Enjoy an exciting lake getaway in Ohio, with an escape to Deer Creek Lodge in Deer Creek State Park. Deer Creek Lodge offers scenic lake views paired with all the fun of a Great Ohio Lodge.
Swim a few laps in the pool, try out a variety of watersports, then finish the evening sharing stories around a firepit.
Deer Creek State Park is a hidden gem in Ohio since it is off the beaten path. The lake is gorgeous, offering a diverse collection of wildlife, landscapes, and a great beach.
Deer Creek Lodge overlooks the lake, offering guests easy access to all the state park’s amenities.
We want to thank Great Ohio Lodges for hosting our visit. This site contains affiliate links. As always, opinions are my own.
Where is Deer Creek Lodge
Deer Creek Lodge is in Mount Sterling, Ohio, inside Deer Creek State Park. The area is secluded, making it a hidden gem in Ohio.
A small town with a coffee shop, ice cream, grocery, and pizza not terribly far from Deer Creek State Park.
Distance From Cincinnati: 66 miles ~ Roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes
Distance From Columbus: 31 miles ~ Roughly 35 minutes
Address: 22300 State Park Road 20, Mt Sterling, OH 43143
Accommodations At Deer Creek Lodge
Deer Creek Lodge has a variety of accommodations available for all guests and family sizes. Whether you want the privacy of your cabin or enjoy a lodge room with bunk beds, there is something for everyone.
They offer pet-friendly cabins, along with the historic Harding cabin, which sleeps six.
If you don’t wish to get a cabin, I recommend getting a lake view room so you can sit out on your balcony and enjoy the peaceful lake while watching the boat traffic.
Deer Creek Lodge offers eight accessible lodge rooms (all with roll-in showers) and three accessible cabins.
The rooms are a good size and offer a mini-fridge. One may find the rooms a bit dated. However, the beds were comfortable, and our room was clean.
It does appear that the lodge is getting a bit of a makeover as our bathroom looked new.
Check-In/ Check-Out Time
Check-in time for a lodge room is 4:00 pm, and check-out at 11:00 am.
Check-in time for a cabin is 4:00 pm, and check-out is 10:00 am.
Things To Do While Staying At Deer Creek Lodge In Mount Sterling, Ohio
Outdoor and Indoor Pools
A highlight of any Great Ohio Lodge visit is their incredible pools! The outdoor pool just had a facelift and is the perfect spot to spend those hot summer days.
Grab a drink at the tiki bar, get a lounger and enjoy!
They even offer a 1 ft baby splash area that is gated off separately from the big pool! Keep in mind the outdoor pool is only open seasonally.
The indoor pool is open year-round, providing family fun even in the snowy winter months. Better yet, they have a hot tub, or “hot pool,” as my niece calls it.
The indoor pool is quite large and offers to change rooms and restrooms.
Non-Lodge visitors have the option to purchase a day-pass for the pools.
Get Out On The Lake
A must-do item is to get out on the lake and explore. A staff member will assist you in getting you in the water and off on your adventure.
The lodge has paddle boats, SUPs, and kayaks available to rent at the lodge.
The Marina in the State Park offers larger boats for rent, such as pontoon boats and jet boats.
We rented a paddleboat to explore with, and before long, we saw all sorts of wildlife. The lake is home to some excellent bird watching.
Often we found ourselves sitting in the paddleboat cheering on the local hawks swooping down in the lake for their fish dinners.
Visit The Beach
Deer Creek State Park is a fantastic beach area for visitors to enjoy. Arrive early to snag a prized picnic table with a canopy! The beach offers incredible views of the lake with plenty of sand to build a sandcastle.
During our visit at the end of August, the lake water was warm.
Bring an umbrella as there is not much shade at the beach. Don’t forget the chairs, beach toys, sunscreen, and our favorite snacks!
The restrooms were under construction during our visit, but there were port-o-potties available.
Stop By The Dam
In addition to the dam being a fascinating marvel of engineering, it provides an excellent fishing spot. Many fishermen can be seen reeling in their catches.
There are picnic spots along with two fun playgrounds for the kids to burn off some energy.
The walkway near the dam will likely give parents of small children anxiety as there is not much of a guard rail, if any, to prevent them from falling in. We opted to let Sophie see the dam from the play area and not much closer.
Go For A Hike
Throughout Deer Creek State Park, there are miles of hiking trails. Some even start near the lodge! We opted for a nature trail that led us to a pond and around the creek.
The trail could have used a little upkeep. It was overgrown and didn’t appear to be traversed much.
Golf Course At Deer Creek State Park
Designed by Jack Kidwell, the Deer Creek golf course has been a favorite of golfers of all skill levels. The 350-acre course offers sand traps, ponds, mature trees, and plush fairways.
Disc Golf Course
There is a disc golf course located near the campground. Rent equipment for disc golf at the camp store.
Deer Creek Lodge has multiple court sports for families to enjoy. Shoot some hoops on the basketball court, try a game of tennis, throw some horseshoes or even have a baseball game!
Little ones can enjoy the playground behind the outdoor pool!
Play A Few Games
We joke that you didn’t visit a Great Ohio Lodge with kids if you didn’t make a detour to the game room.
The game room is a great spot to play a round of air hockey, ping-pong, or even try your luck at the claw machines.
Board games and DVDs are available for use at the front desk free of charge.
End Your Evening With A Firepit
Firepits are available for rent at the front desk. Firepits can are available for rent in two-hour increments. A highlight of renting them out is that the lodge staff provides the wood and will get the fire started for you.
The firepits overlook the lake, so I recommend renting one at dusk, right as the sun begins to sink. Please bring your own Smore supplies or purchase them at the front desk!
Dining Options In Mount Sterling, Ohio
Deer Creek Lodge is home to Rafter’s Restuarant, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Harding Lounge is the bar next to Rafter’s Restaurant inside the lodge that serves pizza alongside a full bar.
Rafter’s offers a scenic overlook of Deer Creek Lake.
Hours of Rafter’s Restaurant
- Breakfast: 8:00 am-11:00 am
- Lunch: 12:00 noon -2:00 pm
- Dinner: 5:00 pm-8:00 pm
Hours Of Harding Lounge
The Harding Lounge opens daily at 5 pm.
If you are planning on getting pizza, keep in mind that it has to be ordered at the Lounge, making it only a dinner option. Consider getting the pizza package while booking your lodge room.
Restaurants in Mt. Sterling, Ohio
- Coffee: 2 Hands Coffee
- Ice Cream: Dairy Freeze or the gift shop in the lodge does offer ice cream.
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner: Mad Hatter, Ben & Joy’s Restaurant, Hammer Time Pub, Larry’s Pizza, and Wings.
Tips For Visiting Deer Creek Lodge
- To save money on your stay, take advantage of the different discounts Deer Creek Lodge offers, such as military, AAA, Stay For A’s, and more.
- The lodge has the only restaurant nearby, so come prepared to make meals in your cabin or venture into Mt. Sterling if you don’t wish to dine at the lodge.
- Bring snacks and drinks to put in your fridge!
- The gift shop at the lodge sells ice cream!
- If you have the Ohio Parks Passport Book, you can get your stamp at the gift shop.
* During our stay, the lodge was experiencing a staff shortage due to the ongoing pandemic. This was why the outdoor pool is only open on weekends; there could be a wait time at the restaurant, etc. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful and doing the best they can.