Pleasant Hill Lake, Ohio, USA
Also known as: Pleasant Hill Reservoir
Crisp clean air, glistening blue water, and miles of picturesque nature describe the majestic beauty of Pleasant Hill Lake. Located near Perrysville, Ohio in Ashland and Richland Counties, the lake offers boat lovers 850 acres of water with unlimited horsepower. Pleasant Hill Lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1938 by damming the Clear Fork of the Mohican River for flood control, recreation,…
Keep scrolling to read more.
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Pleasant Hill Lake! Article topics include:
- All About Pleasant Hill Lake
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Pleasant Hill Lake Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Pleasant Hill Lake Gifts
Looking for Pleasant Hill Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.
All About Pleasant Hill Lake, OH
Crisp clean air, glistening blue water, and miles of picturesque nature describe the majestic beauty of Pleasant Hill Lake. Located near Perrysville, Ohio in Ashland and Richland Counties, the lake offers boat lovers 850 acres of water with unlimited horsepower. Pleasant Hill Lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1938 by damming the Clear Fork of the Mohican River for flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife management.
Today, the reservoir remains one of the many breathtaking vacation spots in Ohio. Through the seasons Pleasant Hill Lake and surrounding area are buzzing with boaters, water skiers, anglers, swimmers, canoeists, hikers, bikers, horseback riders, campers, snowmobilers, downhill skiers, and visitors participating in the local area attractions. The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) manages Pleasant Hill Lake and surrounding 1,345 acre conservation area.
Prior to the arrival of the white settlers in the early 1800’s, numerous Native American tribes occupied the Pleasant Hill Lake area, including the Delaware and Mohegan Indians. The Mohican River took its name from the Mohegan Indians. Jonny Appleseed (real name was John Chapman) lived in the area caring for his apple tree nurseries and carved his name in the sandstone at nearby Lyons Falls. Unfortunately, the passage of time has erased his sandstone etchings.
The Mohican State Park and Mohican State Memorial Forest occupy land just below the Pleasant Hill Dam at the south end of the lake. During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built roads, bridges, trails, picnic shelters, fire breaks, and fire towers in the area; they also planted over two million trees. Today, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages the 4,525-acre Mohican State Memorial Forest and the 1,294-acre Mohican State Park.
Glacial forces changed the flow of the Mohican River about 12,000 years ago, carving out the scenic hourglass-shaped Clearfork Gorge, designated as a Registered Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1967. Clearfork Gorge is an impressive one thousand feet wide at the top and about three hundred feet deep with large outcroppings and steep cliff walls cut into the sandstone bedrock. The 28-acre Clear Fork Gorge State Nature Preserve is also managed by the Ohio DNR.
Fishing and other water activities at the lake are exceptional. Pleasant Hill Lake has a full marina with boat rentals and supplies. The diverse population of fish includes white crappie, saugeye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, brown bullhead, bluegill, rock bass, muskellunge, and channel catfish. Many anglers enjoy relaxing on the rocky southern shore reeling them in. Considered as one of the best family oriented canoeing rivers in Ohio, visitors can take a trip down the fast rapids of the Mohican River.
Mohican State Park offers a variety of accommodations, including a lodge with resort services, two-bedroom cottages, full-service campsites, campsites with electricity, and non-electric sites. There are 13 hiking trails that range from easy to difficult. The Lyons Fall Trail is an easy 2-mile hike that follows Clear Fork Gorge and features two waterfalls (Little Lyons Falls and Big Lyons Falls). The Pleasant Hill Trail follows the shoreline and provides beautiful views of Pleasant Hill Lake. The Hemlock Trail leads to the covered wooden bridge. An 8.5-mile biking trail passes through the state park and state forest, offering scenic and varied terrain. Bridle trails, backpacking trails, snowmobiling trails, and hunting are available in the Mohican State Memorial Forest.
The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District operates extensive recreational facilities at Pleasant Hill Lake Park, located above the dam. The Park has a public boat launch ramp near the marina, a swimming beach with concession, playground, restaurant, Activity Center, vacation cabins, campsites (Class A full hookups and with electric), camper cabins, and a camp store. The Pleasant Hill Marina offers boat rentals, fuels, and docking.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also provides a recreation area at the dam site with picnic areas, grills, restrooms, shelter, and two short hiking trails. The Corps provides tours of the Pleasant Hill Dam, the intake structure, and the flood control facilities. The dam is one of only two constructed by the Corps with a flood control feature called “Morning Glory Spillway”. A few miles northwest of Pleasant Hill Lake is Malabar Farm State Park which is the home of Pulitzer Prize awarded author Louis Bromfield. His farm is a popular historic attraction that numerous visitors pay homage to while at Pleasant Hill Lake.
For some off-water fun, the Pleasant Hill Lake area provides numerous attractions, activities, and festivals held from March through October. Children will enjoy go-karts, waterslides, and adventure golf. A 9-hole golf course is available for the more serious golfer. Other activities featured from spring through fall include chili cook-offs, flea markets, auctions, boating festivals, boat shows, blues fest, sport tournaments, craft weekends, and nature games. Pleasant Hill Lake is a place where lakelubbers can fully enjoy life.
Things to Do at Pleasant Hill Lake
These are some activities in the Pleasant Hill Lake, OH area visitors can enjoy:
- Vacation Rentals
- Water Skiing
- Cabin Rentals
- Downhill Skiing
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- State Park
- State Forest
- National Park
What Kind of Fish Are in Pleasant Hill Lake?
Pleasant Hill Lake has been known to have the following fish species:
- Black Bass
- Brown Bullhead
- Channel Catfish
- Largemouth Bass
- Saugeye Perch
- Smallmouth Bass
- White Crappie
Find Places to Stay at Pleasant Hill Lake
If you’re considering a Pleasant Hill Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Read our full disclosure policy here.
More Sites to Book a Pleasant Hill Lake Vacation
Our interactive Pleasant Hill Lake lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Pleasant Hill Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Surface Area: 850 acres
Shoreline Length: 13 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,020 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,014 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,047 feet
Average Depth: 16 feet
Maximum Depth: 48 feet
Water Volume: 13,500 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1938
Water Residence Time: 34 days
Drainage Area: 198 sq. miles
We strive to keep information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. If you’ve found something here that needs updating, please touch base by filling out our Content Correction form.
Shop Pleasant Hill Lake Gifts
More Pleasant Hill Lake news from LakeLubbers.com
- Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
- The Pleasant Hill Lake forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
- New Pleasant Hill Lake photos coming soon!
- You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
- Share this Pleasant Hill Lake article with your fellow LakeLubbers: