Celebrate the Fourth of July at an Ohio State Park



Ohio’s state parks offer family-friendly events and free entry 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Summer is here, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is celebrating free and fun events for the Fourth of July holiday! Create some outdoor memories while enjoying family-friendly activities at any of Ohio’s 75 state parks.

“There is so much to discover at Ohio State Parks, especially on this holiday weekend,” Division of Parks and Watercraft Chief Glen Cobb said. “Swimming, fishing, hiking, boating, and family picnics are great ways to enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family this July Fourth.”

Events run from Thursday, June 30 through Monday, July 4. Highlights of weekend festivities around the state include:

Alum Creek State Park

July 2, 4-6 p.m. Join the naturalist at Alum Creek State Park for Kayak the Lake. Learn the basics of kayaking and then go on a trip to explore some of the coves of Alum Creek. All equipment is provided. Meet at the campground boat launch.

Burr Oak State Park

  •  July 1, 3:30-5 p.m. Join a naturalist for a close-up look at Ohio mammals by examining their pelts and skulls. This event will be ongoing in the lodge lobby.
  • July 1, 5-9 p.m. Half off appetizers and buy one get one half off pizzas at the Cardinal Dining Room at Burr Oak State Park Lodge.
  • July 1, 7:15 p.m. Join the naturalist for a pontoon lake tour. The naturalist will point out wildlife and share lake history. Advanced registration is required by emailing Julie.gee@dnr.ohio.gov.
  • July 2, 9:30 a.m. Try out a kayak on Burr Oak Lake with the naturalist. Meet at the beach. Equipment will be provided.
  • July 2, 12-8 p.m. Half off appetizers and buy one get one half off pizzas at the Cardinal Dining Room at Burr Oak State Park Lodge.
  • July 2, 8:30 p.m. Take a Twilight Hike to enjoy evening wildlife as the sun sets on Burr Oak Lake. Meet at the lodge for this relaxed, half-mile walk.
  • July 3, 12-2 p.m. tie-dye t-shirts at the Rac Shack.
  • July 3, 12-8 p.m. Buy one round of putt-putt golf, get the second-round half off.
  • July 3, 12-8 p.m. Half off appetizers and buy one get one half off pizzas at the Cardinal Dining Room at Burr Oak State Park Lodge.
  • July 4, 10 a.m. Kids can try their hand at fishing at the boat ramp near the lodge. The naturalist will provide introductory instruction. Poles and bait provided.
  • July 4, 5-8 p.m. Buy one round of putt-putt golf, get the second-round half off.
  • July 4, 5-8 p.m. Half off appetizers and buy one get one half off pizzas at the Cardinal Dining Room at Burr Oak State Park Lodge.

Caesar Creek State Park 

  • July 1-4. Join Caesar Creek State Park for a Fourth of July Campout and fun programs. The park naturalist will have events such as canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, guided hikes, archery, and more.
  • July 2, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Meet at the Yak Shack near the campground boat ramp for a kayak and canoe wildlife excursion. Learn the basics of canoeing and kayaking and explore wildlife around Caesar Creek Lake.
  • July 2, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Meet at the SUP hut near the campground boat ramp to learn the basics of stand-up paddle boarding.
  • July 3, 1-2 p.m. Meet the park naturalist at the nature center to learn the basics of archery. Instruction and equipment will be provided.

Cowan Lake State Park 

  • June 30-July 3.  Family friendly activities on the water, in the nature center, and around the park over the Independence weekend.

Deer Creek State Park 

  • July 1-2. Celebrate the Fourth of July with a campout and variety of activities. Food will be available for purchase behind wash house 4.
  • July 1, 10 a.m. Join the naturalist to try out archery or show off your aim. All equipment is provided. Meet at the nature center.

East Fork State Park 

  • July 1-3. Join East Fork State Park for a Fourth of July Scavenger Hunt. Pick up your “hunt list” outside the nature center and complete it on your own. Bring your completed list and photos to the campground store on Sunday, July 3 to claim your prize.
  • July 1, 1-2 p.m. Join the naturalist for a stand-up paddle board introductory class. Equipment is provided.
  • July 1, 4-7 p.m. Youth age 15 and under are invited to try their hand at reeling in a catfish or hybrid striped bass. All youth must be accompanied by an adult. Equipment will be provided.

East Harbor State Park 

  • July 1, 6 p.m. Explore your park and join the naturalist for a leisurely stroll around the park while trying to spot the birds that call East Harbor home. Meet at the nature center.
  • July 2, 9-10 a.m. Join the wildflower madness and build your own seed bomb with native seeds. Learn to grow your own native plant garden. Meet at the nature center. All supplies will be provided.
  • July 2, 1 p.m. Ever wonder what birds live at East Harbor? Join us at the nature center to fill the bird feeders and identify the birds while they eat their lunch.

Geneva State Park 

  • July 1, 11 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Meet at the Cedar Cabin picnic pavilion to learn and practice boating, camping, and arborist knots.
  • July 1, 1-3 p.m. Join the naturalist at the marina parking lot to go on a kayaking adventure on Cowles Creek. Equipment is provided.
  • July 2, 12-3 p.m. Meet at the archery range to learn about and improve your archery skills. Equipment will be provided.

Grand Lake St. Marys State Park 

  • July 1-4. Weekend events include fishing, candy bar bingo, and family bingo. Family fishing will be near the campground boat ramps.

Hocking Hills State Park 

  • July 1, 10-11 a.m. Campground guests are invited to a water battle at the 140 site loop. Squirt guns and other water toys will be provided.
  • July 1, 10 a.m. Stop by the Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center for a look at some of Ohio’s resident critters.
  • July 1, 3-4 p.m. Join the naturalist to learn the basics of paddle boarding and paddle around Lake Logan. Bring sunscreen and water. All equipment will be provided.
  • July 2, 10-11 a.m. and July 4, 2-4 p.m. Join the naturalist for an intro to archery beside the campground swimming pool. This event is for campers only.
  • July 4, 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. Join the naturalist at Rose Lake for an intro to fishing course. All bait and poles provided, and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Hueston Woods State Park 

  • July 5, 5-10 p.m. Join Hueston Woods State Park Lodge and Conference Center for Thunder Tuesday. There will be a cook-out and DJ, with fireworks at dusk. Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket. No coolers, drones, or pets will be permitted.

Lake Alma State Park 

  • July 1, 10 a.m. Get your water shoes on and discover what life inhabits the creeks with the naturalist. Pass the campground and meet at the last picnic parking area to your left.
  • July 2, 9 a.m. Take a walk with the naturalist on the Sassafras Trail and learn why each tree species is important to wildlife. Meet the naturalist by the camp store.
  • July 2, 6 p.m. Discover why fireflies are amazing – meet the naturalist at the outdoor theater at the campground.
  • July 3, 9 a.m.  Bring your morning coffee or tea with you and enjoy reading selected nature poems and literature. Feel free to bring your own favorites to share with the ground and discuss how they inspire us to get outside. Meet at the outdoor theater.
  • July 3, 2 p.m. Learn how animals have shaped literature and creature your own nature story. Meet at the outdoor theater.
  • July 4, 8-10 a.m. Join the naturalist for stand-up paddle boarding. Meet at the 2nd beach. Paddle boards and life jackets will be provided.

Lake Hope State Park 

  • July 3 8:30-10 a.m. Detach from your electronics and let your busy schedule melt away into the quiet forest. Meet at the shelter house for this session of nature mediation.
  • July 3, 11 a.m. Hike along the .5-mile Buzzard Cave Trail to discover a recess cave once used by nesting vultures. Meet at the nature center.

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

  •  July 2, 7:30 p.m. Firelands Symphony Orchestra Concert; bring your own picnic dinner or get food from the food trucks on site.

Malabar Farm State Park 

  • July 2, 7-10 p.m. Continuing a Bromfield tradition, Malabar Farm is hosting square and line dancing with live callers and music. The dance will be held in the main barn next to the historical Big House. Beginners are welcome.

Maumee Bay State Park 

  • July 1, 11 a.m. Meet in the main lobby of the lodge for fun with bubbles and chalk.
  • July 1, 12 p.m. Go on a scavenger hunt around Maumee Bay. Meet in the main lobby of the lodge.
  • July 1, 1-2 p.m. Interested in Archery? Just bring yourself to the archery lanes (parking lot south of the Big Hill) and try out your skills with a Naturalist. Equipment will be provided. This program is wind and weather dependent, call the Nature Center at 419-836-9117 for questions. Meets at the Archery Area.
  • July 1, 1:30 p.m. Meet in the main lobby of the lodge for arts and crafts.
  • July 1, 4:15 p.m. Learn about the animals that once roamed the wilds of Ohio and lurked in the Great Black Swamp. Meet in the lobby of the lodge.
  • July 1, 5 p.m. Feeling competitive? Meet in the main lobby of the lodge for a game of capture the flag.
  • July 1, 5:15 p.m. Join the park’s Creature Feature program to learn about fascinating Ohio wildlife. Meet at the campground shelter house.
  • July 1, 8 p.m. Join Maumee Bay State Park Lodge for a movie and popcorn. Meet in the main lobby.
  • July 2, 12-3 p.m. Try your hand at tie-dye with Maumee Bay State Park Lodge. Purchase shirts in the gift shop and visit the recreation staff to tie-dye.
  • July 2, 4 p.m. Toss around a frisbee with Maumee Bay State Park Lodge. Meet at the board in the main lobby of the lodge.
  • July 2, 4:15 p.m. Learn about the animals that once roamed the wilds of Ohio and lurked in the Great Black Swamp. Meet in the lobby of the lodge.
  • July 2, 5:15 p.m. Join the park’s Creature Feature program to learn about fascinating Ohio wildlife. Meet at the campground shelter house.
  • July 2, 7 p.m. Join Maumee Bay State Park Lodge for a family board game evening. Meet at the board in the main lobby.
  • July 2, 8 p.m. Join Maumee Bay State Park Lodge for a movie and popcorn. Meet in the main lobby.
  • July 3, 11 a.m. Join Maumee Bay State Park Lodge for a game of soccer. Meet in the main lobby.
  • July 3, 12-3 p.m. Try your hand at tie-dye with Maumee Bay State Park Lodge. Purchase shirts in the gift shop and visit the recreation staff to tie-dye.
  • July 3, 1 p.m. Ever wonder how a snake eats? Join us at the Nature Center to watch the education animals enjoy their lunch.
  • July 3, 5 p.m. Think you’re the best at hula hoop? Join the lodge for a hula hooping contest. Meet at the board in the main lobby.
  • July 3, 8 p.m. Join Maumee Bay State Park Lodge for a movie and popcorn. Meet in the main lobby.
  • July 4, 12-12:45 p.m. Join the park’s Creature Feature program to learn about fascinating Ohio wildlife. Meet at the campground shelter house.
  • July 4, 11-11:45 a.m. Learn about the animals that once roamed the wilds of Ohio and lurked in the Great Black Swamp. Meet in the lobby of the lodge.

Mohican State Park

  •  July 1, 9 a.m. Meet at the free public boat ramp on the west side of the marina to kayak Pleasant Hill Lake.
  • July 1, 3-9 p.m. Join Mohican State Park lodge for a scavenger hunt. See the front desk for details.
  • July 2, 8 a.m. – 4p.m. Join Mohican State Park and historic Loudonville for a classic car show.
  • July 2, 9 a.m. Meet the naturalist at the covered bridge for a moderate to rough four- to six-mile hike.
  • July 2, 6-10 p.m. Enjoy the DJ on the patio at Mohican State Park Lodge.
  • July 4, dusk, Watch the fireworks in historic Loudonville.

Mosquito Lake State Park 

  • July 1, 7 p.m. Search the park for facts about our independence to begin preparing for the Fourth of July and learn about nature along the way. Stop in the campground store to pick up your scavenger hunt guide after 7 p.m. on Friday. Turn in your scavenger hunt for prizes to the camp store by Sunday at noon.
  • July 2 and 3, 9 p.m. Meet in the campground amphitheater for a movie night that the whole family can enjoy. Ice cream and other snacks may be available for purchase.
  • July 3, 2 p.m. Meet in the parking lot across from the campground entrance for archery. We will learn archery skills, safety and get to shoot a bow. Kids must be accompanied by an adult.
  • July 3, 4:30 p.m. Join our naturalist on a hike of our new Storybook Trail and participate in the reading along the way to learn about the nature that sets the backdrop for our story. Meet at the beginning of the trail, in the parking lot of Imagination Station.
  • July 3, 9:15 p.m. Join our naturalist for an owl prowl on the Beaver Trail. We’ll call for barred owls and screech owls. Meet at the campground launch ramp parking lot. This will be a hike on Beaver Trail and flashlights are strongly encouraged.
  • July 4, 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. Enjoy an introductory lesson in kayaking and then take a short ride in the bay by the swimming beach and the dog park. Participants must sign-up in the campground office before Sunday at 6 p.m. to participate. Space is limited and spots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Punderson State Park

  •  All Weekend, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Enjoy a dinner special in the Cherry Dining Room and day long cocktail specials in the Oak Lounge at Punderson Manor.
  • July 1, 6-9 p.m. Enjoy live music on the patio featuring The Flashbaxx at Punderson Manor.
  • July 1, 9-10 p.m. Join the naturalist for a moon lit walk through the woods of Punderson in search of some nocturnal critters. Meet at the nature center next to the campground store.
  • July 2, 6-7 p.m. Join the naturalist in learning about the animals of Punderson through skull and bone identification. Meet at the Manor House.
  • July 3 and 4, 8-11 a.m. Enjoy a breakfast buffet in the Cherry Dining Room at Punderson Manor.

Pymatuning State Park 

  • July 1, 8:30 a.m. Join the naturalist for a brisk walk in the campground to get your heart pumping. Meet at the nature center for this one-hour walk.
  • July 1, 12:30 p.m. Meet at the nature center to learn about our feathered friends, watch them at our feeders and make a bird feeder for your own backyard birds.
  • July 2, 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 12 p.m. Meet the naturalist at the camp beach for a one-hour introductory class to kayaking. Pre-registration required and equipment is provided.
  • July 2, 4:30 p.m. Meet at the archery range to learn how to do archery. Instruction and equipment are provided.
  • July 3, 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m.  Meet the naturalist at the camp beach for a one-hour introductory class to stand-up paddle boarding. Pre-registration required and equipment is provided.
  • July 3, 8 p.m. Meet at the cabin area parking lot to learn about the creatures of the night on the one-mile Beaver Dam Trail.
  • July 4, 9 a.m. Meet at the campground beach area for family fishing fun. Equipment and instruction will be provided.

Rocky Fork State Park 

  • July 4, 9-11 a.m. Explore the Shore with the park naturalist as we paddle to various areas of the lake. Kayaks and lifejackets provided on a first come, first serve basis. Meet at the camp store.

Salt Fork State Park 

  • July 2-4, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Enjoy barbeque specials at Timbers Restaurant at Salt Fork State Park Lodge and Conference Center.
  • July 2-4, 11 a.m. – Close, Enjoy cocktail specials in the Wildlife Lounge at Salt Fork State Park Lodge and Conference Center.
  • July 2-4, Rent a kayak for two hours and get a second kayak free at Sugartree Marina. This offer is only available for walk-ups and upon availability.
  • July 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Join Sugartree Marina for a youth fishing tournament for ages 15 and under. Prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place winners.
  • July 2, 1 p.m. Stop by the Salt Fork Nature Center to learn about our scaley friends.

Shawnee State Park 

  • July 1, 4 p.m. Try your hand at archery at the nature center archery range. All equipment is provided.
  • July 1, 8:30 p.m. Meet at the campground amphitheater to join a naturalist on a night hike to the nature center. This easy, half-mile hike will focus on finding flying squirrels, fishing spiders, reptiles, and other nocturnal creatures.
  • July 1 and 2, 5 p.m. Meet a naturalist at the campground amphitheater and walk down to fish along the bank of Roosevelt Lake. Wear old shoes and bring a valid Ohio fishing license for anyone over the age of 16.
  • July 2, 9 a.m. Join a naturalist for a morning hike to observe local birds, wildflowers, and other wildlife within the surrounding Shawnee State Forest. Meet at the lodge to carpool to our destination.
  • July 2, 4 p.m. Investigate the tiny creatures living under rocks and the animals that live in streams with a Creek Crawl. Wear old clothes and prepare to get wet. Meet at the campground amphitheater.

Stonelick State Park 

  • July 2, 1 to 6 p.m. Fourth of July Celebration and Ice Cream Social. Meet under the pavilion at 1 p.m. to make a patriotic t-shirt, honor our veterans, and finish celebrating Independence Day with an ice cream social.

Wingfoot State Park 

  • July 1, 10-11 a.m. Start your day off right with some exercise in the great outdoors. Join the naturalist for a moderate to fast paced walk through the park.
  • July 1, 3-4 p.m. Practice your archery skills with the naturalist. All equipment will be provided. Call (330) 402-6919 to register.
  • July 1, 5-6 p.m. Try your hand at fishing. All equipment will be provided.
  • July 2, 1-2 p.m. Meet the naturalist at the nature center for a kayaking adventure. All equipment is provided. Space is limited to five people. Register by calling (330) 402-6919.
  • July 2, 3-4 p.m. Put your fears aside to learn about snakes and turtles and get up close with our ambassador animals. This hour-long program meets at the nature center.
  • July 2, 5-6 p.m. Allow yourself to relax on an easy, afternoon family walk through the park.
  • July 3, 2-3 p.m. What could be better than sipping on some tea while watching the birds from the nature center? This program will help you identify some of the common birds that are found at the park as well as your home. Field guides and binoculars will be provided. Please bring your own non-alcoholic beverages.

To learn more about family-friendly events at Ohio’s state parks and to plan your next adventure, click here.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.