Chippewa Lake, Ohio, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Ohio - Northeast -

Chippewa Lake in Northeast Ohio is a little natural wonder, formed by retreating glaciers about 12,000 years ago that left a depression along Chippewa Creek. Native inhabitants used the lake’s shoreline and surrounding wetlands long before the expansion of European settlers into the newly-opened Western Reserve. A scenic respite from area forests and grasslands, Chippewa Lake became a destination for settlers to swim, fish, and picnic; even the hardy settlers of English, Scots-Irish and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry needed a welcome break from their toils on the farm. Located only 30 miles west of Akron and just south of the town of Medina, a settlement quickly sprang up on the eastern shore, and the little lake’s fame grew.

Not large by inland lake standards, Chippewa Lake is less than 200 acres in size and only about 14 feet in depth. Extensive wetlands cover much of the area north and west of the lake, while two small villages are stretched along the eastern shoreline. The villages of Chippewa Lake and Gloria Glens Park are separated by an area that used to contain one of Chippewa Lake’s best-known destinations: the defunct Chippewa Lake Amusement Park. Through a complicated history of ownership and deed restrictions, some of the property owners along the eastern shore have varying amounts of direct water access. In 1890, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the entire lake was privately owned. Therefore, only those property owners who could trace their access rights by deed had access to the water.

Both the Village of Chippewa Lake (formerly known as Chippewa-On-The-Lake) and Gloria Glens Park developed water access parks where ALL local residents could gain water access by purchasing a yearly residential pass, giving them access to the beaches, picnic areas, tennis courts, basketball fields and boat ramps. Until Medina County Parks purchased the western shore and the lake in 2007, there was no general public access to Chippewa Lake. The village beaches have roped-off swim areas, but no lifeguards are on duty. There are even fishing piers for anglers to try their luck from shore. The two towns act in most instances as one community in planning activities and assuring access to all residents.

The public boat launch on the west bank allows all comers to launch smaller motorized boats, sailboats, and personal watercraft (PWC). Village residents and those with direct water access can launch larger boats for water sports such as waterskiing and tubing. The Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show Team performs at area lakes during the summer. Fishing is also popular for largemouth bass, flathead catfish, bluegill, crappie and perch. A valid Ohio fishing license must be held, and all regulations apply.

In the area near the boat launch, Medina County maintains Krabill Shelter, a reserve-able building containing a kitchen, multipurpose area and office space. After the county purchased the lake, a series of grants and fund-raising activities allowed Medina County to work on restoring much of the wetland and inflowing stream health degraded from years of agricultural activity and neglect. A series of walking trails has been developed to allow nature lovers access to some of the wetlands and adjoining woodlands.

Medina County maintains Buckeye Woods Park to the north of Chippewa Lake, which can be reached along the 4-mile Chippewa Inlet Trail. The crushed limestone-surfaced pathway is idea for walking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. Buckeye Woods Park abuts Schleman Nature Preserve, and both areas contain acres of restored wetland ideal for bird watching. Parking, rest rooms and picnic areas are conveniently located along the route. Increased lake access and improved opportunities to enjoy nature have increased Chippewa Lake’s popularity to levels enjoyed during its amusement park heyday.

Chippewa Lake Amusement Park was first developed in 1875 when Edward Andrews organized Andrews Pleasure Grounds for picnics, social events and religious activities. The park grew to include a tourist steamboat on the lake, early amusement-style rides and even a couple of primitive roller coasters. The 1920s brought live concerts and dancing that filled to capacity nearly every night of the week, along with additional rides. Growth eventually tapered off, and the property was sold at auction to a second owner who tried valiantly to grow his way out of the accumulated debts of the Depression. In 1978, Chippewa Lake Park closed for good, due to declining ticket sales and competition from nearby Cedar Point. The park fell to ruin, with the ghostly remains of roller coaster tracks, penny arcade, concession stands and stage collapsed and peeking through young trees. In 2008, the property was sold and plans made to create a resort complete with hotel and spa called Chippewa Landing. Those plans appear to have been scrapped. Most of the rides have been removed, many of the buildings have burned, and what is left presents a faintly haunting memory of 100 years of Chippewa Lake fun. It is unclear what will happen to the park in the future.

There is little in the way of vacation accommodations at Chippewa Lake except for a few private rentals. Medina has a couple of hotels near the highways, and the occasional bed & breakfast can be found. A few guest cabins may be found in the surrounding area. Entertainment is usually of the laid-back, Midwestern variety. The surrounding area is rich in the history of the early pioneers who moved West from New England when the land was opened up for settlement after the Revolutionary War. Antique shopping is at its best in small out-of-the-way towns with nearly 200 years of history stored in barns and aging storefronts. A good portion of America can trace their ancestors through the area in their migration to the Midwest and the Plains beyond. A number of small historical society museums preserve the artifacts and the records of those early settlers. And anyone who can manage the trip on March 15 every year can view the perennial return of the turkey buzzards to Hinckley only about an hour away from Chippewa Lake. Nearby is the Northern Ohio Railway Museum. In Medina, the Little Wiz Fire Museum delights visitors with one family’s collection of fire-fighting equipment.

Any trip to Akron and northeastern Ohio requires a stop at Chippewa Lake. Bring the mountain bikes,the hiking boots, and a good birding guide to identify the many birds. Canoe or row around Chippewa Lake and enjoy a last glimpse of the remaining rides at Chippewa Lake Park where they stand as aging sentinels through the growing trees. And marvel at how nature, with a little human intervention, can reclaim a degraded landscape to make it a welcoming wetland environment for birds and waterfowl. Your soul will be rejuvenated and your faith in Mother Nature restored.

Things to do at Chippewa Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Tennis
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Amusement Park
  • Antiquing
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Chippewa Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Sunfish

Chippewa Lake Photo Gallery

    Chippewa Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Water Level Control: Medina County Park District

    Surface Area: 161 acres

    Shoreline Length: 3 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 988 feet

    Average Depth: 14 feet

    Maximum Depth: 28 feet

    Lake Area-Population: 725

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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