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Ohio State Parks

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USA Parks
Northeast Ohio Region
Harrison County State Forest
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Cadiz, Ohio   43907
(lat:40.3392 lon:-81.0261) map location
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.
History of the 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.
GeneralLand, acres1,345
 Hiking Trail, miles24
 Bridle Trails, miles24
CampingGroup Camp, capacity7
 Horsemen Campsitesyes
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Harrison County State Forest is located near Carrollton, Steubenville

1. Hickory Trail: A 2-mile loop trail that offers a moderate hike through dense hardwood forests, featuring hickory and oak trees.

2. Pine Ridge Loop: This is an easy-to-moderate 3-mile hiking path surrounded by pine groves with occasional views of the surrounding hillsides.

3. Maple Grove Pathway: An approximately one mile long pathway perfect for beginners or families, showcasing beautiful maple trees especially during fall season when leaves change color.

4. Fern Gully Track: A short but steep half-a-mile track leading to a lush gully filled with ferns; ideal for nature enthusiasts interested in local flora species.

5. Deer Run Trailhead: Approximately four miles long offering challenging terrain suitable for experienced hikers looking out for wildlife sightings such as deer and birds.

6. Creek Side Walkway: Easy level walk along the creek side spanning about two miles providing opportunities to spot waterfowl and other aquatic life forms.

7. Summit Viewpoint Hike: Roughly three:and-half mile uphill trek leading up to panoramic view point overlooking entire forest area.

8. Wildflower Way: One:and-half mile springtime favorite where wildflowers bloom abundantly creating picturesque scenery.

9. Boulder Pass: Challenging five-mile route passing through rocky terrains requiring good physical fitness levels.

10. Oak Hollow Circuit: Three Mile circuitous trail winding around large old:growth oaks making it popular among bird watchers.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 2
park review stars; one to five Well-kept and secluded. No running water, so bring your own. Camp sites are clean and the pond at the dam is beautiful. Very scenic.
September 22 Scenic & well kept park!! by MedicBK
park review stars; one to five Beautiful trails!! A fantastic campground with individual blacktopped sites, each with its own horse tie-lines, picnic table and firepit. Very well-kept trails.
February 20 great place to be by shelly
park review stars; one to five Have been to many forests and realy love this one its a good place to see wild life.cant wate till the snow gos away so i can camp ..dose any one know what the prices are to camp there..
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Area Campgrounds
Twin Hills Park
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Tappan Lake Park
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Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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Cottages and Cabins
Trickle Creek offers luxury cabins in Hocking Hills. The cabins are situated on nearly 236 acres of secluded cabin rentals in the deep wooded ravines in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Hocking County, Ohio.
95 miles from park*

To reach Harrison County State Forest in Ohio, follow the directions below:

1. Start by heading west on Interstate 70 (I-70) if you are coming from the east, or east on I-70 if you are coming from the west.
2. Take exit 202 for OH-250 toward Cadiz/Freeport.
3. At the end of the exit ramp, turn south onto OH-250 and continue for approximately 7 miles.
4. Look for signs directing you to Harrison County State Forest and turn left onto Sugar Grove Road.
5. Stay on Sugar Grove Road for about 1.5 miles until you see the entrance to the state forest on your right.
6. Turn right into the parking area to access the forest.

Enjoy your visit to Harrison County State Forest!

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Ohio State Parks