The History of Clay’s Park Resort

70 Years of Making Family Memories

It has always been our family’s dream to share this special place, our genuine hospitality and outdoor culture. Today, the Clay family is honored to carry on that tradition. Our hope is that you will come to cherish your time spent at Clay’s Park, as you do the moments shared here with those near and dear to your heart.

Clay’s Park has a way of connecting people; harmonizing them with nature and the rhythms of life. We believe that life is best when surrounded by those we care about; in a setting where we can relax, recharge, and interact, unencumbered by the world outside. A journey that our family embarked on as we began sculpting our Park, in 1947.

70 years of camping excellence

Over the years, Clay’s Park has continued to grow and evolve, yet we never lose touch with where we came from. Modern comforts and renovations have expanded our offerings, but our sincere hospitality and love for sharing this special place has remained untouched.

We invite you to join us in cherishing all of life’s special moments, and we hope to see you soon.

Clay's Park History

Jan 05


Otis Clay began sculpting and arranging his Park in 1947. When he began, there were no lakes on the property. The Fishing Lake (also known as the Campground Lake) was created early on by the damming of Fox Run creek. This dam is located at the spillway bridge on the southeast end of the Lake.…

May 01

The 1950s

clay's park resort swimming lake

The smaller, sandy-bottom Swimming Lake was dug out in 1955. It was designed to be filled at the beginning of the season and emptied during the winter months. The Beach House was also built at the time the Swimming Lake was dug, and Clay’s Park quickly became a favorite spot for a unique water park…

May 01

The 1960s

ohio camping history

With the of dawn of 1960s, Otis Clay observed a growing American interest in camping, and began to expand campsites, adding electric and water hookups for RVs and travel trailers. Otis Clay passed away in 1966, but his sons Robert and John continued to build up the Park to meet this growing demand. They continued…

May 01

The 1970s

yankee peddler at clay's park

It was during the early 1970s that the Yankee Peddler Festival began its highly successful partnership with Clay’s Park that has spanned over 45 years (and counting!).

May 01

The 1980s


In the early 1980s, The Clays built what was then known as Clay’s Park Music Center, and began bringing in popular musical talent to play concerts here. This development paved the way for Clay’s Park to contract with large concert promoters over the next several decades such as The Alive Christian Music Festival and later…

May 01

The 1990s

clay's park resort in the 1990s

As the 1990s approached, increased focus on hosting of corporate picnics and group outings began to really take off, and Clay’s Park emerged as a premiere destination for many firms including many Fortune 500 companies to treat their employees to all our Park has to offer. Clay’s Park also annually hosts a number of well-known…

May 01

The 2000s

ohio water park and camping resort

Moving past the new millennium, Clay’s Park continues to grow and maintain the high standards that its customers have come to expect. Major renovations to necessary facilities and other amenities such as the Lodge, the Indoor Pool, and John O’s Restaurant; as well as regular capital improvements to roads, bridges, playgrounds, and waterpark amenities all…