Dillon Lake is a picturesque setting for many outdoor adventures in this area. The 1,560-acre lake hosts a variety of activities ranging from swimming to hiking and much more! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and maintains the dam, the lake and most of the land surrounding the lake for flood management purposes. Areas for recreation and wildlife management are leased to the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources.
Naming of Dillon Lake followed a long standing US Army Corps of Engineers tradition of naming the lake after the closest town. Dillon was started by Moses Dillon, a Quaker from Maryland. While on his way to bring Christianity to the Indians in the early 1800s he saw the falls on the Licking River and noticed that nearby there was coal and iron ore. He settled here and built what was one of the world's largest iron foundries. Restrooms are located at the Project Office, and the dam area.
Launch ramps for the boating enthusiasts and fishermen are located throughout the lake area. The launch ramp available on the west side of the lake is accesible to small boats only, due to siltation.
Bicycles are permitted on main roads and and mountain bike trails. Contact a Ranger @ (740) 455-4170 for the location of areas conducive to off-road bicycling.
Camping is available at Dillon State Park. There are 183 electric sites, 12 non-electric sites, showers, flush toilets, and a dump station. Commissary with grocery items and laundromat is located near the check-in station. Free WiFi access is available at the commissary to registered campers.
Pets are permitted on designated sites, check the camground map for locations One youth group camp is available
A popular spot for fishermen is below the dam, at the pond area and above at the intake, giving anglers an area all to themselves year round, unless closed due to sever inclement weather. Call (740) 454-2225 for updated lake and project information. The below dam area has been modified with paved roads and parking lots, a universally accessible fishing pier and restrooms. The area below the dam is well lit at night for the avid fishing persons. The Corps' Resource Managers and their Ranger staff at all Corps lakes are authorized under federal law to issue citations to individuals for specific violations, including the improper operation of vehicles and boats, littering, and swimming and camping in restricted areas.
A fitness trail is located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Office and Visitor Center.
The fish and wildlife indigenous to this area have benefited from the improved habitat in and around the lake. Muskie, bass, crappie, and saugeye abound in the stream below the dam, and in the lake. Deer, turkey, doves, waterfowl, squirrel and rabbit are the most popular game species around the lake area. Hunters must abide by Ohio State Hunting Regulations.
Picnic facilities are located at the area above and below the dam. No reservations required. Picnic shelters can be reserved thru the Dillon State Park Office by calling 740-4534377.
Camping and RVing is available at Dillon State Park. There are 183 electric sites, 12 non-electric sites, showers, flush toilets, and a dump station. Commissary with grocery items and laundromat is located near the check-in station. Free WiFi access is available at the commissary to registered campers.
The swimming area and beach are located within the State Park. The bath house, showers, and snack bar, have been torn down due to the condition after the 2005 flood. A children's wading pool is available. The beach is seasonal and is open from mid May to September. No lifeguards are on duty.
The beach is seasonal and is open from mid May to September. The visitors center is open Monday -Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m and intermittently during summer weekends; Memorial Day thru Labor Day.
Dillon Lake is approximately 6 miles northwest of Zanesville, Ohio and twenty miles east of Newark, Ohio. Access to the lake is provided by State Route 146 via State Routes 16 and 586 from the north and US 40 and Interstate 70 from the south.