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Ohio State Parks

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USA Parks
Southeast Ohio Region
Lake Hope State Park
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Lake Hope State Park Entrance Sign © Lonnie Williams
Entrance Sign
Lake Hope State Park Lake Hope State Park © Lonnie Williams
Forest View
Lake Hope State Park Lake Hope State Park © Lonnie Williams
Lake View
Lake Hope State Park Lake Hope State Park © Lonnie Williams
Panoramic Lake View
Lake Hope State Park Lake Hope State Park © Lonnie Williams
Panoramic Swamp View
Lake Hope State Park © Jimmy DeMano
Lake Hope State Park © Eric Hoffman
Lake Hope State Park © Gene Shirk
Lake Hope State Park © Gene Shirk
Lake Hope State Park © Gene Shirk
Lake Hope State Park © Gene Shirk
Lake Hope State Park Moonville Tunnel © Victor F Artigas
Old abandoned rail tunnel near Lake Hope State Park region
Lake Hope State Park On Furnace Trail © Victor F Artigas
Lake Hope
Lake Hope State Park Lilies in the shoreline © Victor F Artigas
Lake Hope
Lake Hope State Park Lake Hope waterscape © Victor F Artigas
Lake Hope State Park © Tabitha Cullison
Behind the shelter house at Lake Hope there is a quaint spot for fishing that is acompanied by this beautiful scenery.
Lake Hope State Park © Gene Shirk
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27331 OH-278
McArthur, Ohio   45651-8220
(lat:39.3282 lon:-82.3466) map location

Phone: (740) 596-4938
Reservations: 866-644-6727
State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. It is a rugged, heavily forested region traversed by steep gorges and narrow ridges. Abandoned mines, ancient mounds and beautiful scenery provide interest and pleasure for hikers, photographers, nature lovers and historians alike at one of Ohio's most historic and scenic state parks.
Nature of the Area
Lake Hope State Park is truly a nature lover's dream. In the forest-draped hills, the observant visitor can discover the abundant natural resources of this wild and scenic park.

Although most of the forest was cut to fuel the iron smelting industry that once flourished here, the land has recovered and supports a magnificent, second-growth forest. Oak and hickory are the dominant trees while the woodland floor harbors a fascinating assemblage of shrubs and wildflowers. The yellow lady's slipper, one of the rarest and most showy orchids, blooms in secluded hollows. Other spring wildflowers such as blue-eyed mary, bloodroot and wild geranium can be found in abundance.

Deer and wild turkeys are often seen in a number of park locations. Of the many animals inhabiting the park, none is as popular as the beaver. As nature's dam builders, the beavers are found in numbers and can be observed near the quiet inlets of the lake.
History of the Area
Though the roar of the iron furnaces no longer echoes through the hills of Vinton County, there are many reminders of days gone by at Lake Hope State Park. Situated at the heart of Ohio's Hanging Rock iron region, Lake Hope State Park reflects the rich history of much of southeastern Ohio.

The Hope Furnace was built here over 100 years ago to process the iron ore extracted from the region's sandstone bedrock. The iron resulting from the ore smelting process was used to produce many different items, including ammunition and cannon for the Union Army during the Civil War. Hundreds of men labored cutting timber, working the furnace and driving teams of oxen hauling iron ore to the furnace. Charcoal fires were tended 24 hours a day; so much wood was required for this process that the surrounding hillsides were almost completely stripped of their timber. At the height of the Hope Furnace's production, Ohio was one of the nation's leading producers of iron. As time passed, iron ore was discovered farther west and Ohio's reputation as a major iron producer waned.

By 1900, nearly all of the major furnaces in southern Ohio were shut down. Today, the Hope Furnace chimney and some of the foundation are all that remain of the structure. In the vicinity of the chimney, one may find pieces of slag, the cast-off residue from the smelting process. These pock-marked, glass-like pieces have now become a part of the forest floor. The forest we now see is one that has grown back where hundreds of years ago a primeval forest once stood.

For a time, coal was an important Vinton County export. A number of mines tunneled into the hills and large quantities of coal were transported out in ox-drawn coal cars. Most of the mines were abandoned early in this century.

Lake Hope Forest Park was created in 1937 by the Division of Forestry. The Division of Parks and Recreation and Lake Hope State Park came into existence in 1949.
Ohio does not have an annual pass and does not charge entrance fees to state parks.
GeneralLand, acres2,983
 Water, acres120
 Nearby State Forest, acres26,824
 Nearby Wildlife Area, acres1,361
 Hiking Trail, miles11
 Picnic Shelters, #1
 Swimming Beach, feet600
 Mountain Bike Trails, miles25
 Bridle Trails, miles6
 Beach Concessionyes
 Nature Centeryes
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating Limits-1
 Launch Ramps, #1
CampingPrimitive, #141
 Electric Sites, #46
 Pets Permittedyes
 Rent-A-Camp Sites, #3
 Camper Cabins, #1
 Group Camp, capacity100
 Youth Group Camp, capacity100
 Rent-A-Teepee, #1
 Horsemen Campsites, #16
 Cross-Country Skiingyes
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
AccommodationsLodge Roomsyes
 Family Cottages, #66
The rustic dining lodge, built of native stone and lumber, offers a spectacular view of the lake. The dining lodge features The Stone Terrace Restaurant, meeting room, General Store, as well as lodge and cottage reservation office. Souvenirs and firewood are available for purchase. Restaurant and meeting room reservations may be made by calling 740-596-0400.
A beautiful 119-site campground is suitable for tents or trailers. The campground includes heated showerhouses, pit latrines, waste disposal, laundry facilities, picnic tables and fire rings. Forty-six sites have electric hookups. Three Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining fly, cooler, cook stove and other equipment, and two camper-cabins can be rented during the summer months by reservation. Pets are permitted. A group camp is available for organized groups on a reservation basis. A horsemen's camp is offered for bridle trail users in Zaleski State Forest.
The rustic dining lodge, built of native stone and lumber, offers a spectacular view of the lake. The dining lodge features The Stone Terrace Restaurant, meeting room, General Store, as well as lodge and cottage reservation office. Souvenirs and firewood are available for purchase. Restaurant and meeting room reservations may be made by calling 740-596-0400.
Nearby Accommodations
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Cottages and Cabins
A lakeside retreat in the beautiful Hocking Hills on scenic Lake Logan. Full kitchen, Hot Tub, Satellite HD TV, sitting room, breakfast nook, and electric AC/Heat.
15.4 miles from park*
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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.
19.7 miles from park*
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Hidden Cave Cabin - Rockbridge, OH
Cottages and Cabins
Hidden Cave Cabin is an authentic log cabin with 2 bedrooms in a private wooded setting. It is located on one of the most scenic drives in Hocking Hills and just 3.6 miles to Rock House and less than 10 miles to Conkle's Hollow and Old Man's Cave.
18.7 miles from park*
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Conference Center
Hello I am the marketing coordinator for the Hocking Hills Lodge Conference Center. There is incorrect information on your website about our lodge, how would we go about changing that or providing
14 miles from park*
A fine swimming beach is located near the dam. Facilities include a bathhouse with restrooms, showers and change booths and a concession building where food and beverages can be purchased.
Boats with electric motors only may be used on the 120 acre lake. Canoes and rowboats are available for rent at the beach concession, mid-May through October.
Lake Hope State Park in Ohio offers a variety of fishing opportunities for both novice and experienced anglers. The park's centerpiece, Lake Hope, is home to several species of fish including largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and catfish.

The lake spans 120 acres providing ample space for boat or shore fishing. Boats are allowed on the water but must adhere to an electric motor only rule ensuring peaceful angling experience.

In addition to Lake Hope itself, there are also numerous streams throughout the park that offer excellent spots for smallmouth bass and rockbass fishing. These areas can be particularly rewarding during spring months when these species spawn.

Fishing at this state park requires a valid Ohio Fishing License which can be purchased online or from various retailers across the state.

For those who enjoy night-time adventures under starlit skies; bowfishing is permitted as well with certain restrictions applied such as no gas motors usage after dark etc.,

Furthermore,the Division of Wildlife stocks rainbow trout into Turkey Creek twice each year - once in early March before youth season opens up again later April/early May period making it perfect destination if you're looking forward catching some delicious dinner!

Finally,Lake Raccoon located within boundaries provides additional opportunity catch pan-sized sunfish along its banks while enjoying serene surroundings away hustle bustle city life!

Picnic areas with tables and grills are located at many secluded and scenic areas around the park. Two picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis or by reservation.
More than 17 miles of hiking trails traverse the lake and scenic woodlands of the Lake Hope area and offer opportunities for photography and nature study. Seventeen miles of singletrack, multi-use trail are available for mountain biking. In the adjacent state forest, a 21-mile backpack trail with primitive campsites is available. Backpackers must register upon arrival. Thirty-three miles of bridle trail are available for riders with their own mounts in the state forest.
Biking enthusiasts can explore over 25 miles of challenging trails, suitable for all skill levels.

Be aware that these paths are shared with hikers and horseback riders.

The Hope Furnace Trail is a popular choice, spanning six miles through dense forest terrain.

For those seeking an easier ride, the Sidewinder trail offers two miles of relatively flat ground.

Mountain bikers should consider tackling the Copperhead Loop's steep inclines and sharp turns.

Always wear protective gear while biking; safety must be prioritized on these mixed-use trails.

Remember to respect nature by staying on marked routes only - it protects both you and local wildlife.

Check weather conditions before setting out as some tracks may become hazardous in adverse weather situations.

Make sure your bike is well-maintained to prevent any mishaps during your journey along these scenic routes.

Keep hydrated especially during summer months when temperatures rise significantly within this woodland area.

Birdwatchers can enjoy a variety of options within this Ohio location. The park is home to over 120 species of birds, making it an ideal spot for birding enthusiasts. It features several trails that offer different habitats and landscapes where various types of birds can be spotted including warblers, woodpeckers, owls and waterfowl among others.

The Hope Furnace Trail provides opportunities to see woodland songbirds while the Peninsula trail offers views across Lake Hope which attracts numerous aquatic bird species. For those interested in nocturnal avian life, there are guided owl walks available during certain times throughout the year.

In addition to self-guided tours along these paths with binoculars or scopes at hand; visitors may also participate in organized group outings led by experienced guides who provide insights into local ornithology as well as tips on identifying individual breeds.
Area Attractions
Hocking Hills State Park, just twenty miles northwest of Lake Hope, boasts some of the most spectacular geological formations in the state. The Blackhand Sandstone has been carved into deep gorges, large recess caves and imposing cliff faces.

Zaleski State Forest surrounds Lake Hope State Park and includes miles of hiking and bridle trails and backpacking routes. Information on backpacking is available from the Division of Forestry at (614) 265-6694. The Waterloo Wildlife Area where forest game are managed is within minutes of the park.

Lake Alma State Park, 15 miles southeast of Lake Hope, offers opportunities for fishing, camping, swimming and picnicking.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 21 The Best State Park In Ohio Hands Down!! by Jason Muncie
park review stars; one to five Awesome cabins, lake, and scenery. My family spends a week there every July and keeps getting better. Plenty of things to do and attractions near by. Check out Splash Down Country Waterpark in nearby Wellston. The kids will love it as they love Lake Hope!
January 10 Heaven On Earth by Organs
park review stars; one to five We come here every year..every year it gets better and we cherish these memories as a family!
June 18 Paradise every summer! by K. MacDonald
park review stars; one to five Some of the most cherished family memories that will stay with me the rest of my life. Fishing, swimming and evening fireflies everywhere you look.
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Area Campgrounds
Hocking Hills KOA Holiday
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Nearby Hotels
Area Resources
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Offical Guide to Southeastern Ohio's Scenic Wonderland, the Hocking Hills. The 9 State Parks and State Forests. How to get there, things to do, interesting local merchants, what to see, places to stay. Reserve your cabin or campsite online
12 miles from park*

27331 State Route 278, McArthur, OH 45651

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Ohio State Parks