Buckeye Lake History & Happenings

Buckeye Lake is a reservoir turned recreational lake located near Central Ohio.  The lake originally provided water to the Ohio and Eerie Canal and has a mildy interesting history which you can read about here. The lake allows all the usual recreational activities like boating, fishing, and lakeside attractions.  There’s few small surrounding towns nearby with all the attractions found in small town Americana.

I visited Buckeye Lake with some friends shortly after buying my first drone (DJI Mavic Pro). This was my first flight over any body of water and it was a nerve wracking experience. The first few moments it drifted over the lake really made me trust the technology. Thankfully, apart from an aggressive flock of gulls that almost knocked the drone out of the sky, it was an uneventful flight and I grabbed a few good pics of life on the lake, including a fly by of Round Island, the former residence of fast food chain Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas.

We ate dinner at the Buckeye Winery, a lakeside restaurant with great food, drink, ambiance. The weather was great so we ate outside. Despite the tiki torches, there were giant swarms of gnats nearby. Fortunately, they didn’t seem too interested in our food and it worked out. If you happen to dine there in the summer, fair warning that you’ll likely have the same experience. As a local business, the food largely featured nearby meat and fish dishes and service was fantastic with a good mix of locals and tourists.

Papa Boo’s: Buckeye Lake’s Liveliest Watering Hole

After settling in, we headed to Papa Boo’s, a local venue known for live music and good times. In reality, there’s nothing that special about the venue apart from it being on the lake featuring local music, mostly country and rock.  With drinks flowing and great weather on the lake, it’s a great time and if you’re ever in the area, definitely worth a visit. If you boat there, be prepared for a slow trip back home. Many sections of the lake have enforced speed zones with no wake so be prepared for a relaxing (i.e. slow) return voyage.

If you’re not into the bar scene, Buckeye Lake has few other attractionsunique to the area including a nightly cruise tour, and museum dedicated to preserving Buckeye Lake history.

Buckeye Lake’s Unusual Cranberry Bog

The best trivia I learned during the visit was about Buckeye Lake’s unusual Cranberry Bog.

With historic low water levels, availability has been hit or miss the last few years. The bog is a unique environmental attraction  formed after construction of the reservoir back in the 1850’s. Originally a 50 acre mass of bog, the island continues to gradually shrink and is down to less than 20 acres in recent years.

The Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves requires a permit to acres the bog and tours can be arranged through Buckeye Lake’s Historical Society when conditions are favorable. The bog is unique because the moss is surrounded by water instead of traditional bogs where the mats surrounded the water.