Jackson City Reservoir, Ohio, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Ohio - Southeast -

Also known as:  Hammertown Lake

Jackson City Reservoir, commonly called Hammertown Lake, is open for business in Southeastern Ohio…and that business is fun. Hammertown is one of the largest and deepest lakes in this area of Ohio. When constructed in 1953, the officials responsible for planning the new reservoir took everyone’s desires into account. Two small dams control the waters of small creeks, forming the large pool behind them. Not only supplying the majority of water to the City of Jackson, the surrounding protected watershed has become a recreation area offering enjoyment to its many and varied visitors.

As a measure to protect the water supply, no swimming is allowed at Jackson City Reservoir. Likewise, only electric motors are allowed on boats, making the lake a quiet haven for canoeing, kayaking, sailing and rowing. Three boat launches allow plenty of access, although one of these is quite small and suitable only for canoes or kayaks. There is no development along the shoreline, and the heavily wooded banks maintain a wild and untouched appeal. The reservoir stretches in a rough horseshoe with many small bays and coves breaking the nearly six miles of shoreline.

The lake is regularly stocked by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which has also installed fish-attracting bottom structures. The lake offers what is known as ‘two-story’ fishing opportunities, with yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass and channel catfish inhabiting the upper reaches of the lake and golden trout and rainbow trout lurking in the lower, cooler waters. A map of where the fishing structures are located is available from Ohio DNR. Those without a boat will find plenty of shoreline fishing at the boat ramp area near the picnic area. An Ohio fishing license is required.

To accommodate those wishing to enjoy lake views from land, a park complete with shelter house, playground and restrooms makes a good starting point for walking the informal trails through the area. 150,000 pines shade the area, and a 15-mile horse trail offers plenty of riding space for equestrians. A radio-controlled (RC) airplane area occupies the southern side of the horseshoe’s curve. Hammertown Lake is a fine place to enjoy bird watching. Several local birding groups meet regularly to observe the avian natives of southeastern Ohio. In combination with Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve less than five miles to the north, Jackson City Reservoir constitutes one of the best areas for enjoying nature’s creatures. Forty-one species of birds have been recorded here, including osprey, American kestrel, golden-crowned kinglet, scarlet tanager, pie-billed grebe and many others. Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve contains several plants unusual to the area such as umbrella magnolia and bigleaf magnolia. A small man-made lake within the Nature Preserve is off-limits to motorized boats of all kinds and requires a special permit for boating. Hunting is only allowed in certain areas in season, and permits are required.

The area around Jackson, Ohio has been settled since the late 1700s, with salty springs nearby an attraction for both Native Americans and wildlife. The first European settlement was called Salt Lick Town. The salt springs created an early industry in the area: boiling down the waters to produce salt by evaporation. When better salt springs were discovered nearby, the salt-making industry collapsed. By 1815, Jackson’s second major industry was underway: coal and iron mining. A grade of iron was produced using charcoal, bringing the railroads to difficult-to-reach Jackson. Invaluable to the war effort during the Civil War, Jackson was actually invaded by southern troops, its depots and furnaces burned. All too quickly, a better grade of iron ore and cheaper production in the Great Lakes area again displaced the hardy workers of Jackson.

So much salt was produced and iron ore smelted by charcoal that the forests in the area were nearly all consumed by the furnaces; protection was undertaken for the remaining treed tracts. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that modern furnaces and smelters were built to once again produce quality iron products, this time using the area’s abundant coal. It is likely that the nickname ‘Hammertown’ grew out of the two iron-based industries that called Jackson home. And, although Jackson City Reservoir is a more precise term, Hammertown Lake is what everyone calls this piece of man-made paradise.

Located midway between Columbus, OH and Huntington, WV, Jackson City Reservoir is now considerably easier to reach than in years past. Improved US 35 now skirts the eastern edge of Jackson, and other industries have taken up the slack left by the demise of iron smelting. The area is home to several food processing plants and plastics industries. The Hammertown Lake area contains many craggy cliff faces that were left exposed by the actions of waters rushing past long ago. Some of these can be seen at Leo Petroglyph State Memorial not far north of Jackson. Here, prehistoric Native American rock carvings can be seen on the sides of a limestone ravine. The trail through the gorge leads hikers past impressive cliffs, wildflowers and plenty of native birds.

Jackson’s iron-smelting past comes to life at the Buckeye Furnace State Memorial. Here a reconstructed rock charcoal furnace offers visitors a glimpse into the industry that dominated southeast Ohio in the early part of the 1800s. And, not far south of Jackson City Reservoir, Jackson Lake State Reserve offers camping, fishing and scenic trails for walking. Lodgings in the form of hotels, motels, guest cottages and RV parks dot the area near Jackson. Plenty of restaurants and pleasant sights can be seen in the City of Jackson itself. The Architectural Walking Tour of restored mansions in Jackson is a self-guided treat. Several golf courses are available, and a large water park will delight the youngsters. So, spend a few days exploring the area surrounding Jackson and make sure to plan for a day at Hammertown Lake. You’ll be amazed that quiet southeastern Ohio has so much to offer.

Things to do at Jackson City Reservoir

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Playground

Fish species found at Jackson City Reservoir

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Golden Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch

Jackson City Reservoir Photo Gallery

Jackson City Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Jackson

Surface Area: 190 acres

Shoreline Length: 8 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 695 feet

Average Depth: 25 feet

Maximum Depth: 51 feet

Completion Year: 1953

Spread the word! Share our Jackson City Reservoir article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.