Ohio State Park Boating Regulations
The following rules apply only to Ohio state park lakes. On state park lakes, watercraft laws may be enforced by state watercraft, park, and wildlife officers; sheriff's deputies; or other law enforcement units having jurisdiction in the area. Boating areas within other jurisdictions may have similar regulations.
Designated ski zones are marked with regulatory markers similar to this one.
No wake zones are marked with regulatory markers similar to this one.
Designated boat swimming areas are marked with regulatory markers similar to this one.
Speed Limits; Speed and Ski Zone Operation
The speed limit for all Ohio state park lakes is 10 miles per hour, except from sunrise to sunset in designated speed zones, ski zones, or open zones.
No person shall operate a powercraft within a speed zone, ski zone, or open zone at a greater speed than is reasonable, or in a manner without due regard to traffic, surface conditions, and any other hazardous conditions.
No Wake Zones and Restricted Areas
No person shall operate a powercraft within or through a shore zone, danger zone, or any area marked as a no wake zone at a speed that produces a wake.
No person shall swim, bathe, dive, or wade from any watercraft in Ohio state park water except in officially designated boat swimming areas.
Most state parks have an area for boats to pull up to the public beach, and many parks have designated boat swimming areas.
No person shall overtly and publicly consume or display the presence of any beer or intoxicating liquor in any area administered by the Division of Parks and Recreation, except within the confines and privacy afforded in a cabin, lodge room, tent, or camping vehicle or in areas authorized by the Chief of the Division of Parks and Recreation.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Various requirements exist for snorkeling and scuba diving. Permission may be required by the ODNR, Division of Parks and Recreation. Contact the park office.
Special Activities Permit
No person shall conduct any special activity on Ohio state park water without obtaining a permit 30 days prior to the anticipated event.
While being towed by a watercraft, no person shall have any airfoil or balloon for the purpose of becoming airborne over Ohio state park waters.
Air-Propelled Powercraft, Hovercraft
No person shall use or operate any air-propelled powercraft or hovercraft on Ohio state park water except in the speed or ski zone and the water leading directly from a ramp or dock to these zones at Indian Lake, Grand Lake St. Marys, Buckeye Lake, Mosquito Lake, and Rocky Fork Lake.
Sleeping on Watercraft Prohibited
No boat operator shall sleep at night aboard a vessel adrift, at anchor, docked, moored, tied up, or beached on Ohio state park waters except in designated locations.
Some parks have designated boat camping areas. Inquire about locations at the park office.