William H Harsha Lake Dam

William H. Harsha Lake

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.

Notifications and Alerts

Need to Know

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. 

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.

The East Fork State Park & Watercraft Office is located approximately 3 miles southeast of W.H. Harsha Dam, on Bantam Road. The park offers a full range of development for recreation, including camping, fishing, boating, hunting, picnicking, and swimming. For park information or boating registration information, please call (513) 734-2730.

Recreation

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.

Contact Information

2185 SLADE ROAD BATAVIA OH 45103

Phone Number

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

Rental Options

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Driving Directions

From Cincinnati, OH: Merge onto I-71 South toward Louisville. Merge onto I-471 South via Exit Number 1J toward Newport, KY. Merge onto I-275 East via Exit Number 1A- on the left- toward Columbus, Ohio. Take the OH-125 exit- Exit Number 65- toward Amelia/Beechmont Ave. Turn right onto OH-125/Ohio Pike. Continue to follow OH-125. Turn left onto OH-222. Turn right onto Slade Road. End at 2185 Slade Road, Bataivia, Ohio. Distance is approximately 28 miles. 

From Dayton, OH: Merge onto I-75 South via the left ramp toward Cincinnati. Merge onto I-275 East via Exit Number 16 toward I-71/Columbus. Take the OH-125/Beechmont Avenue exit - exit Number 65 - toward Amelia. Turn left onto OH-125/Ohio Pike. Continue to follow OH-125. Turn left onto OH-222. Turn right onto Slade Road. End at 2185 Slade Road, Batavia, Ohio. Distance is approximately 69 miles.  

From Columbus, OH: Merge onto I-71 South. Merge onto I-275 East via Exit Number 17A toward OH-32. Take the OH-125/Beechmont Avenue exit - Exit Number 65 - toward Amelia. Turn left onto OH-125/Ohio Pike. Continue to follow OH-125. Turn left onto OH-222. Turn right onto Slade Road. End at 2185 Slade Road, Batavia, Ohio. Distance is approximately 116 miles. 

From Indianapolis, IN: Merge onto I-65 South. Merge onto I-74 East via Exit Number 106. Merge onto I-75 South toward Lexington. Take the exit on the left. Take the I-71 North exit - Exit Number 1A - toward I-471 South/Exits 1B-C-D/US-50 East/Downtown. Merge onto US-50 East. Merge onto I-471 South. Merge onto I-275 East via Exit Number 1A - on the left - toward Columbus, Ohio. Take the OH-125 exit - Exit Number 65 - toward Amelia/Beechmont Avenue. Turn right onto OH-125/Ohio Pike. Continue to follow OH-125. Turn left onto OH-222. Turn right onto Slade Road. End at 2185 Slade Road, Batavia, Ohio. Distance is approximately 136 miles. 

From Lexington, KY: Merge onto I-75 North toward Louisville/Cincinnati. Merge onto I-275 East via Exit Number 185. Take the OH-125 exit - Exit Number 65 - toward Amelia/Beechmont Avenue. Turn right onto OH-125/Ohio Pike. Continue to follow OH-125. Turn left onto OH-222. Turn right onto Slade Road. End at 2185 Slade Road, Batavia, Ohio. Distance is approximately 100 miles. 

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