Strouds Run
State Park

Strouds Run State Park at a Glance
Date established:1948, as Athens State Forest
dedicated as state park in 1960 (when Dow Lake was built)
Acreage (total):2,606 acres (893 hectares)
Water acreage (Dow Lake):160 acres (65 hectares)
Boat ramps:One, on Swimming Beach Road
Miles of trails:36 miles total (58 kilometers)
Trail miles open to bicycles:24 miles (38 kilometers)
Trail miles open to horses:11 miles (18 kilometers)
RV-friendly campsites:None (dump station is provided)
Regular campsites:78 non-electric (includes two camper cabins)
Hunting:All hunting allowed (other than safety zones)
Official park website:
Friends of Strouds Run website:
GPS coordinates for selected facilities:
Bulldog Shelter (Shelterhouse 1):
Tomcat Shelter (Shelterhouse 2):
Lakeview Shelter (Shelterhouse 3):
Dow Lake Beach (center of beach):
Boat Ramp (top of ramp):
Park Office

39.350808, -82.043452
39.351247, -82.037423
39.347897, -82.034678
39.349506, -82.037544
39.351742, -82.037159
39.366165, -82.048456

Strouds Run started out as the Athens State Forest in 1948. Its conversion to a state park, some six decades ago, was coincident with the building of a dam to create Dow Lake, with 160 acres of water surface. This park is heavily wooded and includes several areas stands of old forest as well as scenic rock formations. It is a great spot for nature study – and it is often used for that purpose by nearby Ohio University.

Strouds Run has the interesting feature that it is literally on the outskirts of the City of Athens. The city owns the 284-acre Strouds Ridge preserve system that connects with the park, and a network of hiking/mountain-biking trails connects the two. Residents of Athens’ Far Eastside Neighborhood can walk up the street to Sells Park and then walk for miles on forest trails. This system includes 22-acre Sells Park and the 106-acre Riddle State Nature Preserve (owned by the City of Athens).

As can be seen from the detailed map, below, the park also is contiguous with the 75-acre Blair Preserve, owned by the Athens Conservancy, and is close to two outlying tracts of the Wayne National Forest and to the 264-acre Baker Easement, held by the Athens Conservancy, which provides a system of hiking and horse trails.

Trails at Strouds Run State Park

Strouds Run State Park has an excellent trail system. See the Athens Trails site for full information.

The trails at Strouds are created and maintained principally by three organizations: Athens Trails, Athens Bicycle Club, and the Athens County chapter of the Ohio Horsemans Council.


To get to Strouds Run from Athens, take Carpenter Street west (turn left from Court Street or East State Street, going from downtown). Carpenter becomes Lancaster Street. Take this to the stoplight at the very top of the hill and turn right. This is at first Lancaster Street, then becomes Columbia Avenue and then Strouds Run Road. Continue to a stop sign just after crossing goes over US-33 on an overpass. Turn right at the stop sign (it is still called Strouds Run Road after turning) and drive 2.1 miles to enter the park. Continue about another mile before turning right to reach the swimming beach or left to reach the campground. Total driving distance from downtown Athens to the swimming beach: 5.4 miles.

Largest version of Strouds Run Map, 5' contours
(formatted for 3'x4' printing), 9.5 megs, opens in separate window

Below: Map of the Strouds Run Area


Below: 10' Contour Map of Strouds Run (2.9 megs)