CAESAR CREEK STATE PARK
Location and Directions
Caesar Creek State Park and Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve are about 23 miles southeast of downtown Dayton. From the intersection of Third and Main Streets in downtown Dayton, take SR 48 (Main St.) south 15.2 miles to SR 73. Turn left (east) onto SR 73 and go 5.7 miles to Clarksville Rd. Turn right (south) onto Clarksville Rd. and go 2.3 miles to the US Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center on the left. Or continue 0.1 miles, turn right at the sign, and go 0.8 miles to the Caesar Creek Gorge parking lot. Also, instead of turning right off of SR 73 onto Clarksville Rd., continue 2.2 miles on SR 73, turn left at the Caesar Creek State Park sign on the left, and go 0.1 miles to the State Park Office on the right.
Spring Valley Wildlife Area is located nearby.
Area Description and Habitat
The centerpiece of Caesar Creek State Park is Caesar Creek Lake, a flood control and recreation reservoir created in the 1970's by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lake covers 2,830 acres and is over 8 miles in length. A 2,257-acre wildlife area lies at the upper (north) end of the lake, The 7,929-acre Caesar Creek State Park lies south of the wildlife area on both sides of the lake. Besides deep open water, other habitats include a beach, woodlands in varying stages of succession, and meadows. Drought years with lowered water levels create seasonal mudflats, and two additional wetlands areas are being developed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. At the south end of the lake, below the dam, is Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve, which was created by Ohio's glaciers and features a 180-foot deep gorge displaying unique geologic formations. The area is surrounded by dense woodlands.
Bird feeders are maintained year round by the staff at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center.
Fall, winter (when the lake is not frozen), and early spring are all good for finding migrant waterbirds. Common Loons and grebes frequently stop in both the spring and fall. A good variety of waterfowl is often found, particularly in the middle section of the lake near SR 73 and the beach. Migrant gulls frequently stop at the beach, including occasional Franklin's Gulls in the fall. Both Bald Eagles and Ospreys are often seen fishing in the lake. Many other species can be found in the land surrounding the lake, including American Woodcock, Short-eared Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker, Tree Swallow, and Eastern Bluebird. Winter feeders, including Purple Finches, Common Redpolls, and Pine Siskins, can be found on the feeders at the Visitors Center. Although the area has a relatively short ornithological history, a large number of uncommon and rare species has already been found here. Some of these include Red-throated Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Brown Pelican, Black Vulture, Peregrine Falcon, Oldsquaw, Black-legged Kittiwake, Sedge Wren, and Henslow's Sparrow.
Facilities and Other Information
Recreational opportunities are plentiful at Caesar Lake State Park. Water recreation is the largest attraction, with unlimited horsepower for boating and water skiing. A 1,300-foot beach offers excellent swimming. Changing booths and a concession area are provided at the beach. Fishing is good, and hunting is permitted in the wildlife area.
The park has a family campground with 287 campsites equipped with electric hookups, hot showers, and flush toilets. Water is available, as well as a sewage dump station. A separate horseman's camp is also offered.
There are forty-three miles of hiking trails in the park, thirty-one miles of bridle trails, and a five-mile mountain bike trail.
Picnic areas with shelters, tables, grills, and drinking water are available. Modern restrooms may be found at various places in the park.
Winter recreation includes snowmobiling, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.
Park information brochures with maps are available at the Corps of Engineers Visitor Center and the State Park Office.
Additional information about the park can be found at Caesar Creek State Park.
A map of the lake and surrounding area can be found at Caesar Creek Lake Wildlife Area.