ODNR DEDICATES RENOVATED CAMPGROUND AT WEST BRANCH STATE PARK|
Ribbon-cutting ceremony concludes $7.2 million modernization project
COLUMBUS, OH - State and local officials cut the ribbon today on Ohio's
newest and most updated camping facility - the renovated and expanded
campground at West Branch State Park in Portage County.
Officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers joined area legislators and local elected officials
to dedicate the new campground that took four years to upgrade at a cost of
"The campground at West Branch is one of the busiest in Ohio State Parks,
with more than 40,000 campers checking in each year," said ODNR Director Sam
Speck. "This extensive renovation nearly doubled the size of the facility,
while making it more comfortable and enjoyable for the thousands who come
here to stay."
The project transformed a primitive 103-site campground, originally
constructed in 1966, into a 201-site campground with 187 electric sites,
including 29 full-service and five wheelchair-accessible sites. Two new
shower houses were constructed with wheelchair-accessible family restrooms.
New drinking fountains were installed throughout the campground and a new
dual sanitary dump station was constructed for trailers.
All campground roads were repaved in the last year and the main access road
leading to the campground from the highway was improved to accommodate wider
and heavier recreational vehicles.
ODNR's decision to modernize the campground was based on camper feedback,
the proximity of the park to major highways and the number of cross-country
campers using the facility.
West Branch State Park recorded 337,000 visitors last year. The 8,000-acre
park includes the 2,650-acre Michael J. Kirwin Reservoir, constructed by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1966 for flood control. Aside from the
campground, the park offers swimming at a 700-foot sand beach, unlimited
horsepower boating, six picnic areas, extensive hiking and bridle trails and
limited hunting in season.