HARRISON COUNTY STATE FOREST
The 1,344-acre Harrison State Forest was purchased in 1961. A substantial portion of the land has been stripmined for coal. However, the production of acid mine water is minimal because of the neutralizing effect of limestone deposits. The majority of unstripped lands are located on ridges or in valleys, and are in forest cover. Subsequent reforestation and installation of recreation facilities, funded through the Appalachian Regional Develolpment Act of 1965 and the Ohio Capital Improvements program, have restored the area to a condition suitable for public use. Two areas were reforested in 1992 and 1993. Over 100,000 trees were planted on 186 acres. Harrison State Forest is located in Harrison County, approximately three miles north of Cadiz, east of State Route 9. The primary area lies north of County Road 13, while two smaller tracts are located south of County Road 13. Two campgrounds equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, and vault latrines are available. Campers must provide their won water. Seven family campsites are located at Ronsheim Campground while 20 sites accommodating family and horse campers are available at the Trailriders Campground. Campers must select a site; a forest officer will issue permits, and familiarize visitors with camping regulations. Twenty miles of combined bridle and hiking trails are located throughout the state forest. Parking areas are strategically located at trail intersections. A 100 yard shooting range is provided for the sportsman or shooting enthusiast to practice marksmanship or sight-in firearms for accuracy. The area is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Persons under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a person of legal age while discharging firearms. Exercise extreme caution and observe all rules of gun safety when using this area.
Harrison County State Forest is a state forest located in northeastern Ohio, mainly in Harrison County. The forest is spread over an area of approximately 7,000 acres and offers a variety of recreational activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting.
The history of Harrison County State Forest can be traced back to the early 1900s when Ohio's legislature enacted the Ohio Forestry Act, which established the Division of Forestry within the state's Department of Agriculture. The division was tasked with managing and protecting the state's forest resources, including acquiring land for the purpose of creating state forests.
The acquisition of land for Harrison County State Forest began in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program, played a significant role in the development of the forest. CCC workers were employed to carry out various projects such as tree planting, constructing roads, trails, and recreational facilities, and combating forest fires.
During this time, the forest was primarily used for reforestation efforts, as the lands had been heavily logged in the past, leaving many areas barren. The CCC workers planted thousands of trees, mainly conifers, to restore the forested areas.
The forest has undergone various management practices aimed at sustainable timber production, wildlife habitat preservation, and providing recreational opportunities for the public. The Division of Forestry continues to oversee the management of Harrison County State Forest, ensuring the forest's health and continued availability for outdoor enthusiasts.
The forest is known for its diverse vegetation, including various native hardwoods and conifers, as well as its abundant wildlife. Visitors can enjoy a range of recreational activities, including camping at designated sites, hiking on the forest's trails, fishing in its streams and ponds, and hunting during Ohio's designated seasons.
Harrison County State Forest was established in the 1930s as part of a statewide initiative to protect and manage Ohio's forest resources. Through the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps and subsequent management practices, the forest has become a valuable recreational area and an important habitat for wildlife in Ohio.
Hiking Trail, miles24
Bridle Trails, miles24
CampingGroup Camp, capacity7