Escape to Burr Oak State Park
By Theresa Russell

What describes a perfect getaway for you? Quiet, solitude, beauty? If so, Burr Oak State Park not only abounds with those three attributes, but also offers plenty of activities, including hiking, boating and special events. Situated in the Appalachian area of Southeastern Ohio, in the heart of what once was booming coal country, Burr Oak State Park is an adventure unto itself. Driving there on a Scenic Byway on Route 78 gives a peek into the beauty of this very special park. On our visit, the fall colors were near peak, decorating the windy roads that took us far into the countryside.

Burr Oak Lodge within the park has been recently renovated and updated to welcome visitors eager to hike, boat or participate in one of the many ongoing events held at the park. We were lucky to attend the yearly Burrloakal event, a day with rangers from the park showcasing some of the local residents like snakes, music from the Ohio Valley Opry, hay rides, crafters and other activities.

With 25 miles of hiking trails, part of which are on the Buckeye Trail, the park not only attracts hikers, but also trail marathoners. From the lodge, an extensive view of the lake might include boaters or fisherman who reel in largemouth bass, crappie, bluegills, and catfish. In season, pontoon boats are for rent. Speaking of sportsmen, deer hunting attracts a crowd who often stay at the rustic cabins offered in the park.

For families, geocaching, disk golf, tennis, naturalist programs and swimming are on offer. For those looking to get to know the park in the fall and winter, there are regular programs. From November 26 -January 2, the annual Christmas Winter Wonderland Display puts guests in a festive mood. Want to leave the holiday cooking and cleaning to somebody else? The Thanksgiving Day Buffet is a perfect option. Be sure to call 740-767-1210 for reservations. On that same Thanksgiving weekend, The Ohio Valley Opry will perform their third annual Country Christmas Concert. We were fortunate to enjoy the music of this group and highly recommend them.

The Lodge has a conference center that hosts small groups, the Cardinal Dining Room that has a full liquor license, comfortable accommodations and very friendly service. Wedding groups are quite popular. The main living area opens to views of the lake and a glowing fireplace. An indoorheated pool and gym make workouts easy.

If you are looking for a truly secluded getaway in an unparalleled setting, head to Burr Oak State Park in the scenic hills of Southeastern Ohio.

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