Punderson Lake, Ohio, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Ohio - Northeast -

A widely-kept secret in the northeastern region of Ohio is the beautiful surroundings and recreation available at Punderson Lake. Completely enclosed by Punderson Lake State Park, this is one of only a few natural lakes in Ohio. Careful development by the State of Ohio has optimized recreational opportunities surrounding the 80-acre lake, including fishing, swimming, camping and hiking trails.

Part of the lakefront facilities inherited when the state took possession of Punderson Lake was a beautiful Tudor-style mansion featuring indoor and outdoor pools and many guest rooms, a chalet and over a score of comfortable, furnished two-bedroom cabins. The mansion now serves as a meeting and conference area for a variety of local community and greater Cleveland events, while the guest rooms, chalet and cottages can be rented for personal use as ‘vacation stay’ location. Next door, a state-owned 18-hole championship-class golf course is popular. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in conjunction with a volunteer group, the Friends of Punderson, have developed a variety of year-round activity locations which attract thousands of visitors over the course of the year.

Six hundred feet of sandy swimming beach fronts a campground holding almost 190 campsites, most of which are suitable for RVs. Picnic grounds, playgrounds, grills, picnic shelters and plenty of shade make Punderson Lake one of the most popular spots in the region every summer weekend. A new nine-hole disk golf course has recently opened, and an archery practice range joins nearly 14 miles of hiking and walking trails within the park. One multi-use trail is accessible to both walkers and cyclists for a distance of over two miles. A tennis court, volleyball and basketball courts are available. A small marina rents boats, although the lake allows only electric motors. Canoeing and kayaking are popular along the nearly three-mile shoreline. In winter, a small lighted sledding hill attracts winter sports fans, The many winding trails are popular for cross-country skiing, with two trails designated specifically for cross-country skiing. Three snowmobile trails are available within the park. The Musher’s Trail is available for dog sledding. The State Park is open all winter for such activities.

Wetlands around Punderson Lake offer ideal spots for observing the many species of birds, small mammals and wildflowers. Every weekend during the summer, naturalists offer informational discussions and guided walks. Nearly everything imaginable is packed into this spacious 741-acre park, including a public boat dock and two fishing piers. In an effort to provide more activities of interest to park visitors, the Friends of Punderson sponsor events such as a Halloween Party and youth fishing derby which allow new groups of park fans to become familiar with everything that is offered here.

Fishing is always a big drawing card, as the lake is surveyed regularly to maximize fishing pleasure. Largemouth bass, crappie, channel catfish, bluegill and even rainbow trout can be caught. The channel catfish are stocked every other year, because they do not successfully reproduce well in small lakes of this size. The rainbow trout are planted varieties and have surprised fishery experts with over-summering in the lake on occasion. The deepest ‘hole’ in the lake is 57 feet and no doubt helps the trout survive the warmer water temperatures of a typical Ohio summer. Fish-attracting structures are tentatively planned for the future. An Ohio fishing license is required, and all fishing regulations must be observed. Two other small lakes are also located within the park and open to fishing.

In addition to Punderson Lake State Park, two more state parks within 20 miles offer their own natural features to show off the state’s diversity. Both are day-use parks also supported by the Friends of Punderson and have unusual features of interest to nature lovers and hikers. Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park covers only 157 acres, but protects an unusual area of rock ledges and cliffs surrounded by unusual rock formations. Hiking trails cover most of the area, and the formations support a rare ecological niche inhabited mostly by plants seen in far colder climates. Twenty miles south, Tinker’s Creek State Park is 355 acres of swamp and marshes, offering hiking, fishing, picnic grounds and cross-country skiing.

Punderson Lake has a long history of European settlement, beginning with early land speculator Lemuel Punderson, who built a small dam downstream on the outlet creek to operate a grist mill before 1810. It was his family who built picnic areas along the lake and the original manor house and cottages. The dam washed out in the 1980s and was never replaced, leaving Punderson Lake similar to when glaciers formed it eons ago. This area of Ohio was settled early in Ohio’s history as the land was opened up for sale and settlement soon after 1800. One of the more interesting historical museums in the area maintains the Century Village Museum. The Geauga County Historical Society showcases a full village of 22 historic buildings and over 16,000 artifacts reflecting 100 years of settlement in a Western Reserve Village, starting in 1788. Artisans demonstrate traditional crafts, and interpretive guides lead visitors on a tour through the facilities in small groups. A Civil War exhibit details the experience of the 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the war. The Village is located at Burton, about five miles east of Punderson Lake.

The area around Punderson Lake is well populated, so alternate lodgings can be found nearby in the form of bed & breakfasts, country inns and small motels. This is Amish country, so farm markets, unique crafts and rustic scenes are numerous among the well-kept Amish farms. There are several subdivision neighborhoods near Punderson Lake, some with lakefront property on other nearby lakes. And with downtown Cleveland only 40 miles away, the big city is close enough for a an evening’s entertainment or fine dining while staying at the campground. But Punderson Lake is so enjoyable you may never have the urge to travel any farther than the golf course snack bar. Make your reservations now; the family will love Punderson Lake.

Things to do at Punderson Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish species found at Punderson Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Sunfish
  • Trout

Punderson Lake Photo Gallery

Punderson Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 80 acres

Shoreline Length: 3 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,144 feet

Maximum Depth: 57 feet

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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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