The Lake Reigns Again


Despite Buckeye Lake’s trials and tribulations over the last few years, thanks to love and dedication from Licking County Leaders, Buckeye lake is seeing a resurgence in interest from residents, local leaders and visitors,.

Explore Licking County’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Carol Thress, took to the water with two friends of Buckeye Lake, J-me Braig and Mike Fornataro to discuss this surge in revitalization. They discussed the positive impact the lake will have from a tourism standpoint, but the interest is not just on a professional level. Carol and her family have lied on the lake for more than 20 years. That means two decades of parties - as well as some periods of lows on the lake. Carol is thrilled to see the comeback of the lake in 2019 and all the good that comes with it.


Looking back on the lake

What do you picture when you think about life nearly nine decades ago? Sepia tones, stuffy formal wear, families with little to do but read by the fire? That image may have rung true elsewhere, but no so in Licking County.


“People could come in on the interurbran train in the beginning and, of course, we had a free in the ‘50s, so that brought in a lot of people,” J-me Braig, executive director of The Greater Buckeye Lake Historical Society, tells Carol. “They came down from Cleveland, south down on the river; maybe Indiana. We have stories of people coming from New York and renting a cottage, and they’d stay all summer long.”


With the dam project now complete, and a residential sidewalk and 12-foot-wide multi-use trail, the lake will be more accessible not just by water, but by foot and bicycle as well. “You can have a nice, leisurely ride along the lake - four miles long. That’s really unique in the state of Ohio to ride your bike, walk or jog for that kind of a distance,” says Mike Fornataro, director of Buckeye Lake 2030, pointing out the paths to Carol along the shore as they speed by.

Historic Buckeye Lake.jpg

In the near future, visitors can hope to see the construct of a new pier, more entertainment and a revitalized, bustling Buckeye Lake. All things considered, perhaps we aren’t so different from those partying at the lake 90 years ago.