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West Branch State Park, Ravenna

4.2
#30 of 109 in Nature in Ohio
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
Camping

- 29 full service sites

- 155 sites with 50-amp electric hook-up

- 14 non-electric sites

- Pets are permitted

- Heated showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities and a trailer dump station

- Some lakeside sites offer boating access

- Camp office loans games and sporting equipment to registered campers

- A group camp is available for organizations of up to 50 people

Picnic Shelters/Picnic Areas

- 5 picnic areas are situated in scenic locations around the lake

- 6 picnic shelters are available

- 4 picnic shelters can be reserved in advance online or by calling 866-644-6727

Swimming

- 700-foot sand beach

- BeachBeach house has restrooms with changing booths, snack vending area and outside showers

- Check for water quality advisories

Fishing

- Year-round fishing at West Branch offers large and smallmouth bass, walleye, crappie, bluegill, catfish and trophy-class muskellunge

- Fishing access is available at 3 paved and 2 gravel launch areas as well as numerous shoreline access points

- Wheelchair-accessible fishing pier is located by the marina

- Valid Ohio fishing license is required

Boating/Marina

- The 2,650 acre lake is designated for unlimited horsepower

- Boat rentals, gasoline and supplies are available at the marina

- 6 launch ramps provide access to the lake

- Dock rentals are on a seasonal basis

- Dock 9 is wheelchair accessible

- No-wake zone extends 300 feet from all shorelines

- Entire area west of Rock Spring Road causeway is also a no-wake zone

- Boat swimming area is located in Silver Creek Bay, southwest of the beach

Trails

- More than 14 miles of hiking trails

- Portion of the state's Buckeye Trail passes through the park and is linked to the campground by a 2-mile spur trail

- 12 miles of mountain biking trails

- Mountain biking is permitted on snowmobile trails and designated track trail

- After leaving the parking area and riding up to cable line road there are 6 loops (some connected, some not) that provide approximately 12 miles of single and double-track

- Read more about biking on the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association web site

- 20 miles of bridle trails traverse woodlands and meadows, riders must provide their own horses

- Horse camp is open by permit only

Winter Recreation (conditions permitting)

- Extensive snowmobile trails start at the west boat ramp

- Cross country skiing

- Ice Fishing

- Ice Boating

Hunting

- Open for hunting, in season, with small game, waterfowl and deer being most common

- The northeastern section of the park, bound on the west by Rock Spring Road and on the south by the lakeshore, is closed to hunting

- This no-hunting area includes the park office, camp area, horse camp, picnic areas, beach, marina, dam and East Boat Ramp

- 400-foot no hunting/safety zone extends from all other developed facilities

- Hunting is limited to shotguns and primitive weapons for most game

- Valid Ohio hunting license is required

- Target shooting is prohibited

More To Do

- Playgrounds

- Volley ball court

Area Attractions

- Tinker's Creek State Park and adjacent state nature preserve, located northwest of Streetsboro, offer additional recreational opportunities. Visitors may enjoy a variety of day-use activities including swimming, picnicking, fishing and hiking • During the spring and fall migration periods, the marsh provides food and shelter for thousands of waterfowl



- Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, northeast of Ravenna, also offers picnicking and hiking • Winding foot trails meander around, under and between the spectacular rock formations that have become the trademarks of this state park



- Other state parks in the area include Lake Milton, Quail Hollow, Punderson and Mosquito Lake.



- Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom (Aurora) and Blossom Music Center (Cuyahoga Falls) appeal to visitors as well.



-For more information on area attractions, visit the Streetsboro Visitors and Convention Bureau website or call 888-558-5580 Visit the Ohio Tourism Division website or call 800-BUCKEYE

Nature of the Area

West Branch State Park in Portage County is situated on the glaciated plateau of northeastern Ohio • Although the land was uplifted as part of the Appalachian Mountain building process, the glaciers were able to override the gentle hills of the plateau • Huge ice blocks broke free from the glaciers and kettle lakes formed as the blocks melted • Eventually, these lakes filled with sediment leaving boggy wetlands with unique assemblages of plants • The West Branch area contains numerous bogs filled with buttonbush, alder, skunk cabbage and swamp white oak

Another natural feature of the park is the stand of beech-maple forest. In pioneer times, the beech-maple belt in Ohio was very extensive and stretched across the plateau from Mansfield to Pennsylvania • These woodlands harbor a variety of plant and animal life • Woodland wildflowers such as Dutchman's breeches, bloodroot and trillium are found here • Red fox, skunk, opossum and raccoon find the park's habitat suitable • Songbirds occupy the leafy canopy of the woodlands while waterfowl and shorebirds dabble in the reservoir

History of the Area

West Branch State Park is located on the west branch of the Mahoning River in Portage County • The river was named for the Delaware Indian word mahonink meaning "at the salt lick" • In early days, a salt works was located southeast of present-day Warren along the river • The salt, which attracted a variety of wildlife, was harvested by Indians and early settlers

At the west end of the park is a crossroads known as Campbellsport, named for Captain John Campbell who mustered militia for the War of 1812 at the site and then marched them on Cleveland • Captain Campbell originally came to the area in 1805 as a surveyor and land agent for proprietor Samuel Hinckley • Captain Campbell also served as Portage County sheriff from 1810 to 1813 • He constructed what is said to be the oldest brick land-office building in Ohio (circa 1810) • Prior to the flooding of the reservoir, this building was moved to a site at the Portage County Historical Society where it has been preserved and restored

In 1965, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of the Michael J. Kirwan Reservoir • The reservoir was developed for flood control, water supply, recreation and fish and wildlife management • West Branch State Park was formally opened in 1966
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West Branch State Park reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
102 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • the campground is immaculate as far as cleanliness, the small beach is great. no large rocks and it slopes down into the water so there is no drop off. weve gone three times this summer and hope to...  more »
  • This was our first stay here and found it amazing. It's actually a place people go to camp with their families nit to party. The entire park is woods and lake. A beach in the campground and on the...  more »
Google
  • Really nice facilities at the campground! Sites were decent. Lots of activities. The beach in the campground is tiny. Better off going to the main beach on the other side of the lake if you're making a day of it. Boat ramp was well maintained also.
  • West Branch was an amazing camping experience. I used to go with my parents when I was a little girl. I hadn't been to West Branch in 25 years. This weekend I went with a bunch of friends camping and jet skiing we also rented a pontoon. It was the best experience I have had camping ever. The bathroom facilities were VERY sanitary, the showers had great water pressure and the HOT water was amazing as well.

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