Adams Lake State Park

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Adams Lake State Park
Ohio State Park
Adams lake trail.JPG
Adams Lake Trail
Named for: Adams Lake
Country United States
State Ohio
County Adams
Location [1]
 - elevation 774 ft (236 m) [1]
 - coordinates 38°48′51″N 83°31′36″W / 38.81417°N 83.52667°W / 38.81417; -83.52667Coordinates: 38°48′51″N 83°31′36″W / 38.81417°N 83.52667°W / 38.81417; -83.52667
Area 95 acres (38 ha)
Founded 1950
Management Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation
IUCN category III - Natural Monument
Adams Lake State Park is located in Ohio
Adams Lake State Park
Location of Adams Lake State Park in Ohio
Website: Adams Lake State Park

Adams Lake State Park is a 95-acre (38 ha) Ohio state park near West Union, in Adams County, Ohio in the United States. The park is named for Adams Lake which was built to supply fresh water to the village of West Union. When West Union established another water source in 1950, the lake and the surrounding property was purchased by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.


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.[2] But recent findings possibly attribute the construction of the mound to the Fort Ancient culture.[3]

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.[2]

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.[4] 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.[4]

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.[4]


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.[5]

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.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Adams Lake State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. April 1, 1991. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  2. ^ a b Jessica E. Saraceni (Nov–Dec 1996). "Redating Serpent Mound". Archaeology. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  3. ^ "Serpent Mound: A Fort Ancient Icon?", Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, Vol.21, No.1, University of Iowa, 1996
  4. ^ a b c d "Adams Lake State Park". Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  5. ^

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