You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Ohio State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Southeast Ohio Region
Salt Fork State Park
start slideshow
Salt Fork State Park Saltfork dam © Doug Frame
Looking west to east at the Saltfork dam on a crystal clear cool autumn evening.
Salt Fork State Park Little, Medium and Big Foots © Tammy Burns
Salt Fork State Park Secret Hideaway © April Reed
When I found this little spot, it took my breath away
Salt Fork State Park Tall and Proud © April Reed
Sometimes things just catch my eye, and these beautiful flowers did just that. They seem to say We stand tall because we are proud. This will soon be an 8x10 hanging on my wall
Salt Fork State Park Salt Fork © Cynthia Dixon
A peek at the lake
Salt Fork State Park Freedom © Ricky A Williams
While fishing with my brother-in-law at Salt Fork State Park in Cambridge, Ohio Guernsey County, a gust of wind came from behind me. I was holding a cigarette at the time and shot this amazing image Ive named it Freedom. As you can see, there are three images the large one overshadowing the other two. The lower image looks to me like a little girl, and the center figure seems to be a little boy holding a book or picture.
Salt Fork State Park Hosaks Cave Upper Falls © Russell Lowry
Salt Fork State Park Hosaks Cave Trail © Russell Lowry
Salt Fork State Park Hosaks Cave Lower Falls © Russell Lowry
Availability Search
14755 Cadiz Rd
Lore City, Ohio   43755
(lat:40.0828 lon:-81.4624) map location

Phone: (740) 432-1508
Reservations: 866-644-6727
The landscape of rural Guernsey County appears as a patchwork of forested hills, open meadows and misty valleys threaded by numerous streams. At the heart of this region is Salt Fork State Park, encompassing the woodlands and fields flanking Salt Fork Reservoir. As Ohio's largest state park, Salt Fork boasts recreational facilities to suit nearly every taste.
Nature of the Area
Before settlement, Ohio lay in the heart of a vast forest wilderness stretching from the Appalachian Mountains to the Great Plains. None of the world's hardwood forests surpassed this one in variety and size of trees. Ohio's forest was a magnificent sight and an enormous challenge for settlers determined to clear and till the land. Towering oaks, hickories, beeches, maples, walnuts, ashes and chestnuts, some over 150 feet tall, rose from the rich fertile soil below. By 1900, most of Ohio's original forest was decimated. In its place stood wheat, corn, oats, hay and thriving cities.

Through conservation efforts over the past few decades, a magnificent regrowth has occurred. Today, nearly 30 percent of the state is once again supporting a thriving forest. This is most evident in the rugged, unglaciated hill region of southeastern Ohio including Salt Fork State Park. Salt Fork contains a blend of rich woodlands and rolling meadows. The park contains diverse populations of plant and animal life. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, red fox, gray squirrels and barred owls are well established within Salt Fork. Songbirds such as the scarlet tanager, cardinal, goldfinch, Kentucky warbler and others provide delight for birdwatchers.

Spectacular wildflowers such as wild geranium, large-flowered trillium, violets, asters and goldenrod line the forest floor and meadows. In spring, the melody of wood frogs, chorus frogs and spring peepers echo through the park.
History of the Area
Salt Fork is said to have derived its name from a salt well used by Native Americans which was located near the southeastern corner of the park.

Historically, this part of southeastern Ohio was one of the first areas of the state to be settled by the pioneers emigrating westward from the crowded eastern seaboard. Some of these settlers may have followed Zane's Trace into the Ohio wilderness -- a route that led a few families into the Guernsey County area. From Zanesville east to the Ohio River, the Trace became part of the National Road, a major east-west transportation route constructed in 1811. Today, the old National Road is known as U.S. Route 40 and passes near Salt Fork State Park.

One of the early residents of Guernsey County, David B. Kennedy, constructed a beautiful stone house overlooking Sugar Tree Fork in 1837. Built from locally-quarried stone cut into 3' x 1' x 1' blocks, the Kennedy Stone House is a sturdy reminder of bygone days. Because of its unique and enduring construction, the house is listed in the National Register of Historic places and can be visited throughout the year.

While the southeastern U.S. was the most important staging area for many Civil War battles, southeastern Ohio saw a few skirmishes, too. Morgan's Raiders, a small group of Confederate soldiers, made excursions into the Salt Fork area under constant pursuit from Union Troops led by General Shakelford.

As the 19th Century progressed, industry continued to develop in Ohio, and many of the southeastern Ohio counties came into prominence as coal-producing areas. Responding to the demand for this important fuel source, Guernsey County became one of Ohio's leading coal producers. Abundant reserves of clay allowed the development of a thriving pottery industry in the county as well. The present impoundment at Salt Fork dates back to 1956 when planning for the lake was begun. The reservoir was originally slated to become a water source for the city of Cambridge, but the potential for the area to become a major recreation area in the state was so great that, in 1960, land acquisition was begun to create a state park. The earthen dam was completed in 1967, and construction of recreational facilities began in mid 1968. The spacious Salt Fork Lodge was opened in May 1972.
Ohio does not have an annual pass and does not charge entrance fees to state parks.
GeneralLand, acres17,229
 Water, acres2,952
 Hiking Trail, miles14
 Swimming Beach, feet2,500
 Bridle Trails, miles12
 Beach Concessionyes
 Nature Centeryes
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating LimitsUnlimited HP
 Seasonal Dock Rental470
 Launch Ramps, #10
 Fuel For Saleyes
CampingElectric Sites, #192
 Full Hookup Sites, #20
 Pets Permittedyes
 Flush Toiletsyes
 Rent-A-Camp Sites, #3
 Group Camp, capacity150
 Campground Beachyes
 Horsemen Campsites, #20
 Cross-Country Skiingyes
 Ice Boatingyes
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
AccommodationsLodge Rooms, #148
 Family Cottages, #54
 Game Roomyes
 Indoor Swimming Poolyes
 Outdoor Swimming Poolyes
 Golf Courseyes
Golf Course
The 18-hole golf course includes a golf shop, snack bar, driving range and putting green. Tee times are recommended, and a pavilion is available by reservation for outings. Call (740) 432-7185 for tee times and reservations.
The two marinas include 469 rental docks, comfort stations, gasoline fuel stations, parking facilities, concession areas and a variety of rental boats.
The modern campground has 212 sites, all with electricity. Other features include heated shower houses, flush toilets, dump station, a separate beach, boat launching and docking facilities for campers. Eighteen sites are wheelchair accessible. In addition, a group camp and horsemen's camp are available. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites.
Thirty-seven two-bedroom vacation cottages in hillside and lakeside locations offer fully furnished living and dining areas, kitchen equipped with cooking and eating utensils, bath with shower, and screened porch. Seveteen chalet cottages also feature gas log fireplaces and hot tubs. All cottages are available year-round.
Salt Fork Lodge, scenically overlooking the lake, has 148 guest rooms. Lodge features include a dining room, coffee shop, snack bar, gift shop, lounge and lobby areas, indoor game area and meeting rooms accommodating up to 450 people. In addition, guests can enjoy indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna, the tennis, volleyball, basketball, and shuffleboard courts, 400-foot swimming beach, as well as boat launching and docking facilities.
Nearby Accommodations
businesss listing main photo
Timberline Cabins - Cambridge, OH
Cottages and Cabins
Situated at the heart of Salt Fork Lake, our cabins all offer privacy and seclusion,with hot tubs, decks, grills, private bonfire pits and beautiful rock wood burning fireplaces. All cabins are extremely clean, well furnished and equipped. Wonderful for all occasions. Hunters are welcome at our cabins
2.2 miles from park*
The 2,500-foot beach is one of the largest inland beaches in Ohio. The modern bathhouse provides showers, lockers, toilets and a snack bar.
Boats with unlimited horsepower are permitted on the lake. Combined speed/ski zones are marked by buoys. There are numerous boat launching ramps on the lake. Boaters may camp on their boats in no-wake zones within fifty yards of shore. Swimming from boats is permitted in designated areas only.
Salt Fork State Park in Ohio offers a variety of fishing options for both experienced and novice anglers. The park's main attraction is the Salt Fork Lake, which spans over 2,952 acres with multiple access points around its perimeter. This lake is home to several species including largemouth bass, crappies, bluegills and catfish.

For those interested in stream or river fishing instead of lake angling can explore Wills Creek that flows through the southern part of the state park where smallmouth bass are commonly found.

The marina at Salt Fork provides boat rentals if you prefer deep water fishing or simply want to cover more area on your trip. There are also numerous docks available throughout the shoreline for easy casting without needing a boat.

Fishing tournaments often take place during summer months providing an opportunity for competitive fishermen while ice-fishing becomes popular when conditions allow it during winter season.

In addition to these opportunities within natural bodies of water inside this vast state park there's even two fish hatcheries located nearby - Senecaville Fish Hatchery & London East District Office/Hatchery - offering unique experiences like tours and educational programs about local aquatic life conservation efforts.

Remember though before heading out make sure you have valid Ohio Fishing License as required by law unless exempted under certain criteria such as age limit etc., Also follow all rules regulations set forth by ODNR Division Wildlife regarding catch limits size restrictions among others ensure sustainable enjoyment future generations too!

Salt Fork State Park is located near Cambridge, Zanesville

There are several picnic areas with tables and grills in scenic locations around the lake. A shelter house is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A wheelchair accessible picnic area with hard surfaced paths and accessible latrines, parking and tables is located off Park Road 1.
Biking enthusiasts can explore over 14 miles of trails, suitable for different skill levels. Be cautious on uneven terrain.

The park offers a dedicated mountain bike trail with challenging inclines and descents; safety gear is recommended.

For those seeking less strenuous rides, paved roads throughout the area provide smoother surfaces but watch out for traffic.

Remember to respect wildlife habitats while biking through forested areas or around lake shores - stay on designated paths only.

Rental bikes are available at certain times of year from local vendors if you don't have your own equipment.

Always check weather conditions before setting off as some routes may become hazardous in wet or icy conditions.
1. Hosak's Cave Trail: A 2-mile moderate hike that takes you through dense forests, leading to the mysterious and intriguing limestone formation known as Hosak's cave.

2. Stone House Loop Trail: This trail is a challenging yet rewarding 3-mile loop featuring beautiful wildflowers in springtime and an old stone house from the early settlers of Ohio.

3. Morgans Knob Loop Trail: An easy-to-moderate level hiking path stretching over two miles with panoramic views of Salt Fork Lake at Morgan's knob - perfect for sunset viewing or bird watching sessions.

4. Pine Crest Loop Hiking Pathway: Known for its towering pine trees, this serene pathway offers hikers a peaceful retreat into nature across three miles filled with diverse flora and fauna sightings along the way.

5. Beach Point Picnic Area Trails: These trails offer stunning lakefront vistas ideal for family picnics while also providing access points to fishing spots on Salt Fork Lake shores.

6. Deer Run Park Nature Walks: Offering short but scenic walks around one mile long each; these paths are great options if looking out for deer grazing during dawn or dusk hours within park boundaries.

7. Valley View Overlook Paths: Providing breathtaking valley views after steep climbs up hillside terrains - these pathways can be quite strenuous but reward efforts by offering some best landscape panoramas available inside state park premises.

8. Bigfoot Ridge Trekking Route: Named after legendary creature 'Bigfoot', it provides adventurous trekkers chance explore deep woods areas where alleged big foot sightings have been reported previously.

9. Whispering Pines Horseback Riding Trails: Stretching over ten miles, they provide unique opportunity experience thrill horse riding amidst lush greenery surrounding landscapes under guidance experienced trainers present onsite stables facilities provided here.

10. Kingfisher Pond Bird Watching Routes: Ideal ornithologists amateur bird watchers alike ; routes lead towards secluded pond area where variety bird species can be spotted throughout year round ..

11. Salt Fork Marina Trails: These trails offer stunning views of the marina and are perfect for those interested in boating or fishing activities.

12. Kennedy Stone House Trail: This 1:mile trail leads to a historic stone house built by Benjamin Kennedy in 1837, offering hikers an opportunity to step back into history while enjoying nature's beauty.

13. Hosak's Cave Overlook Pathway: A short but steep climb leading up limestone cliff face overlooking cave entrance - this pathway provides excellent vantage point observe geological formations surrounding areas from high above ground level.

14. Wildcat Hollow Backpacking Route: An adventurous multi-day backpacking route that takes you through some of most remote parts park, providing ample opportunities wildlife sightings camping under stars amidst wilderness settings.

15. Beach Point Swimming Area Paths: Leading directly onto sandy beach shores lake ; these paths provide easy access swimming spots during hot summer months when water temperatures become ideal taking refreshing dips after long hikes across park terrains.
Birding enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of options within this Ohio location. The park is home to over 200 species of birds, making it an ideal spot for bird watching. It features diverse habitats including woodlands, meadows and wetlands that attract different types of birds throughout the year. Birders may see waterfowl like ducks and geese on the lake or songbirds such as warblers in forested areas during migration seasons.

The park also offers guided bird walks led by experienced naturalists who provide insights about local avian life while leading visitors through prime viewing locations. Additionally, there are several observation decks equipped with binoculars around the area providing panoramic views where one might catch sight of raptors soaring overhead.

For those interested in night-time birding activities, owls are often spotted after dusk near wooded trails and campgrounds.
Area Attractions
History buffs will enjoy Roscoe Village in Coshocton, a restored early 1800s canal town featuring a number of historic buildings and special activities. Shoenbrunn Village State Memorial in New Philadelphia depicts the lifestyle of pioneers on the Ohio Frontier. The Guernsey County Museum in Cambridge is open in the summer. Guernsey County is also home to many glass factories and potteries which offer tours and gift shops. Not far from Salt Fork State Park are several of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District lakes, which offer fishing, sailing, waterskiing and other exciting outdoor activities. Wolf Run State Park in Noble County offers a quiet retreat with rustic camping facilities.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 21 One of the best times of my life by Jessica
park review stars; one to five I was introduced to Salt Fork by the love of my life, whom got away... Before he left, he chose to spend his last weekend with me at Salt Fork, it was one of the best times of my life. We boated, swam, camped, had bon fires, and spent day after day in the beautiful lake. I will always remember it as one of the best times of my life and it has a special place in my heart - forever.
May 3 BEST PARK EVER! by shelby
park review stars; one to five i loved it!! the trails are great and the lodge is extraordianry! best summer of my life! many great memories made.
February 1 hunters paradise. by [email protected]
park review stars; one to five ive hunted this park for 35 years.
write a review read more reviews
Share On

Area Campgrounds
Rocky Fork Dude Ranch RV Resort & campground Ohio
74978 Broadhead Road
Kimbolton, OH
Hillview Acres Campground
66271 Wolfs Den Road
Cambridge, OH
Grand Haven Resort
9 Rocky Fork Road
Kimbolton, OH
Seneca Lake Park
22172 Park Road
Senecaville, OH
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Bakers Bait & Ammo Barn
10681 Plainfield Rd
Kimbolton, OH
(740) 439-1427
Area Cabins and Lodges
Lake Seneca Resorts
17875 Lashley Rd
Senecaville, OH
(740) 685-2010
Grand Haven Resort
74411 Rocky Fork Rd
Kimbolton, OH
(740) 498-9140
Salt Fork Resorts at Buckett Hill
74978 Broadhead Rd
Kimbolton, OH
(740) 498-4134
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
businesss listing main photo
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.
66.1 miles from park*
businesss listing main photo
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.
71.4 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

14755 Cadiz Road, Lore City, Ohio 43755

state route ranger badge

Ohio State Parks