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Your guide to Buckeye Lake
All About Buckeye Lake
Just east of Columbus you’ll find the village of Buckeye Lake, where summer cottages surround the shore of the tranquil lake that shares its name. Family-owned businesses line the town’s quiet streets, and near the town’s center you may come across microbreweries and the Buckeye Lake Historical Society Museum, whose collection of memorabilia invites visitors to take a journey through the area’s past.
Buckeye Lake itself was constructed in 1826 to serve as a feeder canal for the famous Erie Canal. Among the countless islands that dot the narrow reservoir are the Cranberry Bog State Nature Preserve, a floating island created when the surrounding swamp was flooded in the 19th century. Buckeye is a popular place for boating and fishing for perch, catfish, and largemouth bass. Around the lake, you’ll also find a few smaller villages, a winery, and Buckeye Lake State Park, Ohio’s oldest state park.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Buckeye Lake
Summer is unsurprisingly the busiest time of year, especially on weekends due to the lake’s proximity to Columbus, so it is a good idea to secure your Buckeye Lake rental with that in mind. The weather is hot and sunny then, making it a great time to be out on the water. With fall, the leaves surrounding the lake begin to change, creating a kaleidoscope of colors, and although it is starting to get chilly, you may be able to still get out on the water until mid-October. During the Annual Buckeye Lake Singer-Songwriter’s Festival takes place in early October, many concerts are held on the lakeshores.
By the end of November, you may begin to see the first flakes of snow as the temperature continues to drop, and some local businesses close for the winter. Although January through late March can be extremely cold, you may have a chance to see the lake covered with ice, as well as ice fishermen trying to catch saugeye and crappie.
Top things to do in Buckeye Lake
The Dawes Arboretum
With nearly 2,000 acres of themed gardens as well as wilder natural areas, this tranquil arboretum is an attractive place for nature-spotting and picnicking. Twelve miles of gently sloped hiking trails wend their way through the park, and as you meander along the crisscrossing pathways, you can visit the Japanese garden, azalea garden, and one of the country’s northernmost cypress swamps.
Buckeye Lake State Park
The Buckeye Lake State Park, which encompasses the 3,100-acre Buckeye Lake and 400 acres of surrounding shorelines, is perhaps the main draw for visitors. You’ll find three swimming areas and picnic spots around the park, as well as the paved, four-mile Buckeye Lake Dam Trail. This trail takes you from the village along the shoreline to the Leibs Island Trailhead, passing by cottages and boat docks as you take in sweeping views of the lake and its islands.
Great Circle Museum
Built by a people now known as the Hopewell culture between 100 B.C. and 500 A.D., the Great Circle Earthworks has been a sacred site for Native Americans for more than two millennia. A site for ceremonies honoring the dead or social gatherings, the Earthworks are the world’s largest set of geometric earthen enclosures. The four-square-mile complex also once served as a cathedral, cemetery, and astronomical observatory. This fascinating outdoor museum is located just 20 minutes from Buckeye Lake.