Family Ties: Reunions at the Ohio State Park Lodges

From intimate get-togethers to large gatherings, the lodges are the perfect venues for family reunions

Posted by: Ohio State Parks on December 13, 2017

They offer a variety of recreation options to keep everyone engaged together and a wide selection of gathering spaces for the entire group.

Family reunions are the perfect occasions to create precious memories and share traditions. Whether they take place during the year-end holidays, a Spring Break getaway, or a summer vacation, they ensure that your extended loved ones re-connect in a meaningful way.

The Ohio State Park Lodges operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, which include Deer Creek, Salt Fork, Mohican, and Punderson Manor, are the perfect venues to accommodate such family gatherings — from intimate get-togethers to large-scale reunions. They offer a variety of recreation options to keep everyone engaged together and a wide selection of gathering spaces for the entire group. What’s more, since they’re located in various regions of Ohio, they provide central meeting spots for families who are traveling from diverse destinations.

Here are some important points to keep in mind when planning a successful family reunion.

Family roasting marshmallows

Reunion Planning

Many families choose to plan their own gatherings at Ohio State Park Lodges, but for those who need assistance, reunion planning services are available. Since each lodge offers outdoor recreation and amenities suitable for every age and fitness level, you may need help organizing a program that will suit everyone in your group. Reunion specialists at each lodge can customize an itinerary to suit your schedule, interests, and group size to make sure everyone walks away with important shared memories.

Canoe in river

Creating Traditions

The most important part about family reunions in a retreat-style location is the traditions that you create together. The Ohio State Park Lodges Family Tree Program is a unique way for families who visit the lodges each year to bond. During your reunion, you can plant a tree honoring your family, which becomes a permanent part of the park. Take a photo next to your tree during your annual visits to record how both your family and your tree have grown since last year. The lodges will even take the first photo, email it to each family member, and provide GPS coordinates so your family can easily find your tree year after year.

Choosing Activities

When families at the Ohio State Park Lodges spend time to hike together, swim at the indoor and outdoor pools, kayak in the lakes, play volleyball or tennis, horseback ride, or bike on multi-purpose paths, they create long-lasting memories of their shared time. Lodge activities range from golf and boating to geocaching and naturalist-guided hikes through the parks. Because many activities suit every age, it’s easy for several generations to enjoy time together.

Each family’s itinerary can be as scheduled or as flexible as you choose. If several families are coming together, they might enjoy splitting up during the daytime to pursue their own interests and coming together for meals and evening activities like board games in the lobby or s’mores around the bonfire.

Lodging Options

From spacious loft and bunk rooms that are ideal for families with children to private pet-friendly cabins, the lodges cater to every type of family. Each lodge features standard lodge rooms as well as unique options for those who are looking to add a special touch to their visit.

The historic manor rooms at Punderson Manor are ideal for couples or families looking for a touch of elegance; Mohican lodge rooms boast private patios and balconies; Deer Creek offers private cabins (some that are pet-friendly) and the Historic Harding Cabin that was a former presidential retreat; and Salt Fork offers family-friendly bunk rooms and deluxe hospitality rooms that can double as lodging and gathering spaces.

Each lodge provides the perfect balance of privacy and space for gathering, which is so essential to a rewarding family reunion.

Mohican Lodge Room

How to Explore

Ohio State Park Lodges provide opportunities all year round for recreation, outdoor adventure, family fun, meetings, and relaxation. For more information and reservations, visit or call 800-282-7275.

For more travel experiences to Beautiful Places on Earth™ available from Xanterra Parks & Resorts and its affiliated properties, visit

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Written by: Anietra Hamper

Ohio resident Anietra Hamper is an award-winning travel writer who specializes in covering outdoor activities.

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