Summer to kick off over Memorial Day holiday weekend at MWCD lakes, parks

May 20, 2013

It’s time to forget the rain, snow and cold of winter and spring, and look toward the fun and sun of summer at the lakes, parks and facilities of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD).


The Memorial Day holiday weekend (May 24-27) represents the traditional kick off to the summer season and the lakes of the MWCD again will be a hub of outdoor recreational activities that will be fun for every member of the family over the weekend and all summer long.


Free public boat launch ramps, fishing, hiking trails and thousands and thousands of acres of land and water open for public access, along with camping and events at the five MWCD lake parks, have made the MWCD’s lakes and lands popular destinations for the past 80 years.


“Summer is all about families, sunshine and the MWCD lakes,” said Darrin Lautenschleger, MWCD public affairs administrator. “The MWCD lakes are a treasure in Eastern Ohio and for the past 80 years the memories made by families of summer days spent boating and fishing, and nights around a warm fire in the campgrounds bring smiles to the faces of children and adults.”


The MWCD operates lake parks at Atwood, Charles Mill, Pleasant Hill, Seneca and Tappan lakes, with large campgrounds, scheduled daily and weekend events, special events, swimming beaches, activity centers and more. The parks open for the 2013 summer season on Friday morning (May 24) and will be open daily through the Labor Day holiday weekend. Camping is available for nightly and long-term stays of up to seven months.


Daily admission to one of the five MWCD lake parks is only $5 per vehicle, and includes use of the park swimming beaches, playground equipment, hiking trails and other amenities. Picnic shelter rentals are available at many locations, too.


Fireworks are a traditional favorite at the MWCD lakes and giant shows again are planned at the five MWCD lake parks this summer. Three separate shows have been scheduled at Pleasant Hill Lake Park located near Loudonville and Perrysville in Ashland County this year.


The schedule of fireworks is as follows:


Atwood Lake Park – Thursday, July 4

Charles Mill Lake Park – Saturday, July 6

Pleasant Hill Lake Park – Saturday, May 25; Friday, July 5; and Saturday, July 20

Seneca Lake Park – Saturday, July 6

Tappan Lake Park – Saturday, July 6


The MWCD also manages campgrounds located at North Branch Kokosing Park near Fredericktown in Knox County, at Leesville Lake near South Fork Marina located near Sherrodsville in Carroll County, and at Piedmont Marina on Piedmont Lake in Belmont County. Marinas operated by the MWCD are located at Piedmont Lake and at Seneca Lake.


Details about the MWCD facilities, rates and more can be found on the MWCD website at Overnight camping reservations can be made at


And besides the facilities operated directly by the MWCD, there are many other exciting opportunities to enjoy a visit to an MWCD lake. Two marinas each are located at Atwood Lake in Carroll and Tuscarawas counties, and at Leesville Lake in Carroll County. Marinas also are located at Charles Mill Lake in Ashland and Richland counties, Clendening Lake in Harrison County, Pleasant Hill Lake in Ashland County and Tappan Lake in Harrison County.


An estimated 5.5 million people visit the MWCD lakes each year.


The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the 16 reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving more than $10 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government, as well as providing popular recreational opportunities that bolster the region’s economy. A significant portion of the reservoirs are managed by the MWCD and the dams are managed for flood-risk management by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).


For more information about the MWCD, visit and follow the MWCD on Facebook and Twitter.


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