Ohio State Parks Boating Regulations
Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 1501:41
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.
Snorkel and SCUBA Diving Prohibited: Exceptions
(1501:41-7-05 through 07)
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. Contact the park office.
Speed Limits; Speed & Ski Zone Operation
(1501:41-11-02 & 1501:41-11-03)
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.
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.
No Wake Zones & 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.
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.
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 swim 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.
Local Rules and Ordinances
Local jurisdictions may have additional boating laws, rules or ordinances. The operator of any vessel is obligated to know the laws. Local jurisdictions may include but are not limited to neighboring states, Ohio Division of Wildlife, Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and city, village, county or township governments.
Local rules may include horsepower or speed limits, vessel type and size restrictions, zoning restrictions or traffic patterns, additional equipment requirements or other general prohibitions.