Though it shares Lake Erie with Pennsylvania and New York, the state of Ohio itself has more than a hundred natural lakes that cover a surface area of 4,658 acres. Of Ohio's 88 counties, these natural lakes can only be found in 21. Summit County tops the list with the highest number, but Portage County has the largest total area covered by natural lakes.
Portage County, in northeastern Ohio, only has 16 natural lakes that measure more than five acres in size a piece, but in total they cover 1,493 acres. Four of the top ten largest lakes in Ohio are found there. This includes the largest enlarged natural lake in Ohio, the 345-acre Aurora Pond.
The largest natural lake in Ohio is located in Medina County. The 324-acre Chippewa Lake was carved out by a glacier more than 12,000 years ago and is named after the Chippewa tribes that once fished the Great Lakes region of the area. The lake itself is spring-fed by the south-flowing Chippewa Creek. In the 1800s and into the 1900s it became an entertainment venue for Ohio residents and included its own amusement park.
Two of the ten largest natural lakes in Ohio are located in Summit County, which is also home to the city of Akron. Turkeyfoot Lake, which is the third largest lake in Ohio, covers 318 acres and features a 900-foot public swimming beach.
The 262-acre Wingfoot Lake is also located in Portage County. Wingfoot Lake Park opened in 2010 in northeast Ohio, and provides boating and fishing. Be aware that in 2010 the park noted a toxic algae alert on the lake and as such swimming is not allowed. Be mindful of any alerts posted for visitors to the area.
Congress Lake sits next to Quail Hollow State Park in Stark County southeast of Akron, and this spring-fed lake encompasses 200 acres. The Congress Lake Golf Club was established in 1896, and in addition to golf its members can enjoy water recreation on Congress Lake such as fishing, swimming, boating and sailing.
Springfield Lake in southeastern Summit County is a spring-fed lake known as a "kettle hole," and has a maximum depth of 27 feet. Motorized boats with up to a 250-horsepower motor are allowed on the lake. Springfield Lake offers several different species of fish, with channel catfish yearlings nine inches and over stocked in even-numbered years.
Lake Hodgson is owned by the City Of Ravenna and features a dam that dates back to the 1840s, located on a tributary to Breakneck Creek. Lake Hodgson Park sits at the northeastern area of the lake. The 190-acre lake is one of the 16 natural lakes over five acres found in Portage County.
The 143-acre Lake Pippen is found in Portage County, which is tucked in Towner's Woods, a 175-acre patch of Ohio that features forest, wetlands and meadows. This area includes a 2000-year-old Hopewell Indian Mound, which overlooks the lake. This area is due south of Lake Rockwell, nearer the communities of Kent and Ravenna.
Just northeast of Canton, Ohio, in Stark County sits Meyers Lake. This 134-acre lake was incorporated 1812 when the European settler by the name of Bezaleel Wells staked a claim. He also founded the city of Canton. The Meyers Lake Village is a community of more than 500 people as of the 2000 census. Once home to a vintage amusement park named Meyers Lake Amusement Park, as of 2011 the lake itself operates as a preserve that can be enjoyed by those who pay a membership fee.
Bass Lake Preserve
The Bass Lake Preserve is one of nine natural lakes in Geauga County, and part of a 606-acre preserve in Munson Township in northeast Ohio. This 160-acre lake sits on the Chagrin River. Thanks to the wetlands, the integrity of the natural ecosystems around the lake are preserved. This lake is also home to the Spring Brook Sanctuary, which protects the last known indigenous population of brook trout in the state.