Southeast Ohio includes rural areas of the state that border West Virginia. This region is very hilly as it lies in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Most of the Wayne National Forest is in Southeast Ohio. When looking at a map, the forest will look like patches. The whole area resembles the National Forest, which is reclaimed strip mining areas, in various stages of reforestation. Much of it is primative area, popular with hunters and all terrain vehicle users. The southeastern part is along the banks of the Ohio River and has some of Ohio's most scenic and historic areas.
Southeastern Ohio does not have any big cities, but does have a whole bunch of small towns.
State Parks and Resort Lodges
- Burr Oak State Park and Resort Lodge, Athens County, north of Glouster and east/adjacent to the Wayne National Forest off of Route 13. A variety of overnight accommodations, lodge, cottages and campground. Lodge: Sixty guest rooms, five meeting rooms, a dining room, full-service lounge, gift shop, swimming beach, tennis courts, playground equipment, boat launch ramp and indoor pool. Cottages: 30 family cottages, air conditioning, cable tv, sleeps six people, bath/shower, living room, complete kitchen, dining area, screened porch. Linens, towels, cooking, eating utensils are furnished. Camping: 100 non-electric campsites, showers, flush toilets, twenty one primitive sites, pet camping. Fishing, hunting, swimming, beach, bathhouse, showers, changing booths, snack bar, twenty-eight miles of hiking trails, Burr Oak Backpack Trail, horseshoe court and playground.
- Forked Run State Park, east Meigs County, south of the Bellville Dam on the Ohio River and north of Long Bottom on Route 124. 80 campsites with 50-amp electric, 71 non-electric sites, showers, pet camping, three camper cabins, ten horsepower limit on boat motors, three launch ramps, Ohio River Access, access launch ramps, boat tie-ups, restrooms, 400-foot sand beach, three hiking trails, disc golf course, miniature golf course, volleyball, horseshoes, tetherball, and playgrounds.
- Great Seal State Park, Ross County, 635 Rocky Rd., Chillicothe. 15-site campground, pressurized water, vault latrines, playground, shelterhouse, pet camping, shelterhouse, horse camp, twenty-two miles of trails, hunting, playground equipment, disc golf course, volleyball, basketball, horseshoe court.
- Hocking Hills State Park, Hocking County, south of Gibsonville on Route 374. Cottages: 40 gas-heated, air-conditioned cottages, two bedrooms, bath, shower, living room, gas-burning fireplace, microwave, complete kitchen, dining area and screened porch. Camping: 159 electric sites, with electric, 13 non-electric sites, heated showers, flush toilets, laundry facility, camp store, swimming pool, playgrounds, volleyball court, horse shoe pit. Dining Lodge (Seasonal): restaurant, meeting rooms, TV lounge, game room, snack bar, outside swimming pool, there are no sleeping facilities at the lodge. Other amenities: miles of trail, picnicking, recess caves, Old Man's Cave and Ash Cave.
- Jackson Lake State Park, southern Jackson County, west of Oak Hill on Route 93. 34 electric campsites, beach, pet camping, ten-horsepower limit, launch ramps, boat rentals, fishing, volleyball courts, playground equipment, horseshoe pits, and shelter houses.
- Lake Alma State Park, southeastern tip of Vinton County, northeast of Wellston on Route 93, adjacent to part of the Wayne National Forest. 72 wooded campsites with electrical hookups, eleven non-electric sites, pet camping, pit latrines, tables, fire rings, drinking water, boat launch ramp for non-powered boats, fishing, 3.5 miles of trail, 1-mile paved walkway/bicycle path, three picnic shelters, two public beaches, change booths, beach, concession, boat and bicycle rentals, volleyball, basketball courts, and a playground.
- Lake Hope State Park, eastern Vinton County, qpprox. 20 miles west of Athens. Lake Hope State Park is entirely within the 26,824-acre Zaleski State Forest and adjacent to part of the Wayne National Forest. Dining lodge: destroyed by fire 2006. Being rebuilt. Cottages: 72 cottages, all cottages have linens, towels, complete kitchens, microwave ovens, heat, air conditioning, outdoor grills and fire rings. Camping: 219-site campground, heated showerhouses, pit latrines, waste disposal, laundry facilities, picnic tables, fire rings, forty-six sites have electric hookups, pet camping, three Rent-A-Camp units, one camper-cabin, one Rent-A-Tepee. Boats with electric motors only, 120 acre lake, canoes, kayaks, and rowboats, available for rent. Swimming beach, beachhouse, sun deck, restrooms, concession building, fishing, hunting, seventeen miles of hiking trails, 21-mile backpack trail with primitive campsites, thirty-three miles of bridle trail and 23-mile singletrack bike trail.
- Muskingum River State Park, Muskingum County, near Zanesville, at Ellis Campground, 1390 Ellis Dam Road. At Lock 11, there are 20 campsites off State Route 60 and County Road 49, water, picnic tables, fire rings, pet camping, there are eight boaters-only, primitive campsites at Lock #5. Boats with unlimited horsepower motors, house boats, pontoon boats, canoes and rowboats travel the river. Public launch ramps, at Locks 4, 5, 6 and 11, private ramps located near Locks 2, 7 and 10. Picnic tables, grills, latrines, drinking water and ten locks on the river.
- Pike Lake State Park, Pike County, southwest of Chillicothe on Route 41. Camping: 80 sites with electricity, latrines, tables, fire rings, camp commissary, pet camping. Cottages: 12 standard cottages, 12 family cottages, heated, air-conditioned, two bedrooms, bath with shower, living room, with hide-a-bed, gas log fireplace, kitchen/dining area, screened porch, dishes, kitchen utensils, linens, a group lodge offers kitchen facilities, two baths, sleeping accommodations for 16 people. 13-acre lake, sand beach, changing areas, showers, vending machines, boating, non-powered watercraft and boats with electric motors only, rowboats, canoes and pedal boats are available for rent, playgrounds, basketball courts, horseshoes, disc golf, six miles of hiking trails, the Lake White State Park and Paint Creek State Park are adjacent and have several miles of bridle trails.
- Scioto Trail State Park, Ross County, south of Chillicothe, east of Route 23 on CR 372. 55 campsites, 40 with electricity, latrines, water, fire rings, picnic tables are provided. A secluded hike-in camp near Stewart Lake has 18 non-electric sites. Two rustic camper cabins are available. Fishing, hunting, twelve miles of hiking trails, 17 miles of bridle trails, nature center, basketball, horseshoe courts, playground, games and sporting equipment to registered campers, basketball, horseshoe courts and volleyball court.
- Shawnee State Park and Resort Lodge, Scioto County, west of Portsmouth on Route 125. Shawnee State Park is located in the 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest. Lodge: fifty guest rooms, elegant dining room, meeting rooms, indoor, outdoor pools, game room, sauna, jacuzzi, tennis, basketball and shuffleboard courts. Cottages: 25 family, two bedrooms, bath, shower, living room, double-wide rollaway bed, complete kitchen, microwave, telephone, dining area, screened porch, charcoal grill. Two premium cottages offer Jacuzzis. Lodge facilities are open to cottage guests. Camping: 107 campsites, electric hookups, waste disposal, heated shower houses, flush toilets, laundry facilities, pet camping, 38 campsite horsemen's campground with latrines, near Bear Lake. 75 miles of bridle trails, several nature trails, one to two miles in length. Swimming, golf and much more.
- Stouds Run State Park, Athens County, east of Athens, on Route 690 , inside of Wayne National Forest on Dow Lake. 75 non-electric campsites, picnic tables and fire rings, pet camping, three Rent-A-Camp sites, boating, fishing, hunting, fifteen miles of hiking trails, birdwatching, nature study, 8-1/2 mile bridle trail, 900-foot sand beach, change booths, drinking water, restrooms, scuba diving with proper equipment, picnic tables, cooking grates, three shelterhouses, basketball court, playground equipment, boat rentals, volleyball court and another playground.
- Tar Hollow State Park, east part of Ross County, east of Chillicothe, at 16396 Tar Hollow Road, Laurelville, 71 sites with electrical hookups, 11 non-electric sites, 12 walk-in sites, and 5 primitive sites along a backpack trail. Equipped with showers, laundry facilities, pit latrines and a dump station. The beach is close by. Boating with electric motors only, permitted on the 15-acre Pine Lake. Perfect for canoes and rowboats.
- Wolf Run State Park, Noble County, south of Cambridge east of I-77 exit 28. 71 electric and 67 non-electric campsites located on the south shore of the lake. Showers, laundry facilities, fire rings. A 20-site primitive fly-in camping area on north side of the lake, within walking distance of the 4,700-foot runway at Noble County Airport. Hunting, fishing, a 3-mile section of the Buckeye Trail, half-mile loop trail at the nature center, 1.5-mile Lakeview Trail, swimming beach, basketball hoop, playground equipment, games, sporting equipment for registered campers.
- For camping and getaway rental reservations on any of Ohio's Parks tel. 1+ 866-644-6727.
The mailing address and actual location of these parks may be two different locations: For more detailed information on these and other Ohio State Parks, contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Parks and Recreation. Click here. 
This is coal mining country. The landscape is generally composed of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain Range. Altough this is a beautiful area of Ohio and depending on how deeply you penetrate this area, you may find it a bit unusal, compared to other parts of Ohio. This is the fringe of the Appalachian area, where things like "talking in tounges" and handling poisonous snakes at religious events become more common. Many of the residents are deeply religous, with mixed heritages that include native Americans and Secret People (Melungeons) . They have ways that are a little different. If you are in the cities, this will not be as evident, as in the more primative, or at best rural areas. As far as the people go, they likely are as harmless as any other Ohioans. The area is tremendously rough with 200 foot drops in elevation being common. Some unimproved, likely private roads (In most cases, the owners of the Wayne National Forest land, retained ownership of the mineral rights, with restrictions.), end at "drops". Drops, to some cliffs, are where the road ends and the strip mine begins, or where trucks back up to dump refuse. There are no signs marking these dangers and driving after dark, off road is at best dangerous.
Southeast Ohio is composed of the descendants of the coal miners of the largest coal mines in the state of Ohio. People immigrated from Europe to work in the mines. The people are a proud people, and are a mixture of cultures of many foreign lands and native Americans. When the mines closed poverty overcame the area and the people now have a very tough life in the area with finding employment and either have to leave the area or be very resourceful. It is wise to be cautious when traveling in the area and really not good to travel on some roads alone especially the gravel roads through isolated forests. It is true that cell phone communication in non existent in most valleys.
Even driving the paved roads in the isolated towns can be dangerous unless you know someone. A person in a vehicle was recently stopped by a car blocking the road and they were removed from their vehicle and beaten for money.
When out on an isolated gravel road picking berries, we accidentally locked ourselves out of our vehicle. Two miles of walking in sweltering heat to find a residence, the person said for what we had in our wallet they would drive us to town. The vehicle had no floor in the back seat area.
I-77 runs north-west through this region.
I-70 runs east-west along the northern portion of the region.
- If you wish to ferry accross the Ohio River, there are three remaining commercial passenger ferries, Monroe County at Fly, to to Sisterville, West Virginia - Higginsport, Ohio in Brown County to Augusta, Kentucky - Cincinnati, Ohio to Constance, Kentucky. All-year, continous daily service. Wheather permitting. Car=about $3.00 or less.
The Hocking Valley Railroad which has planned excursions, Victorian Nelsonville Public Square and historic art district including Stuart's Opera House, Murray City Train Depot and Coal Mining Museum, Smoke Rise Horse Ranch, Hocking Technical College, Ohio University, Little Cities of Black Diamonds Chattauqua festivals, historic downtown Athens, New Straitsville Moonshine Festival, Burr Oak State Park, Athens county Fair, Albany Paw Paw Festival.
The Nelsonville Ohio Coffee Cup restaurant has been a local favorite for over 30 years. A log cabin style building it sits on the side of state route 33.
Another must eat at is the Nelsonville Ramono's Pizza place. A local favorite open for nearly 40 years.
Athens Ohio has most large chain restaurants including a Damon's. Historic downtown Athens has many small eateries and pubs.
In Buchtel Ohio there is a spring which flows endlessly and has been piped and flows into a large trough, it is off State route 78 and can be easily seen from the road. Many locals have drank the spring water all their lives. It is not unusual to see cars pull up and people fill up gallon jugs with this water.
This is a very rural part of Ohio with many primative areas. As long as you stay on the paved, narrow, winding roads, you should have few problems. If you wander off onto the logging or coal mine roads, be prepared for potholes, bad roads, mud and very little, if any traffic to ask for assitance. Much of this area is not served by cell phone towers and you will have no communications. The area is popular with hunters and all terrain vehicle users. Rumor has it that the area is also popular with marijuana growers, in and out of the Wayne National Forest. If you come upon a patch, change direction and move on slowly while looking for man-traps. Don't even think about getting close enough to pick any. You may be, being video taped by law enforcement, or worse. During hunting season, wear brightly-colored clothing if you go into the woods.