Chickagami Park is 139 acres located within the headwaters of the Grand River watershed. The parcel is primarily wooded and includes wetlands, streams and uplands.
Chickagami is a Native American word meaning “camp by the lake.” In 1941, the Western Reserve Council of the Boy Scouts of America dedicated Camp Chickagami as a year-round camping facility for the scouts. The property consisted of cabins and camp lean-tos along Lake Estabrook, which was created by damming the branch of the Grand River that ran through the property. Over the decades, additional lodges, a dining hall and restroom/shower facilities were added to accommodate the scout groups who came for week-long camping in the summer and weekend use in the winter.
In order to reduce operating costs in 2003, the Western Reserve Council (WRC) entered into a purchase agreement with Geauga Park District to take over the camp property. After dam inspection and evaluation of Lake Estabrook by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), it was recommended that the badly deteriorated dam that created Lake Estabrook be removed and the river corridor be returned to its original flow. The WRC agreed to remove the majority of the buildings and the dam as part of the purchase agreement.
Boy Scouts continue to have priority access to the property for camping. It is Geauga Park District's intent to protect this natural area in perpetuity.
Two group camp sites were installed in 2009, each consisting of one lean-to shelter, four tent pads, a common fire pit and grill. Then, in the summer of 2010, nine new sites were added: Group Site K, two sites with lean-to's, and six sites with tent pads. Boy Scouts retain exclusive access to Seton and West Cabin and several other facilities on site.
For more information on camping at Chickagami Park, download the Camping Brochure. Please note that if camp sites are not occupied by 7PM on the first day of a reservation period, the reservation will be forfeited and the site will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pine Grove Shelter, south of the parking area, holds approximately 150 people, and Overlook Shelter, north of the parking area with a view overlooking a wetland meadow, holds approximately 75 people. These shelters can be reserved, but are otherwise available on a first-come, first-served basis. Read more about reserving shelters here.
Group Site K (with Seton and West Cabin in the background), Overlook Shelter
Trails approximately a mile in length wind through camping areas and provide access to all sites. A short accessible loop wraps around Overlook Shelter; there is also a connecting woodland trail.
Download the trail map here.
Chickagami Park offers a variety of wetlands, streams, uplands and primarily beech-maple forests.
There is a healthy abundance of wildlife in Chickagami Park. Notable songbirds found are the Purple Finch, Pine Warbler, Great-crested Flycatcher, Wood Thrush and Scarlet Tanager.
Click below for a map, courtesy of MapQuest®.
From Cleveland and points west: Travel 77 S. Take Exit 156 at I-480 E. Keep left to take I-480 E via Exit 26. Keep right to take US-422 E. Turn left onto Madison Road/Main Street/OH-528/OH-88. Turn left onto High Street/OH-168 and follow OH-168 for 0.8 miles. Park is on the right.
From Erie and points north: Take I-90 W until Exit 212 at OH-528. Turn left onto OH-528/River Street and follow OH-528. Turn right onto Thompson Road/CR-7 W. Turn left onto Madison Road/OH-528 S. Turn right onto Madison Road/OH-528. Turn right onto High Street/OH-168 and follow OH-168 for 0.8 miles. Park is on the right.
From Warren and points east: Travel I-422 W. Stay straight onto Main Market Road/US-422 and follow Main Market Road. Turn right onto Madison Road/Main Street/OH-528/OH-88. Turn left onto High Street/OH-168 and follow OH-168 for 0.8 miles. Park is on the right.