Lake Snowden was one of several lakes originally created by the Margaret Creek Conservancy District for flood control in the Margaret Creek watershed in Athens County. It then became a source reservoir for Le-Ax Water Company. Later, it was given to Hocking College to manage. In the later years of President John Light's tenure, an attempt was made to create a private residential enclave on the property, but that was legally prohibited.
Today, the lake feature a small swimming beach, a boat ramp, two campground areas, including a horse camp, horse and hiking trails, picnic grounds, an environmental center, and a small camp store. The campgrounds are RV-friendly. The county's champion cucumbertree magnolia (Magnolia acuminata) is located on the north shore of the west branch of the lake, along the orange trail. The Ohio Pawpaw Festival is held at Lake Snowden the second full weekend in September each year.
Trails at Lake Snowden
There is one principal trail at Lake Snowden, which circles the lake, with several side trails. Most trails are open to horses. The principal trail is the orange trail, also known as the Lakeside Horse Trail. It is marked by orange paint blazes and orange plastic diamonds. A full circuit of the lake is 7.1 on the orange trail is miles, but requires use of some park roads for three-quarters of a mile. There are several outloops from this trail, blazed in blue. These are also known as the Boundary Trail, because it follows the park boundary and provides a total of another 1.7 miles of trailway. There is another short connector trail, the 0.3-mile "Green Trail." There are also two short trails that are foot-only, as is the dam. The Lakeside Family Trail is 0.4 mile long, and extends to the southwest from the south end of the dam. The Red Family Trail is another loop-out from the orange trail just west of the horse camp area, with another 0.7 mile. The champion cucumbertree may be reached by hiking the orange trail clockwise from the horse camp for 1.9 miles. These trails are quite open, being maintained by heavy equipment.