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William H Harsha Lake Dam, Ohio

William H Harsha Lake Dam Photos


William H. Harsha Lake was authorized under the Flood Control Act of 1938. The Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed, built, and operates the project to reduce flood damages downstream from the dam, which is located roughly four miles south of Batavia, Ohio, on the East Fork of the Little Miami River. 
Construction began in May 1970 and the lake became fully operational in May 1978. Since its completion, William H. Harsha Lake has prevented more than $87 million in flood damages. 
Originally called East Fork Lake because of its location, the lake was renamed in 1981 to honor retired congressman William H. Harsha.


The Visitor Center is located one-half mile beyond the main dam on Slade Road. It offers interpretive displays, a scenic overlook and a natural trail. Special programs are available to schools and organizations. For information, please call (513) 797-6081.

Natural Features

In 1869, there were two gold mines within what is now the William H. Harsha Lake project boundaries. One, located on the north bank in the vicinity of Elk Lick Road, consisted of a flume for washing glacial deposits. The other was a tunnel mine in the vicinity of Twin Bridges Road. Both are now under water.


Hunting, fishing and trapping are permitted in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Maps are available at the Corps Office, State Park Office and District Wildlife offices.

Fossil finding is a popular activity in the nearby spillway – please obtain a free permit from the Visitor Center.

Recreation Sites

  • Group Shelter Electric
  • Day


  • Boat Ramp
  • Interpretive Trails
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Pets Allowed
  • Paved Roads
  • Flush Toilets (Seasonal)
  • Playground
  • Lake Access
  • River Access
  • Electricity
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Drinking Water (peak season)
  • Picnic Tables
  • Paved Parking
  • Grills

Nearby Attractions

The “Old Bethel Church,” located approximately one mile of Bantam on Park Road #1, was built in 1818. It occupies the site of a log cabin church founded around 1897 by Rev. John Collins.

More Information

Need to Know

While there is no camping of any type permitted at the William H. Harsha project, East Fork State Park operates a nearby campground which can be accessed from Half Acre Road, off of SR32 near Afton. The campground may be reached at (513) 724-6521.

Location Map

Mailing Address


Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 513-797-6081

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