Labor Day holiday weekend a fun time at MWCD lakes, parks

August 26, 2013

The weather forecast for the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend (Aug. 30-Sept. 2) certainly does not look like fall is arriving anytime soon.

With plenty of sun and temperatures expected to be in the 80s all weekend long, the lakes and parks of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) will offer the perfect setting for the long weekend. And a giant fireworks show at Pleasant Hill Lake Park on Saturday night (Aug. 31) provides for a great holiday event for the entire family.

This weekend also will see the end of the regular summer season at the five MWCD lake parks, but camping, boating, fishing and other outdoor recreational activities remain available all year long at the parks located at Atwood, Charles Mill, Pleasant Hill, Seneca and Tappan lakes. The MWCD also manages Beach City, Clendening, Leesville, Piedmont and Wills Creek lakes, along with recreation access at Bolivar, Dover, Mohawk and Mohicanville reservoirs.

The swimming beaches at the five lake parks and many of the summer season’s scheduled activities will close for the summer at the end of the day on Monday (Sept. 2). Activities and events are planned throughout this holiday weekend at the parks, and some special events also are scheduled during the fall months. For details, visit

“The Labor Day holiday weekend certainly does not mean the end of the camping season at the five MWCD lake parks,” said Scott Barnhart, MWCD’s chief of recreation. “But we do want to remind everyone that whilethe lake parks begin scaling back some programs and activities after Labor Day, visitors can enjoy the parks and lakes all year long.”

Free public boat launch ramps, fishing, hiking trails, and thousands of acres of land and water open for free public access, along with camping and cabins, have made the MWCD’s lakes and lands popular destinations for several decades. Millions of people visit the lakes each year.

The MWCD also is working to improve visitors’ experiences at its parks and marinas, with a master plan for those facilities that was started in 2012 and has involved guest suggestions and review, now nearing completion. Details about the plan are available at the MWCD website at and will be discussed further in upcoming weeks and months.

Besides the lake parks, the MWCD also manages campgrounds located at North Branch Kokosing Park near Fredericktown in Knox County, at Leesville Lake near South Fork Marina near Sherrodsville in Carroll County, and at Piedmont Marina on Piedmont Lake in Belmont County. The MWCD also operates its own marinas at Piedmont and Seneca lakes.

Details about the MWCDs facilities, rates and more can be found on the MWCD website.

And besides the facilities operated directly by the MWCD, there are many other exciting opportunities and locations available to enjoy the lakes. 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.

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 an estimated $10.7 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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