Ohio State Park of the Day: Wingfoot Lake State Park

Originally owned by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Wingfoot Lake State Park joined the Ohio state park system in 2009. Groves of tall trees and a picturesque lake create a relaxing backdrop for paddling, fishing, picnicking, or disc golf. On a clear day, visitors can spot the Goodyear blimp parked in its hangar on the lake’s south shore.

Scenes from Wingfoot Lake State Park in Portage County Ohio.

History of the Wingfoot Lake State Park

In 1916, Goodyear purchased 720 acres in southwest Portage County to begin manufacturing its blimps. Located within that site was the 444-acre lake, named Wingfoot Lake in honor of Goodyear’s corporate logo. A hangar was built on the south shore of Wingfoot Lake, along with workshops, a hydrogen plant, and a landing field. Goodyear contracted with the U.S. Navy in 1917 to build nine blimps at the Wingfoot plant, which proved highly useful during World War I for reconnaissance missions.

Fast forward to the 1960s, Goodyear developed the north shore of Wingfoot Lake for employee outings and corporate retreats. A number of recreational facilities were built, including large picnic shelters with fireplaces, ball diamonds, volleyball and bocce ball courts, paved courts for basketball and tennis, playgrounds, and boating facilities. Attendance at Wingfoot Lake Park peaked in the 80s with more than 100,000 Goodyear employees and their families visiting each year. 

Approximately 121 acres adjacent to the lake was transferred to the Division of Parks and Watercraft in 2009 and added to the state park system.

Read more about the history, activities and naturalist programming available of Wingfoot Lake State Park on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.

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