your paddlesports destination

Grand Lake (St. Marys) in Ohio

Trip Overview

On the shores of Ohio's largest lake and the 2nd largest man-made body of water in the world, the Autumn leaves were beautiful and calming in October.

Fairly new to kayaking, we launched our kayaks at the beach on Lake Shore Drive in Celina, Ohio and paddled approx. 7 miles along the tree lined shores of Grand Lake St. Marys. On a calm and clear day, you can see the entire length of the lake which is about 9 1/2 miles long.

The Northshore of the lake is populated with well kept yards and channels and the Southshore has more natural habitat, from nesting eagles to blue herons and egrets, and many, many ducks of different species. An enjoyable journey at any pace for the touring kayakist or canoeist.

CAUTION: The lake is large and shallow and does get rough suddenly when storms come up. Do not stay out too long as storms approach rapidly. Take cover in numerous channels and creeks. And while you're up a creek, visit the many pubs, taverns, restaurants that are located around the entire lake.

Make a Day Trip to an amazing inland waterway in West Central Ohio. A wonderful body of paddling water within a 2 hour drive of Columbus, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Cincinnati, OH; and Toledo, OH. Come enjoy the warm hospitality of the many establishments around the lake with 52 miles of shoreline.

The lake also hosts the Celina Lake Festival the last full weekend of July every summer. This water festival features many water/lake activities and is the largest alcohol-free family fun weekend in Ohio.


Several public ramps around perimeter of lake.

Grand Lake St. Marys State Park at East end of lake.
Camp/canoe/kayak from site of Kozy Kampground at Southwest end of lake.


Ohio requires Boat Registration / #'s for all Ohio waterways. No launching fees at public ramps. Many blacktop parking areas surround the public ramps.


Located 70 miles Northwest of Dayton, OH: take I-75 north to exit 110 and go West.

50 miles Southeast of Ft. Wayne, IN: take US 27/33 Southeast and continue on US 33 to St. Marys or take US 127 South (from US 33) to Celina

Celina, OH is on the West end of the lake and St. Marys, Ohio is at the East end of the lake.


Ohio AAA is a great source. Ohio State Parks also. Locally on the lake is Auglaize-Mercer Greater Convention and Visitors Bureau.
CVB website with live cams is

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip