Posted in Park visit

Lake Hope Dining Lodge

The dining lodge is one of the attractions of Lake Hope State Park. Originally built in 1950, the lodge burned to the ground in 2006. We visited Lake Hope State Parke several times after the lodge was destroyed, and it was a long drive to find a meal. Happily the lodge was rebuilt last year, and it has resumed serving those visiting and camping in the park as well as the local people of Vinton County. People can hire portions of the lodge for gatherings of all sorts, including conferences, weddings, and family reunions.

We decided to dine on the balcony to enjoy the beautiful view.

The newly re-opened 14,465 sq. ft. dining lodge houses a park office which handles camp site and cabin rentals. There’s also a gift shop under the same roof. Several sitting areas are available, including one with a fire-place. The decor features historical photos of the area as well as taxidermy. For Internet-addicts such as myself there’s open WiFi.

View of the lodge from the parking area.
It sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Hope.
Although it’s a “lodge”, there are no rooms inside where you can spend the night. However, you can visit the park office here to rent one of the park’s cottages.
Sitting area with fireplace
Sitting area along the hallway to the main dining area

The restaurant is on the far end overlooking the lake. When the weather is nice (as it was during our recent visit) – the prime spot is on the outside second floor deck with a magnificent view of the lake. Downstairs is a banquet hall with seating for 100 that can be reserved for events. There is also a smaller dining area to the side of the sitting room with the fireplace that also can be reserved for gatherings.

The main dining area; I believe the emptiness is due to it being off-season and to us being “early birds.”
Reservable dining area off the sitting area with the fireplace.
This is the rear of the lodge; we ate on the upper deck which is where I photographed the topmost photo of this article.

But what about the food? The restaurant sources as many local ingredients as possible. The chef also makes many items from scratch, including the rolls. Their specialty is slow-cooked, barbecued brisket, so that’s what we had. Deb had it as a sandwich, and I had a salad with brisket and blue cheese. It was delicious and filling (and this was after a day of hiking). They plan to add a pizza oven (which they’re ready to install), and on Sunday’s they feature a brunch buffet. The restaurant menu can be seen here.

My salad
Deb’s sandwich

After finishing our meal we struck up a conversation with the couple at the next table. The gentleman remarked that we had probably had one of the best meals in Ohio, both with respect to the food and the setting.

Additional information
  • Lake Hope Lodge website
  • TrekOhio: Lake Hope State Park — Check out this page for information about the park itself, including the park’s location.
  • TrekOhio: all of our articles on Zaleski State Forest — This state forest is next door to Lake Hope State park and offers great hiking opportunities.
  • TrekOhio: Moonville Tunnel — This tunnel is just down the road from Lake Hope State Park.
  • TrekOhio: Vinton County Parks & Preserves — This is the county where Lake Hope State Park is located; check out this page for links to official sites and for information on nearby parks and preserves.

  • Address: 27331 State Route 278, McArthur, Ohio 45651
  • Directions:
    From US 33 at Nelsonville, take OH-278 South. You will see the entrance for Lake Hope State Park on your right.
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.3278905, -82.3519143
  • Google Maps: View on map or get directions

More on Vinton County

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

9 thoughts on “Lake Hope Dining Lodge

  1. Lovely and interesting post again. Photos showed it nicely and among them I picked up fireplace. It is always to me interesting to see fireplaces, because in Finland they are common on countryside. We had also one in our former country side home. It was heat storing fireplace made from soapstone, which kept the heat recovered during 24-48 hours.

    1. I really like fireplaces – they provide a nice ambiance on a cold winter day. Often when we return from a winter hike – we’ll light the fireplace. On the occasions when we’ve lost power in the winter (fortunately, not often) – the fireplace has really proved its usefulness.

  2. Bob and Deb. Interesting that my name is Bob and my wife is Deb. Interesting also is that we are “locals” and that we have dined many times at the Lake Hope Lodge, sometimes alone and sometimes with guests. Lake Hope is one of my favorite spots and it was there that I had my first job as a teenager. I am so glad to have the Lodge back and to be able to visit and dine at a very historical and memorable spot. I highly recommend it to anyone. The food is great, the servers awesome, and the managers and their staff are great to meet and work with and visit with when they meander through the dining facility. Hope to continue to visit there for years to come. Hope to see friends coming back and will look forward to meeting them there.

  3. Thank you so much for this article. We will make it a must to get down there soon. It was closed when I was last there. I am glad they reopened up Burr Oak too. I prefer the ones that are more remote but like to be able to get a decent room and a good meal. We have stayed at many a state park cabin and or lodge. It is my favorite way to spend a relaxing vacation.

    1. We’ve done day hiking and stayed at cabins at Lake Hope. The lodge will provide a nice alternative to trail / camp style food. Lake Hope is scenic and for us has always been relaxing, quiet, and peaceful.

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