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Atwood Lake Continues to Grow/Improve
July 6, 2018

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Who can really argue with the great impact Atwood Lake and Atwood Lake Park (Carroll and Tuscarawas counties, Ohio) has on tourism and money spent in the region? And it's only getting better, according to Carroll County Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Amy Rutledge.

"Atwood has a $50 million impact in tourism in Carroll County alone. And that's starting to climb," said Rutledge. "And the Muskingum Watershed (Conservancy District) estimates one million people use Atwood (the region) each year."

"It definitely helps the whole county. People come to Carrollton to shop, to eat and pick up items they need. The normal things people do when they're on vacation," added Rutledge.

Atwood is located just west of Carrollton, which is the closest city, and it's the Carroll County seat. Further west of Atwood is New Philadelphia, the county seat of Tuscarawas County and home base for the MWCD.

Atwood is one of the key areas owned by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD). The District was formed as a political subdivision of the state of Ohio in 1933. It was developed to reduce the effects of flooding in Ohio, conserve water for public use and provide recreation. The Muskingum Watershed covers more than 80,000 square miles in Ohio, with a system that includes 16 dams and 12 reservoirs. It's the largest conservancy district in Ohio. It includes 18 counties in the state.

Atwood is one of the more busier areas as far as outdoor recreation usage within the MWCD. It has the fifth largest acreage of water in the group (1540 acres) and seventh largest in acres of overall land (2500). It features two marinas, 500+ campsites (full hook-up, standard electric and primitive sites), swimming beach, vacation and patio cabins, new welcome center, some of the state's top sailing and pleasure boating, hiking trails, hunting, fishing, playgrounds, nature center and more.

I toured part of Atwood's campgrounds and camping, hiking and biking areas recently with MWCD Recreation Marketing Coordinator Adria Bergeron. I was interested in seeing the new campground areas, biking and hiking trails and Welcome Center. One of the final phases of new full-service campgrounds is nearing completion. The new restrooms and bath houses included in the construction is the most impressive I've seen, anywhere. One of the campground areas features attached and dedicated boat docking sites along the lake.

Bergeron said most of the Phase One construction at Atwood should be completed by the end of this year.

The MWCD board of directors committed more than $170 million to a master plan in 2015 to develop and improve the conservancy district. A large chunk of those funds were dedicated to park capital improvements at the five lake parks and marinas within the District. Those parks include: Atwood Lake, Seneca Lake, Piedmont Lake, Tappan Lake and Charles Mills Lake.

Bergeron added that more improvements are being considered at Atwood, and other MWCD parks and facilities, which would fall under Phase Two of the District's plans.

Undoubtedly the impact to tourism and recreation should continue to soar at Atwood and other MWCD areas.

Find out more about the MWCD at www.mwcd.org or www.atwoodparkohio.org.

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