Beach City Lake, Beach City, OH
Beach City Lake isn’t a particularly well-known U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake but it’s definitely worth the visit. The dam was constructed in 1936 for flood control purposes on Sugar Creek, a Tuscarawas River tributary, in Tuscarawas County about 9 miles above New Philadelphia. The dam is an impressive 5,600 feet in length and the embankment is 64 feet high with a crest width of 35 feet. The lake covers 420 acres in Stark County.
The Corps offers outdoor enthusiasts plenty of opportunities to enjoy the Beach City Lake area.
Paved roads are great for a day’s bicycling. Picnic facilities are provided on a first-come, first-served basis in the day use area. Hikers with an aptitude for off-trail woodland hiking will find opportunities present but an area map will help keep them oriented. Trails are unofficial or nonexistent. Public restrooms are available seasonally in the day use area.
Fishing is of course at the top of the list for many visitors. The lake is filling with sediment as the natural course of events takes place and much of the water area is marsh and swamp. The maximum depth reaches to about 25 feet. The boat ramp is closed due to siltation so it’s best to call ahead to see if your fishing boat can will have access during current weather conditions. Carry-on canoes and fishing boats are the way to go here. There’s a 10 horsepower motor restriction in place. Anglers fish in the day use area and below the dam.
Largemouth bass fishing in Beach City Lake is best in the early spring and from early fall on into the cooler months. Big bass feed heavily at both times of the year and fall for a variety of artificial baits. Crankbaits and plastic worms probably account for most of the bass taken but occasionally fish that have been fooled by the more commonly used baits are caught on small spoons, in-line spinnerbaits and oversized minnow imitations. Largemouth bass can top 20 inches and weigh 4 or 6 pounds, or larger.
Saugeyes are stocked by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and provide great angling fun year-around. They’re tough to catch but they can be successfully tempted by blade and vibrating baits. They’re strong schoolers but a solo fish or two are sometimes taken. Most of the saugeyes are 16 inches or less but they range to 20 inches and better. A wire leader is a good idea since the teeth on saugeyes are extremely sharp.
Bluegills and crappies round out the offerings. Bluegills are caught on earthworms and nightcrawlers and crappies are readily taken with small minnows and tiny jigs.
A real treat is the occasional northern pike. The “waterwolves” were initially stocked throughout northern Ohio but didn’t do well in most waters. Anglers normally have to leave state and head north to tangle with one of these toothy predators.
The Beach City Wildlife Area adjoins the lake and covers a total of 1,912 acres. This area is open to public hunting and hunters target whitetail deer, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, pheasants, Canada geese and ducks in season. The area can get pretty crowded on season opening days but the numbers of hunters usually decreases as the various seasons progress. Much of the hunting pressure is from the water as hunters load up in camouflage-colored boats during the waterfowl season. Trapping is allowed and there are good populations of furbearers such as beavers and muskrats in the marshes and meadows.
A small boat ramp is just south of U.S. 250 on State Route 93. Small parking lots are scattered throughout the area.
Wildlife viewing is a productive pastime both on and off the water when hunting and fishing activities are slow. A camera with a zoom lens might capture just about anything.
Bigfoot lovers have sightings of this mysterious creature to work from and plenty of room to roam. Does Bigfoot exist at Beach City Lake? No one knows for sure.
The nearby Wilmont Wilderness Center makes for a great stop for the family. The center is three miles west of the Beach City Lake dam.
The Beach City Dam’s address is 5449 U.S. 250 N.E., Beach City, OH 44608 for those interested in finding directions via internet mapping. The wildlife area and lake are bordered on the east by State Route 93 and U.S. 250 on the north. Call the U.S. Corps of Engineers at (330)878-739, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District at (330)343-6647 or the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s office at the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area at (330)567-3390 for more information.