Paint Creek Lake was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 to provide Flood Damage Reduction, Water Supply, Recreation, and Wildlife Habitat. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the project in 1967 and completed the dam and recreation facility in 1974. The project, 20 miles west of Chillicothe in Ross and Highland counties, regulates runoff from 573 square miles – about 50% of Paint Creek basin’s drainage area.
Paint Creek Lake area offers several points of interest within a short drive. Visitors can enjoy geographical features created by glacial activity, American Indian cultural areas, and other cultural points of interest. To name just a few, those opportunities include: Highland Nature Sanctuary, outdoor drama – Tecumseh held at Sugarloaf Outdoor Drama Theater, Serpent Mound, Seip Mound, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, and Rocky Fork Lake. Glaciers destroyed the Teays River and created the Ohio River.
Nearby evidence indicates the former presence of the Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Adena, Hopewell, and Fort Ancient cultures. Seip Mound is adjacent to U.S. 50 between Bainbridge and Bourneville. The Hopewell Culture National Historical Park is on Route 104 just north of Chillicothe, Ohio’s first capital. In modern times, the area was common ground for the Native American Tah-gah-jute and later named Logan, and Tecumseh whose dream of an Indian confederacy is told in the outdoor drama at Chillicothe.
Paint Creek Lake is located on Paint Creek, which originates 30 miles southwest of Columbus, Ohio. From Columbus take Route 23 South to Chillicothe. From Chillicothe take Route 50 West for 20 miles to Paint Creek Lake. When coming from Hillsboro take Route 50 East for 20 miles to the lake. The Corps of Engineers office is located on Rapid Forge Road off of Route 50. The State Park office is located on Route 50. See Map
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Paint Creek Lake
504 Reservoir Road; Rapid Forge Road
Bainbridge, OH 45612