Buck Creek (SW)
1901 Buck Creek Lane
Springfield, OH 45502
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
District 2 Watercraft Office
Reservations for camping, cottages and shelters
Buck Creek State Park lies in a fertile agricultural area, rich in Ohio’s history. The park’s recreational facilities center around the 2,120-acre lake, offering endless water-related opportunities. Visitors enjoy the many wetlands, broad meadows and wildlife at this diverse 1,896-acre park.
Nature of the Area
The natural features of Buck Creek State Park can be attributed to the effects of glaciers which receded from Ohio over 12,000 years ago. Low hills called moraines can be seen in the area where glaciers halted for extended periods of time and left deposits of gravel and sand. Old river valleys were filled by these deposits where numerous springs now well up through the sand and gravel. The nearby city of Springfield is named for the many springs seeping up from the broad meadows. The springs account for the many bogs and fens in Clark and Champaign counties of which Cedar Bog is probably the best known.
These wet areas harbor an assortment of rare and unusual plants including round-leaved sundew and horned bladderwort. The spotted turtle, a state endangered animal, is found in the area. The northernmost region of the park is an excellent area to observe waterfowl. The shallow waters provide a stopover for thousands of migrating ducks. Relatively rare songbirds of open meadows are also present including dickcissels, bobolinks and Henslow sparrows.
History of the Area
Buck Creek was home to Indians and pioneers • The land at the time of early settlement was mostly forested by large trees with minimal undergrowth • Occasionally, the forests were interrupted by prairie openings
In 1780, George Rogers Clark, a Revolutionary war hero, led a band of nearly 1,000 Kentuckians in a raid against Ohio Indians. The Shawnee Indians abandoned their camp which they called Old Chillicothe (near Xenia) and fled to Piqua, the Shawnee capital, located west of the present site of Springfield. Clark pursued the fleeing Indians, and the Shawnee were defeated at the Battle of Piqua. Most of the Indians, however, had dispersed into the woodlands. One Indian hiding in the woods was the young Tecumseh, who vowed to avenge the attack. Following the battle, Clark’s men retreated to their homes in Kentucky and the Indians moved north. A new Piqua was erected on the banks of the Miami River. This battle put a temporary end to Indian warfare.
With the decline of Indian threat, settlers moved into the area. In 1799, legendary frontiersman Simon Kenton settled in the region with six other Kentucky families. The group lived near the confluence of Buck Creek and Mad River. After two years, the settlers moved to different areas. Kenton established a home along Buck Creek about four miles north of present Springfield. Settlement brought change to the area as trees were cut to construct buildings. Acres were cleared and farm crops were planted. The settlers found the land extremely fertile.
The community of Springfield was founded in 1801 and has served since then as the county seat of Clark County. In 1838, the National Road (U.S. 40) reached Springfield and this opened new markets for manufacturing and agriculture. Over the years, Springfield’s character changed from rural to industrial. By 1880, the community led the nation in the manufacturing of agricultural implements.
In September 1966, work was started by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to impound Buck Creek as a flood control project. In 1974, the Clarence J. Brown Dam and Reservoir were dedicated and an agreement gave the Ohio Department of Natural Resources the operation of much of the area. Buck Creek State Park was officially opened in June 1975.
- 89 electric sites
- 22 non-electric sites
- Campground facilities include showers, flush toilets and dump station
- Pets are permitted on designated sites
- Boat camping is permitted in designated areas
- Bike rentals are offered at the camp office, and the campground offers many activities to campers, including a camper’s beach
- Download the Campground map
- 26 family cottages situated in a wooded area with several offering a view of the lake
- Each has two bedrooms, one with a queen size bed and the other with a twin size bed and a full size bed combined with a twin bunk on top
- Bath with a shower
- Living room with a trundle bed
- Complete kitchen
- Dining area
- Screened porch
- Gas log fireplace
- Air conditioning
- 32″ flat screen TV with DirectTV package as well as a DVD-VCR player
- Outdoor fire rig, grills and a picnic table
- One cottage is fully accessible
- Linens, towels, cooking and eating utensils are provided
- Daily housekeeping service is NOT provided
- Pets are allowed in select cottages, please call 866-644-6727 for more information
- Download the cottage area map
- 9.5 miles of hiking trails offer opportunities for nature study, bird watching and other wildlife observation.
- Buckhorn Trail • 7.5 Miles • Moderate
- Lakeview Trail • 2 Miles • Moderate
- Bridle trail • 7.5-miles • Moderate
- Download the Trail Map
- Boating with unlimited horsepower is permitted on the 2,120-acre lake
- 4-lane launch ramp provides access to the lake
- Marina provides fuel, snack bar, bait shop and seasonal dock rental
- Boating laws and information
- Fishermen enjoy fine catches of walleye, bass and pan fish
- A fishing pier is open to the public and is wheelchair accessible
- Check out the lake map
- Valid Ohio fishing license is required
- 9 Picnic areas provide tables and grills in scenic locations.
- 2 picnic shelters can be reserved online or by calling 866-644-6727
- Picnic shelter near the dam can be reserved by calling the Army Corps of Engineers Office 937-325-2411
- 2,400-foot sand beach
- Vending machines are available
- Swimming is permitted during daylight hours only
- Swim at your own risk & be sure to keep an eye on the kids
- Pets are NOT permitted on swimming beaches
- Check for water quality advisories
- 18 holes
- You must bring your own equipment
- No fee is charged to play
- See what other parks have disc golf courses
- Hunting is permitted in designated areas
- Valid Ohio hunting license is required
Winter Recreation (conditions permitting)
- Snowmobiles are permitted on the bridle trail
- Ice fishing
- Cross country skiing
- Nearby Kiser Lake, John Bryan and Madison Lake offer camping and other recreational opportunities. Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve, a unique area of unusual flora and fauna, is operated by the Ohio Historical Society. Located between Urbana and Springfield, the area is open April-September for tours on Saturday and Sunday
- Several other state nature preserves in the area are accessible by written permit only. Contact the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves to visit Liberty Fen, Prairie Road Fen, Siegenthaler Esker or Kiser Lake Wetlands.
- Crabill House, operated by the Clark County Historical Society, is the restored home of one of the area’s early settlers, David Crabill. The brick home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are available.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages a visitor center and recreational site near the dam. The center provides displays, programs and dam operation tours. Hiking, picnicking and fishing are available
- For more information on area attractions, visit
- Greater Springfield/Clark County Convention & Visitors Bureau website or call 800-803-1553
- Ohio Tourism Division website or call 800-BUCKEYE
More To Do
- Volleyball and basketball courts, tetherball and horseshoe pits
- Shuffleboard and playground equipment