Deer Creek State Park Lodge
Adventures in the Midwest,  Family Travel,  Ohio,  Travel

A Stay At The Deer Creek Lodge In Deer Creek State Park

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.

View of Deer Creek Lake from Deer Creek Lodge

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.

Lobby of Deer Creek Lodge

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

Deer Creek Lake sunset

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.

Bunk Bed Room at Deer Creek Lodge

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.

Check Availablity and Book Your Room

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.

Balcony at Deer Creek Lodge with Lake View

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.

Outdoor Pool at Deer Creek Lodge

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. 

Getting Ready To Go Paddle boating

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.

Deer Creek State Park Lake

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.

Beach at Deer Creek State Park

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.

Beach at Deer Creek State Park

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.

Dam at Deer Creek State Park

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.

Going on a hiking trail with a pond

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.

Stay Active

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!

Kayak rentals

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.

family time on a swing by Deer Creek lake

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!

Fire Pit rentals at Deer Creek Lodge

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.

pizza time!

Restaurants in Mt. Sterling, Ohio

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.
Making memories at Deer Creek Lodge

* 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.

There are eight Ohio State Lodges that make a great family getaway. Read about our visit to Hueston Woods Lodge and Shawnee Lodge!

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Deer Creek State Lodge in Mount Sterling, Ohio

We are an inquisitive family seeking to discover, create and inspire unique adventures and experiences. Our mission is to motivate families to collect moments and not things. Our family travel blog explores places off the beaten path that will spark your curiosity and provide inspiration for families traveling with children. We are not full-time travelers, just the everyday family that makes the most of each day off. When we are not traveling we enjoy being a tourist in our hometown of Cincinnati.

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