Paint Creek SP--Lakeview and Bridle Trails

About Paint Creek State Park

See all hotspots at Paint Creek State Park

The Highland/Ross county line follows Cedar Run south into the middle of Paint Creek Lake and then continues south on Paint Creek. Highland County is on the west side of Cedar Run and Paint Creek Lake. Ross County is on the east side of Cedar Run and Paint Creek Lake. (See the map for the location of the county line.)

The Paint Creek region lies at the very edge of the Appalachian Plateau in Highland and Ross Counties. This escarpment marks the boundary between the hilly eastern section of the state and the flatter western portions. Most of the plateau in southeastern Ohio was never reached by glaciers, although the Paint Creek area bears evidence of glacial activity. One stream near the park, Rocky Fork Creek, was blocked by glacial ice and reversed direction, rapidly cutting the 75-foot gorge seen today. Sullivantia, an extremely rare wildflower in Ohio, blooms in the gorge in mid-summer.

Equally impressive here are the Seven Caves, all located about 50 feet above Rocky Fork Creek. A short trip to the caves from the park is well worth the time.

Before Paint Creek was impounded to form a reservoir, the creek valley was unrivaled in the state for its scenic beauty and display of wildflowers. Some of this unspoiled land yet remains above the still waters of the lake. Wild geranium, jewelweed, yarrow, and Queen Anne’s lace can be found blooming in the woodlands and meadows of the park.

The reservoir provides habitats for numerous waterfowl and shorebirds as well as the great blue heron. Osprey and bald eagles have been sighted over the lake. The limestone outcroppings on the lake’s edge provide a nesting habitat for the cliff swallow. Other songbirds, raccoons, white-tailed deer, and the elusive wild turkey inhabit the park.

An accessible trail to an overlook is located at the Paint Creek Lake dam.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Paint Creek State Park webpage