Ohio Governor DeWine announced via official proclamation last week that he was declaring April 22-29 as Ohio State Parks Week, a move that was explained to have the implicit purpose of incentivizing appreciation and utilization of Ohio’s extensive network of state parks.
Among these is Rocky Fork State Park, which is described on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ website as a, “paradise for outdoor enthusiasts in southwest Ohio.”
The website’s description continued, “The region’s natural beauty can be enjoyed along the park’s hiking trails. Nearby, a scenic gorge, dolomite caves and natural wetlands add to the popularity of this recreation area.”
The website recognized the lake’s popularity with outdoor sporting enthusiasts and said, “Popular with boaters and water skiers, the lake offers boating, a marina, docks, and multiple boat ramps. With several fishing piers, Rocky Fork will give anglers a chance to test their skill catching a variety of fish.”
Highland County also boasts Paint Creek State Park in the northeast corner of the county.
In addition to the aforementioned declaration the Ohio State Parks Foundation, in commemoration of Ohio State Parks Week, is, according to ODNR representative Stephanie O’Grady, offering the public the opportunity to, “vote for their favorite parks,” on its website.
To further enhance the voting experience, the Ohio State Parks Foundation stated on its website that, “One lucky voter will win a two-night camping stay at any Ohio State Park of their choice (depending on availability) and an official Ohio State Parks Passport.”
For the purposes of the contest, state parks have been divided into two separate categories, Gemstone Parks and Keystone Parks, the latter of which encompasses Rocky Fork and Paint Creek, as well as nearby Caesar Creek and Cowan Lake, while Adams Lake is included in the former classification.
O’ Grady also explained that the voters can elect to make a donation to the Ohio State Park Foundation at the same time they make their votes if they choose to do so.
Juliane Cartaino is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.