Tappan Lake

Harrison, Ohio, US


144 species

Tips for Birding

There are 2,350 acres of water and it is surrounded by 5,000 acres of land. This lake has developed areas with homes and weekend cabins but there are still many acres of deciduous forest that are not developed. There are some pine plantings (dating from around 1955). There is one marina and there is a developed campground and park near Deersville. You need to call if you plan to camp because I think the campground is full most of the time. There is also a swimming beach at the park.

Follow US-250 south from Dennison about 8 miles or follow US-250 north about 10 miles from Cadiz. The lake lies along the road for seven or eight miles.

Open all year during daylight hours.
Many parking areas along US-250 and others at end of roads that dead end into the lake.
The Buckeye Trail runs through portions of this area.

Birds of Interest

Water birds until the lake freezes.
Bald eagles, ospreys, ruffed grouse, pileated woodpeckers.

About this Location

Tappan Lake is in northwestern Harrison County in Stock and Franklin townships. US-250 follows the main body of the reservoir for 7 miles. Township roads border three long bays on the north side, making easy access to the lake. New Philadelphia, with access to I-77, lies 20 miles to the northwest.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District was organized under state law in 1933 for the primary purposes of flood control, conservation, and recreation. The first waters to form the permanent lakes were impounded in 1938. In 1939 the flood control aspect became the responsibility of the United State Army Corps of Engineers as part of the Ohio-Mississippi Flood Control Program.

The Division of Wildlife is responsible for all hunting and fishing in the District’s 54,000 acres of land and water. There are 16,000 acres of Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District lakes with 365 miles of shoreline to enjoy.

Tappan Lake was impounded by constructing a dam across Little Stillwater Creek. It has 2,131 acres of water and its 47 miles of shoreline offer more accessible shoreline fishing than any other Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District lake.


  • Restrooms on site

Content from Ohio Ornithological Society