BRUSH CREEK STATE FOREST
Located in the unglaciated hill country of south central Ohio, Brush Creek State Forest was established in 1928 with the acquisition of 285 acres of land. This and other early land acquisitions were originally part of Shawnee State Forest. As acreage and distances grew, the need to form a separate state forest unit became apparent in order to properly manage these scattered land holdings. In the early 1950s, a new state forest was formed and drew its name from a major stream in the area known as Scioto Brush Creek. A forest headquarters and service center was established along State Route 73 about one mile west of the village of Rarden in western Scioto County, and presently remains at that site. Today, Brush Creek State Forest comprises well over 12,000 acres of productive hardwood forest land. The vast majority of these acres is made up of steep hillsides, deep hollows, and narrow ridge tops. Combined with the climate in the region, this land is ideally suited to the growth of deciduous hardwood forests.
Brush Creek State Forest is located in Adams County, Ohio. The history of this state forest dates back to the early 20th century.
In the early 1900s, the land that is now Brush Creek State Forest was severely disturbed due to years of excessive logging, farming, and uncontrolled wildfires. Recognizing the need for reforestation and conservation, the Ohio Division of Forestry began acquiring the abandoned, eroded, and logged-out lands throughout the region.
In 1922, the state of Ohio purchased the first tract of land for what would eventually become Brush Creek State Forest. Over the years, additional tracts were acquired, resulting in the present 12,408-acre forest.
As part of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program during the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed many of the forest roads, trails, and facilities that still exist today. The CCC also planted thousands of trees to reestablish the forest cover and improve the ecosystem.
Today, Brush Creek State Forest is managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Forestry. The forest serves multiple purposes, including timber production, wildlife habitat, recreation, and watershed protection. It offers various recreational activities, such as hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and horseback riding.
To preserve and enhance the forest's ecological integrity, the Division of Forestry implements sustainable forest management practices. This includes timber harvesting, prescribed burning, and wildlife habitat improvement projects, ensuring the long-term health and biodiversity of Brush Creek State Forest.
Overall, Brush Creek State Forest represents a successful restoration and conservation effort to transform degraded lands into a thriving forested area that benefits both the environment and the community.
Day-UseHiking Trail, miles3
Bridle Trails, miles12