Review: Delaware State Park, OH

Nita Sweeney (author of Depression Hates a Moving Target) enjoys a lovely afternoon in the downtown area of Delaware with a visiting friend.

When I made some changes in my early summer plans, Delaware State Park popped up as a nice bolthole of a place to go for a few nights. That it was close to Columbus, Ohio, where I know a few people I hadn’t seen in a long while added points in its favor. There was also a lake but it wasn’t till I showed up that I realized it was a big lake, surrounded by trails that provided different views, like this one.

The trail system had an opening right next to my campsite and so it was easy to start exploring. I rarely saw anyone else on the trails in my three forays, which was kind of surprising until you realize that hiking here involves copious amounts of bug spray and dodging muddy sections wider than the trail itself. Still worth it, though.

Delaware State Park is also the first public park I’ve stayed at in five years that had a dedicated tornado shelter. Seriously, even though tornados aren’t common here, according my my friend who’s lived here forever, there is this massive concrete shell just waiting for its time to shine. Thankfully, I avoided any tornado watches or warnings during my stay so I didn’t get to see the inside of this thing.

The park and the surrounding countryside are beautiful and I drove around the back roads one day just enjoying views like this one.

While in the area, I was able to surprise my friend Mike from Massachusetts. He was just passing through on his way to Colorado, staying at Cher and Milt’s place just north of Columbus. It was great to see the surprise on his face when I knocked on their door and he looked up to see who it was. We had a fun evening of good food (Milt’s fish was excellent and the pirogies were tasty too) and conversation (thanks to Milt and Cher for hosting!).

A few days later, I met up with Nita, who I know from our longtime membership in an online running group. I last saw her in Lancaster, PA when she was in the middle of promoting her new book, Depression Hates a Moving Target. This time, with no book tour to distract us, we met and talked our hearts out for a few hours while enjoying a nice lunch in downtown Delaware.

With friends and trails and lake views, I surprised myself by really enjoying the time at Delaware State Park. Finding a few lovely day lilies was the icing on the cake, so I’ll close with one of those photos.


  • Several loops, all with power. I got lucky with site 143, no one on either side for a fair distance. Some sites are closer to boat moorings on the lake if that’s your jam. Reserve at Ohio State Parks.
  • Services: electric only, 30 amp, 30/50 amp. Potable water at the dump station or at water fountains in the middle of each loop. Each loop has a bath house with individual showers.
  • Decent Verizon and ATT and T-Mobile.
  • Groceries, Gas, Stores: All you ever could want about 10 miles south in Columbus.

Old friends become more and more precious to us as the years pass. They can look at us for who we once were and who we are now, appreciating the difficulties we have overcome, the abilities we have acquired, and the ways we have stayed true to ourselves.

Depression Hates a Moving Target by Nita Sweeney

Depression Hates a Moving Target

How Running With My Dog Brought Me Back From the Brink (Running Depression and Anxiety Therapy, Bipolar)

It’s never too late to chase your dreams. Before she discovered running, Nita Sweeney was 49-years-old, chronically depressed, occasionally manic, and unable to jog for more than 60 seconds at a time. Using exercise, Nita discovered an inner strength she didn’t know she possessed, and with the help of her canine companion, she found herself on the way to completing her first marathon. In her memoir, Sweeney shares how she overcame emotional and physical challenges to finish the race and come back from the brink.

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