COLUMBUS -- Ohio State Park gift cards have always been great holiday gifts for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy stays in state park campgrounds and cottages, and starting next month, the gift cards will be accepted by eight of Ohio's luxurious State Park resort lodges as well.

Effective Jan. 1, 2009, Ohio State Park gift cards may be redeemed at Ohio's resort lodges, including Burr Oak, Deer Creek, Hueston Woods, Maumee Bay, Mohican, Punderson, Salt Fork and Shawnee. (Geneva excluded). Gift cards can be used forovernight stays as well as dining room meals and gift shop merchandise.

"Ohio State Park gift cards are one-size-fits-all kind of gifts," said Dan West, chief of ODNR State Parks. "Whether you are planning a winter retreat at a cozy lodge resort or planning ahead for the July fourth camping trip, you can't go wrong with this gift card. The card can also be used for popular state park activities, like rounds of golf or boat rental."

Shoppers who have already made their lists and checked them twice should treat themselves to something extra. After the shopping and wrapping are complete, celebrate with an Ohio State Parks gift card of your own.

Ohio State Park gift cards are available in any denomination. They can be purchased during regular business hours at any state park office or by calling (614) 265-6513. To purchase by mail, print the order form from the state parks web site, www.ohiostateparks.org,and mail it to the address on the form.

Information about all fall and winter specials at Ohio State Parks is also available on-line.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.