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Plan your day at Portage Lakes State Park

Portage Lakes State Park COMPLETE Guide ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒณ [2024] | Plan Your Day [Info, Tips, Data]

Last Updated on: 10th October 2023, 05:10 am

Portage Lakes State Park In Akron Overview

The Portage Lakes State Park is a beautiful, family-friendly space with incredible lakefront views. There are so many unique plants like Tamarack trees, cranberry plants, and skunk cabbage. And animals that thrive in the wetlands, like geese, woodcocks, herons, owls, red foxes, beaver, and muskrats.

This beautiful 411 acres of land is a great place to spend your day and perfect for everyone–regardless of age. There are no entrance fees and access to the park is free for everyone.

History Of Portage Lakes State Park

In 1949, Akron established Portage Lakes State Park, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources manages the park. But this wasn’t the first time the park was discovered.

During the War of 1812, the park was a landmark–it actually was a place where the American troops could assemble.

Then in 1913, the area got destroyed because of the Great Flood, and it wasn’t until 1949 that the canals were transformed and utilized for recreational purposes for the city of Akron.

Where Is Portage Lakes State Park? | Portage Lakes State Park Hours & Location

While there isn’t public transportation that can take you to Portage Lakes State Park, you can drive, bike, or take an uber.

The total distance from the heart of Akron to Portage Lakes State Park is roughly 10.5 miles. If you’re taking the OH-93 highway, you’ll want to take the exit OH-93/Manchester Rd to Renninger Rd in New Franklin, continue on Fawn Dr till you hit Manchester Rd, and turn right onto Manchester Rd. There will be parking in the front.

  • Address: 5031 Manchester Rd, Akron, OH 44319
  • Hours: Monday through Sunday from 8:00am till 11:00pm
  • Parking Information: There is parking near the entrance of Portage Lakes State Park. While the website doesnโ€™t say whether or not there is a fee for parking, we recommend bringing some cash (just in case).
  • Portage Lakes State Park Map

Portage Lakes State Park Activities

  • Archery
  • Boating
  • Disc Golf
  • Dog Park
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Picnic Tables
  • Shelterhouses
  • Swimming At The Beach
  • Trails
  • Winter Recreation
  • Wedding Venue
  • Basketball
  • Playground

Portage Lakes State Park Amenities

  • Beautiful Scenery
  • Bathrooms
  • Fishing Pier
  • Backpacking Trails
  • Camping
  • Park Office
  • Launch Ramp
  • Wheelchair Accessible Areas

Are Dogs Allowed In Portage Lakes State Park?

Yes! Dogs are more than welcome in Portage Lakes State Park, but you have to clean up after them, and they have to stay on the leash. If you would like to have them off the leash, there’s a dog park where you can take them off the leash, and it even has a swimming section.

Portage Lakes Dog Park

Can You Swim In Portage Lakes?

The answer is yes! There is currently a designated beach that we will talk later about that allows you to go swimming.

Can You Drink Alcohol On Portage Lakes?

Alcohol is not allowed in any Ohio State Park.

Portage Lakes State Park Events

If you’re looking to attend a fun event at Portage Lakes State Park, check out their website for the upcoming events on their calendar!

Portage Lakes State Park Activities

Throughout the beautiful, safe, and family-friendly Portage Lakes State Park, there are plenty of fun activities to partake in on your day off or the weekend with your family. Here are some of the activities you can do at Portage Lakes State Park!


If you’re into archery, then Portage Lakes State Park is the place for you. Come and enjoy the new archery range that has targets between 10 to 50 yards. The area is open every day from the early morning to night time. If you want to bring a friend or a loved one, there are benches where they can sit to watch or wait for their turn.

The archery range is at 5031 Manchester Road, and this archery range was made possible through a grant from the Division of Wildlife in Akron, Ohio.


Are you looking for a place to cool down on a hot day? Come and enjoy the cold water down at Portage Lakes State Park Beach! It’s open for free swimming and jet skiing and is a great place to spend time with your family, especially if you have small kids. Even during the winter, this area is a great place to come and take in the views as you walk the shore. Portage Lakes State Park Beach is also a popular space in Akron to enjoy the firework show on the 4th of July.


There are eight lakes near the Portage Lakes State Park and a total of 2,034 acres. There is a maximum limit of 400-HP allowed for all of the lakes, but Nimisila Reservoir only allows electric motor boats in the water. If you don’t currently own a boat, there are places you can rent a boat at private marinas throughout the area. And if you’re looking for a family-friendly activity, Latham Bay allows boat camping.

Disc Golf

Disc Golf is taking America by storm and quickly becoming a fun activity for all ages. The park has an 18-hole disc golf course and is a perfect thing to do as a family. Make sure to bring your own equipment because renting is not available.

Dog Park

Your furry friend shouldn’t have to miss out on the trip to Portage Lakes State Park. There is a partially fenced space in the park designated for your dog– allowing them to run without a leash. And if it’s a warm summer day, don’t worry because an unfenced swimming area is set aside for your cute pooch.


There are plenty of delicious fishes throughout the water near Portage Lakes State Park, ranging from largemouth bass, pickerel, panfish, channel catfish, bullhead, and carp. You have to obtain a fishing license in Ohio before you hit the water, and you have to be 16 years or older.


Similar to fishing, you have to carry a valid hunting license for Ohio and follow the hunting regulations of the state.


Portage Lakes State Park is known for having some of the best places with beautiful views to enjoy a picnic.

Reservable Shelters

If you’re looking for a covered space with tables to have a picnic, there are reservable shelters in these areas of Portage Lakes State Park: Big Oaks, Old Park, and Knapp Recreation. To make a reservation, call (866) 644-6727.


Three possible areas within Portage Lakes State Park are perfect for hiking and running. You have the East Reservoir area that has the following trails:

  • Knapp Forestview, which is 0.2 miles long
  • Knapp Walk Trail, which is 0.1 miles long
  • Knapp Lakeview Trail, which is 0.8 miles long

Then along the Nimisila Reservoir area is the Nimisila Trail which is 1.3 miles long.

Lastly, a small portion of the Buckeye Trail goes along the shoreline of the Nimisila Reservoir.

Winter Recreation

When it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Let the winter recreations begin! You will want to ensure that there is plenty of snow and that the lake gets completely frozen before doing any of the activities, but once it’s the proper winter conditions, it’s time for fun!

The most common winter activities include ice fishing, ice skating, and snowmobiles. If you are riding a snowmobile, you can only do it on the frozen water of the lake and not on the trails or the road of the park. And if you’re into cross-country skiing, the hiking trails are the perfect place to exercise while enjoying the beautiful views.


Whether you’re a professional volleyball player or just having fun with friends, there are volleyball courts available at Portage Lakes State Park Beach and the three areas with shelters. Make sure you bring a ball to play with since they aren’t available for rent.

Horseshoe Pits

If you want to play horseshoes, there are pits available at the different day-use areas of Portage Lakes State Park.

Additional Activities In Portage Lakes State Park

While the majority of activities in Portage Lakes State Park are things like swimming, hiking, and fishing, there is also a historic wedding and event venue in the park!

Tudor House On The Portage Lakes Waterfront | Historic Wedding Venue

Frank Hibbard built the Tudor House, a staple within the community of Akron. With 10+ acres and 650 feet of beautiful lakefront views, the Tudor House is perfect for weddings, private events, corporate events, and special events.

Tudor House, 655 Latham Ln, Akron, OH 44319 (330) 603-6621

Great Places To Eat Around Portage Lakes State Park

After a fun day relaxing or spending time with family at Portage Lakes State Park, finding the best restaurants to end the day is essential. Some of the most popular places within a 10-minute drive of the park include: Lala’s In The Lakes, Upper Deck Bar & Grill, Thai Pattaya Restaurant 330, Picks At PLX, Dano’s Lakeside Pub, and Guiseppe’s Pizza.

When To Visit Portage Lakes State Park

Depending on the activities that you want to do, you can truly enjoy Portage Lakes State Park all year long. Of course, there are activities like sunbathing on the beach that you can only do in the late spring and summer months, but you can replace that with ice skating during the winter!

Portage Lakes State Park Map

To find additional fun things to do around the area, check out this map of Portage Lakes State Park!

Are you excited to experience Portage Lakes State Park for yourself? This beautiful Akron park is an oasis and haven for tourists and residents. And if you’re ready to make Akron, OH, your home, Summit Moving is here for YOU! Call us at (216) 641-6677 for a free estimate!


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