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BOAT RENTAL FAQ

(see Campground FAQ after boat rental)

 

Where is The Boathouse at Strouds Run located?

  • All of our watercraft vessels are located at Dow Lake in the Strouds Run State Park.  Once you get to the park, follow signs to The Boathouse/boat rental office.

  • The address is 9075 State Park Road, Athens, Ohio.  DO NOT enter “Strouds Run” or “Strouds Run State Park” on your GPS, or you will most likely end up at the dam on the highway, many miles away from The Boathouse.  Entering Strouds Run Beach or Strouds Run Boat Rental may work.

 

When is the Boathouse open?​

  • 10 am - 8pm daily (weather permitting) Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

  •  Starting mid-April, May & Labor Day till mid-October, the Boathouse is open Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting. We will open occasional weekdays.  Call ahead to confirm we are open in Spring and Fall.

 

What are your terms and conditions for boat rental?

  • Please click here to see them.

 

Are life jackets/pfds required if I rent a boat?

  • Life jackets are included in the rental price.  We provide an appropriate sized, Coast Guard Approved life jacket for every passenger.  Infant to XXL sizes are available. 

  • Children under age 10 must wear their life jackets at all times, though we encourage all passengers, especially non-swimmers, to wear one. (Note:  there is less difficulty among a group of varied aged kids if all ages are required to wear a pfd, not just those under ten!)

  • We do not loan or rent life jackets for use on personal vessels or the beach.

 

If I rent a boat, can I bring my own life jacket?

  • You can bring your own life jacket if it is stamped Coast Guard Approved and is in good condition.

 

Is swimming allowed from any rental boat?

  • Yes, there is ONE designated area where you can swim from your boat.  The area is marked for swimming and our staff will direct you before launch.  Swimming elsewhere can result in injury, fines, or a cancelled reservation.

PONTOON BOATS

 

Do I need a boating license to rent a pontoon boat?

  • No. However, the person renting the pontoon must be 18 years old, with a valid driver's license. This individual must bring the driver's license and be present on the pontoon at all times.

 

How do I rent a pontoon boat?

  • Reservations can only be made for PONTOON BOATS.  All pontoon rentals are made through our reservation system.   Please reserve online by clicking HERE

  • If you show up in person to reserve a pontoon boat, we provide a laptop for you to make a reservation.  If we are not busy, we will be happy to make a reservation for you.

 

How much money is required when I make a pontoon reservation?

  • We require payment in full when you make a pontoon reservation. 

Can I cancel my pontoon reservation?

  • You can cancel your booking for a full refund ANY TIME OUTSIDE of 24 HOURS of your reservation launch time.

  • INSIDE of 24 HOURS, there are no refunds. Rescheduling or rain checks are permitted. 

  • It could take about 7 days to see the credit on your account. 

Can I move my pontoon reservation?

  • Yes, up until 48 hours before your reservation.

How can I cancel my reservation or make changes regarding rental day/time or size of pontoon?

  • Click on the link in your reservation invoice and create an account with the same email you used to create your reservation.

  • Once logged in, click on your name at the top right.

  • Click on "Edit this booking". 

*Note:  There is no guarantee a boat of your new preference will be available.

Can I sign the pontoon waiver online?

  • No, we need to verify the person that made who reservation is the same as on the watercraft.

 

How long should I rent a pontoon?

  • If you just want to tour the lake, or have young children, then 1-2 hours is plenty.

  • If you want to fish or swim, then 3+ hours may be preferred. 

 

Do small children count as passengers on a pontoon boat?

  • Yes, children of any age or size count as passengers, as per Ohio boating regulations.  When you make a pontoon boat reservation, you must include these children in your passenger count.

 

What if we end up with more pontoon passengers than we expected?

  • If you know in advance, you can edit your reservation (see above) IF a larger pontoon is available.

  • We must follow Ohio boating regulations. If you show up with more passengers and a larger boat is not available, you must leave some passengers behind.  Renting paddling or pedaling vessels for excess passengers is an option.

 

Can I rent more than one pontoon boat? 

  • Of course.  Keep in mind you will be the responsible party for each boat you rent.  Pontoon boats in a group must keep a distance from each other on the water—no tying together—and the weight/passenger limits on each vessel must be followed at all times whether the pontoon is at rest or moving.

 

Can I rent a pontoon for only one hour?

  • Yes, Monday-Fridays, except holidays.  On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, a reservation must be for 2 hours or more.

 

Can I bring my dog on a pontoon boat?

  • Well-behaved and well-groomed dogs are welcome on our boats. 

  • Any size dog counts as a passenger, just as any size child does.

  • There will be additional charges for any pet mess left on vessel, so plan accordingly.

 

How do I know what size pontoon to choose?

  • The number of guests as well as the weight of your guests should be considered, plus the amount of fishing or picnic supplies. See the capacities with each boat listing.

  • DO NOT choose a pontoon based only on the number of bodies—the weight limit must be met as well.  For example, we have had to put 4 defensive linemen on the Ohio University football team on an 8 person boat to not overload the weight capacity.  An overloaded pontoon boat is both unsafe and uncomfortable.

 

Regarding a pontoon reservation, what happens in bad weather?

  • If we must close the boathouse due to severe weather (heavy lightning, heavy winds/hail, tornado, etc.) we will issue you a full refund for your pontoon reservation, calling you in advance if possible. 

  • Please call the boathouse if you are uncertain—do not assume the boathouse is closed because conditions are poor where you are, or vice versa.

  • We will do everything in our power to get you on the water, including changing the time or day of your reservation if necessary.

When should I arrive for my pontoon reservation?

  • All members of your party should arrive 15 minutes prior to your reservation time for waiver completion, life jacket fitting, and instructions. We must run a tight schedule, and, in most cases, cannot let you stay out longer if you don’t get out on time due to late arrival.

 

Am I allowed to bring food and drink on board a pontoon?

  • Yes.  Please note that state law prohibits alcohol on state park beaches and lakes. Bringing alcohol to the lake may cancel your reservation.

  • No cooking or grilling is permitted on the watercraft.

 

What happens if I'm late returning my pontoon boat?

  • Please don't be late returning your pontoon boat, as we are often sold out and others will be waiting on your rental.

  • If you are late returning, you will be charged 2 times the hourly rate.

 

Do you offer an all-day rate or any discounts for longer rentals?

  • Not at this time.

 

​Are there any additional fees the day of the reservation?

  • Additional fees could be charged if, on return of your pontoon, excess cleaning is required, there is damage to the boat, life jackets, or other equipment, or you return late.

 

Can pontoon boats go anywhere on the lake?

  • For mechanical and safety reasons, there are areas on the lake pontoon boats are not permitted.  Before launch, staff will go over what areas to avoid.

CANOES, KAYAKS, PADDLE BOARDS, & PEDAL BOATS

 

What is the age requirement for paddling/pedaling vessels?

  • To rent a pedaling or paddling vessel, you must be at least 16 years old.

  • Those 12-15 years old must have someone 18 complete and sign the registration form.  We request life jackets be worn at all times.

  • Children under the age of 12 can operate a non-motorized vessel if an accompanying adult, 18 years or older, completes the registration form and is within visible and audible distance of the youngster at all times.​

 

How do I rent a canoe, kayak, paddle board, or pedal boat?

  • We do not take reservations for vessels you paddle or pedal—these vessels are first come, first serve.  However, we do consider taking reservations for groups renting 10 or more of these vessels.

  • To rent a paddling or pedaling vessel, a registration form and payment must be completed at the time of reservation.  Typically, you will pay for your first hour.  For any additional time spent on one of the water, payment is made when you return to The Boathouse.

  • Life jackets and paddles are included in the rental cost.

 

What do I need to bring with me to rent a boat?

  • The only thing you need to bring with you is a driver's license and payment.

 

Can pedaling or paddling boats go anywhere on the lake?

  • Except for pedal boats, which cannot go in shallow areas, paddled vessels can go anywhere on the lake

 

GENERAL BOATING/FISHING/BOATHOUSE QUESTIONS

 

Can I bring alcoholic beverages anywhere in the park?

  • No.  Ohio law prohibits alcohol anywhere in its state parks. 

 

Can I launch my own boat at the lake?

  • Yes. Dow Lake at Strouds Run State Park is open to all. You must have valid registration and safety equipment for your vessel.  

  • The boat ramp is right of The Boathouse.  Paddled vessels can enter anywhere but the beach area.

  • The horsepower limit at Dow Lake is 9.9 hp.

 

Can I take one of your rental boats away from the lake?

  • No.  Our boats stay on Dow Lake.

 

Is tubing allowed on the lake?

  • No, the State of Ohio does not allow tubing on state park lakes.

 

Are jet skis allowed on the lake?

  • No. 

​Can I fish off rental boats?

  • Yes, and you can fish anywhere in the lake your vessel is permitted to go except swimming areas.

Is a fishing license required?

  • Those 16 yrs. and older are required to have an Ohio fishing license.  There are a variety of resident and non-resident options; please review online at or in a current Ohio fishing regulations manual.

Can I get a fishing license at The Boathouse?

Can I fish from the boat docks? 

  • No.

What fish are in the Dow Lake?

  • Bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish and saugeye.

How deep is the lake?

  • The lake is 35-40 feet deep in some areas.

What bait do you sell?

  • The Boathouse sells nightcrawlers only.

  • Other bait options are available at Walmart or River’s Edge Outfitters.

 

What do you sell at the Boathouse?

  • Drinks and snacks, including ice cream novelties, are sold at the Boathouse.

  • In addition, we sell sunscreen, bug spray, ice, and firewood.

 

Do you sell gift certificates?

  • Yes, they are available online by click on the reserve now buttons and choosing gift certificate. Once purchased, you will receive an email confirmation and be able to email the certificate to others. 

 

Are restaurants and gas stations nearby?

  • The closest gas stations are Speedway, Kroger, and GoMart on E. State St. and another on Columbus Road, roughly 15 minutes away.

  • Groceries are available at Kroger, Walmart, and Aldis on E. State St.

  • There are a variety of restaurants within a 15 min. drive, on E. State St. as well as Court St. and Union St. in Uptown Athens.

  • For a slightly farther drive, more dining establishments in Athens County can be experienced, as well as wineries, breweries, and unique shopping.

 

                     

 

CAMPGROUND

 

Where is the campground at Strouds Run located?

  • Use the address 9075 State Park Rd. with a GPS.

  • Follow signs once you are at the park. 

  • DO NOT type Strouds Run into your phone or you will most likely end up at the dam on the highway, miles away.

 

Is the campground open year-round?

  • Yes.

  • The water spigots are shut off from about the early December till early April, but the campground is still open.

 

How old do I have to be to register to camp?

  • The responsible party must be 18 years old and present at the campsite.

 

How many people are permitted per site?

  • Up to 6 people.

 

How many vehicles per site?

  • Two vehicles per site.  No parking in the grass, please.

 

Will my large camper fit at a campsite? 

  • Each site’s paved slip is approximately 72 feet long, so even a school bus fits.

 

Are there any electric sites? 

  • Not at this time.

 

Can I bring my pets? 

  • Well-behaved pets, with current vaccines, are permitted.

  • No more than 2 pets per site. 

  • Dogs cannot run loose.

 

How many campers or tents per site? 

  • Campers:  1 per site

  • Tents:  1 large tent or two small tents or 1 large and one small tent per site.

 

Is water available? 

  • There are several spigots throughout the campground.

  • There are also spigots at each of the four bathroom facilities.

  • The water spigots are shut off from about early December till early April.

 

Is there a shower house? 

  • Unfortunately, no.

 

Do the latrines have flush toilets? 

  • No.

 

Is there a dump station? 

  • Yes, at the campground entrance, by the trash dumpster.

 

I didn’t stay in the campground.  Can I use the dump station? 

  • Yes, for a fee of $15. 

  • There are envelopes with instructions at the dump station.  Cash or check are accepted.

How many tent or camper sites are there? 

  • There are 59 regular campsites.

 

Can I make a reservation for a regular campsite?

  • No. Campsites are first come, first serve. 

  • Reservations can be made only for the group camp and two camper cabins.

 

What does each site offer? 

  • Each site has a paved 72 foot long slip, fire ring, and picnic table.

 

What is a camper cabin? 

  • The two cabins are 12 ft. by 12 ft. one room structures with no electric or water.  

  • Each has two sets of bunk beds with pads, for a total of 4 beds.  An air mattress fits between the two sets of bunks.

  •  You must bring your own bedding and lighting. 

  • There is a latrine and water spigot across from the cabins.

 

How many can the group camp hold? 

  • The group camp can hold up to 150 people. 

  • There is a paved 50 ft. by 50 ft. paved area as well as a lot of grass space. 

  • The group camp has its own water spigot and latrine and is separate but just across the road from the playground and the regular campground. 

 

Can I make a reservation for a camper cabin or the group camp? 

  • Yes.  Email shellyrex88@ gmail.com or call or text 740-707-7200.

 

Is firewood available?

  • The Boathouse sells firewood when it is open Spring, Summer, and Fall, though supply is limited due to space.

 

Can I bring my own firewood? 

  • Yes.

 

Can I walk to the beach or boat rental area from the campground? 

  • Yes.  But if you have a lot of gear, you may prefer to drive.

 

Are the hiking and mountain bike trails close to the campground?

  • Yes, they surround the campground.  Trailheads are also in other areas of the park.

 

How many nights can I camp?   

  • There is a maximum stay of 14 nights in a 30-day period.

Can I use a chainsaw, golf cart, or dirt bike in the park? 

  • No.

 

Are there quiet hours? 

  • Quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

 

Can I run a generator? 

  • Generators can be used at any hour if they are quiet ones.

  • If your generator is loud, those camping around you must be considered.

  • Please choose a site away from sites with other people camping.

  • Generators are not to be run during quiet hours without getting the permission of those camping within earshot, however, running them during the day can be even more bothersome.  Please be respectful.

 

Can I have alcoholic beverages?

  • Alcohol is not permitted in Ohio State Parks.

 

Are food and drinks available? 

  • Drinks and snacks, including ice cream novelties, are available when The Boathouse is open.   

  • Ice, bug spray, sunscreen, and firewood are also available, though supplies are limited.

 

Are there vending machines? 

  • No.

 

Do you sell gift certificates?

  • Yes, they are available online by click on the reserve now buttons and choosing gift certificate. Once purchased, you will receive an email confirmation and be able to email the certificate to others. 

 

Are restaurants and gas stations nearby?

  • The closest gas stations are Speedway, Kroger, and GoMart on E. State St. and another on Columbus Road, roughly 15 minutes away.

  • Groceries are available at Kroger, Walmart, and Aldis on E. State St.

  • There are a variety of restaurants within a 15 min. drive, on E. State St. as well as Court St. and Union St. in Uptown Athens.

  • For a slightly farther drive, more dining establishments in Athens County can be experienced, as well as wineries, breweries, and unique shopping.

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