing alone draws thousands to C.J..

The lake is stocked annually with walleye and each spring nice fish are taken along riprap shorelines with twister tail jigs, jig and minnow combinations, and live bait. In summer and early fall anglers like to drift across the old creek channel and in front of the Corps headquarters with Lindy rigs and deep diving crankbaits. There are plenty of crappie too, waiting for spring anglers around brush, fallen timber, and riprap, and in the same areas each late summer and fall, though fish will be deeper. Use minnows and small jigs to take crappie 6-12 inches, even more. And don’t forget night fishing for channel cats in the creek mouth, and largemouth bass around wood cover.

Some boaters might like to stay at the park and there are good accommodations waiting. The park has 26 family cabins in a wooded area, with several, 14, 16, 17, and 18 offering a great lake view. They have two bedrooms, bath with shower, complete kitchen and dining area, a screened porch and air conditioning. What else could a family need?

The campground has 111 sites of which 89 have electricity, and there are showers, flush toilets, and dump stations. Boaters who have pets will find designated sites for Fifi or Tom. Lots of visitors enjoy hiking when they’re not on the water, and the park has 7.5 miles of hiking trails, and not just ordinary trails, either.

Glaciers covered this area, receding only 12,000 years ago. They left low hills called moraines, made of sand and gravel and dotted with springs, which is how nearby Springfield got its name. Not surprisingly, bogs and fens are plentiful, and these wet areas in the park host lots of rare plants, including round-leaved sundew and horned bladderwort. You might see a rare spotted turtle, too, hundreds of migrating waterfowl in spring and fall, and fairly rare songbirds like dickcissels, and Henslow sparrows.

Visitors who are REALLY lucky might even spot mute swans and many hummingbirds. Add occasional deer, raccoons, cottontail rabbits, and squirrels, and a quiet and stealthy walk along the trails early or late might produce a cornucopia of wild sightings. There are more things to do. Picnics in the picnic area, good swimming in season, volleyball and basketball courts, horseshoe pits, and not least, visits into Springfield for shopping and fine restaurants. There’s plenty of information just a phone call away. Call the park office at (937) 322-5284 for details about the park, and 1-866-644-6727 for cottage and camping reservations. It’s a nice place to visit during any season.

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