Relaxation & Recreation

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Randy L. McKee

Nature-loving families that visit the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District to enjoy boating, fishing and its myriad other outdoor recreation opportunities will find convenient camping headquarters at the Charles Mill Lake Park and Pleasant Hill Lake Park campgrounds.

“Both campgrounds feature camp-sites that are brand new for 2021,” said Adria Bergeron, director of marketing and communications for the district.

“They have full hookups with 50 amp power and concrete pads, which makes it easy to pull in, get set up and be ready to camp in no time. The restroom and shower facilities also are new, which makes it wonderful for families with kids. At both of those locations, you’re either going to have an opportunity to find a scenic waterfront or a water view campsite.”

Both parks, Bergeron said, offer abundant outdoor recreation, each with a different vibe. “The thing that sets one apart from the other is the horsepower limits on the lakes,” she said. “Charles Mill Lake features a more leisurely pace, with a horsepower limit of 10, while Pleasant Hill Lake has no horsepower limit, which is ideal for speed boats and adrenaline seekers.”

Containing eight picturesque lakes surrounded by parks, nature trails, campgrounds and cozy cabins, the Muskingum Watershed is Ohio’s largest geographical destination for families to share the thrill of the great outdoors, Bergeron said.

In addition to Charles Mill Lake and Pleasant Hill Lake, campgrounds are available at the watershed’s other six lakes.

“Our lake parks have sizable camp-grounds that have all kinds of activities and events going on,” Bergeron said. “Our marinas are ideal spots to put your boat on the water, relax and enjoy some of Ohio’s best fishing. If you don’t have your own boat, rentals are available. We have everything from kayaks to fishing boats and pontoons at each location.”

Families who prefer to experience nature with the conveniences of the indoors may choose to reserve one of the district’s many cabins. The cabins
at Pleasant Hill Lake Park, nestled in the heart of Mohican Country, are the newest, having just opened in 2020.

“They have a lot of desirable features, like hot tubs, fireplaces and wifi,” Bergeron said.

“The watershed recreational areas are family friendly, with abundant activities for kids,” Bergeron said.

“We have naturalist-led programs and day camps,” she said. “The WhoaZone inflatable obstacle course is an exciting new experience new this year at Atwood and Pleasant Hill lakes.”

“For a more serene, natural experience, birding is becoming increasingly popular in the region,” Bergeron said.

“We have osprey and eagle nests around the lakes, and Pleasant Hill Lake is a very popular place for neotropical and migrating birds,” she said. “The Audubon Society has declared the district an Important Bird Area.”

Hiking trails featuring gorgeous wildflowers also are abundant around the watershed. w

You can reserve a cabin, find detailed maps of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District’s lakes or learn more about MWCD activities by visiting or by calling the district headquarters in New Philadelphia at 877-363-8500.