Wayne National Forest
It is the only national forest in Ohio and is clustered in three areas along the Appalachian Mountains and the Ohio River. The southern cluster is primarily located in Lawrence County and spans from Portsmouth to Gallipolis and along the northern banks of the Ohio River. The northwestern cluster primarily spreads across Athens, Hocking and Perry Counties and includes Athens on its southern end. The northeastern cluster is located in Washington and Monroe Counties running from Marietta northeast along the Ohio River.
The grounds include many areas that were strip mined in the late 1800s. Accordingly, the forest includes areas experiencing various degrees of reforestation.
The forest is nestled in rugged foothills of the Appalachian Mountain Range, north of the Ohio River Valley.
Flora and fauna
The Wayne National Forest boasts more than 2,000 species of plants, including hardwoods, pine and cedar as well as an endangered species, running buffalo clover. Wildlife includes hawks, osprey, wild turkey and songbirds as well as deer and beaver.
- Port Columbus International Airport (CMH), take US-33, approximately 45 miles, from Columbus to the northwestern forest cluster.
- Charleston Yeager Airport 45 miles to the southern forest cluster.
- Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) travel via I-70 west and I-77 south approximately 75 miles to the eastern forest cluster.
- Also the Wayne National Forest is an approximately 2-hour drive from:
- I-77, running north-south through Ohio from Cleveland to Marietta provides convenient access to most national forest areas.
- Interstates 64, 70 and 79 can also be utilized to map out a route from the east, west and south regions to the forest.
The forest includes 300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback and ATVs.
- Amish Country crafts
- College Town and Party School environment in Athens.
- Lodge at Burr Oak State Park
- Bed and Breakfasts
- Burr Oak Cove on the northwest tip of the Burr Oak Reservoir. Fee of $5/night during high demand seasons (roughly, Memorial Day to Labor Day). Camping free of charge at other times of the year.
- Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area, 143-acre site, more than 25 miles of trails.
- Lamping Homestead is a 143-acre site, located 6.5 acres north of Ironton.
- Leith Run Recreation Area, located on the northern banks of the Ohio River, approximately 20 miles north of Marietta.
- Stone Church Horse Camp includes 21 miles of scenic trails for horseback riding. Fee of $10/night during high demand seasons. Camping free of charge at other times of the year, but campground is closed from December 15th through April 14th.
- Timbre Ridge Lake 100 acre lake
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 (ATV) 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. -
Exercise ordinary caution as in any outdoor activity.