Burr Oak gets a facelift

By early March, Dock 4 at Burr Oak Lake had been completely removed prior to Paul Construction of Zanesville pouring the new surface. The ramp was open for business by mid-March.

BURR OAK STATE PARK – Perry County residents have enjoyed the recreational pursuits at Burr Oak State Park for decades. Whether it’s a casual ride in a pontoon boat, hiking, fishing, or enjoying the lodge accommodations, Burr Oak has played an important role for Perry Countians.

Recently the park, lake, and lodging facilities have received some much-needed attention. Current Park Manager Jerry Pollock outlined the work taking place at Burr Oak, starting with the renovation at Dock 4.

“We made the decision to repair the boat ramp surface at Dock 4 in the fall of 2020,” Pollock said. Three companies put in bids for the project, with Paul Construction of Zanesville being awarded the contract.

“The construction on Dock 4 began in late February of 2021. The work took less than a month and was completed in mid-March of this year,” Pollock said.

The work involved installing a cofferdam on the ramp just below the area that needed to be repaired. Upon completion of the cofferdam, the ramp was dewatered so that crews could remove the damaged surface area. Once that material was removed, the new surface was poured.

Another addition to the Dock 4 launch ramp will help make it more accessible for everyone.

“The plan is to install courtesy docks with walkways that have handicap rails on either side of the boat ramp at Dock 4. The addition will make the ramp more accessible for all people while loading and unloading boats,” said Pollock.

Pollock reported that an upgrade in the park’s camping sites is also underway. Fourteen existing sites were regraded and repaved in the spring of 2020 to improve the visitor experience at Burr Oak.

“We added 20-, 30- and 50-amp electrical service at these sites,” he added.

By mid-season, Pollock hopes to have four “Sherman” cabins ready for use. These cabins will be placed near the campground office/shower house area.

The lodge and cabins at Burr Oak are now operated by Regency/US Hotels. All 30 family-style cabins near the lodge have had interior improvements including new flooring, cabinets, bathrooms, kitchens, interior paint, millwork, and new furniture.

The lodge has also received its share of the facelift taking place at Burr Oak in the form of improved structure, windows, roof repair, fire alarm upgrades, and a new waterline. A new path from the lodge to the lake is another recent feature to improve access for visitors.

Three additional areas have seen improvements for the coming season. One is a new “Storybook Trail” that will be opening at Burr Oak in May 2021. Improvements at the Nature Center are underway and the 3D archery range will re-open at some point in 2021.

Right now, COVID-19 restrictions are still in place at the park. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Social distancing is still in style at the lake and so is mingling only with people in your group.

Campers, be aware that the days of showing up for a campsite have been suspended. Campsites now require a reservation.

Reservations can be made by calling (866) 644-6727, or online at reserveohio.com.

The lottery for boat docks was set to be completed March 31, 2021 with the lottery drawing taking place on April 1, 2021. Hopeful dock recipients will be required to give an Ohio registration number to be placed in the dock lottery.

Jerry Pollock took the manager’s position at Burr Oak in 2016. So far his tenure has seen many much needed improvements from one end of Burr Oak State Park to the other. If Burr Oak has always been one of your favorite places, you will like it even more this season.

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