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Zaleski State Forest, Zaleski

4.4
#66 of 109 in Nature in Ohio
Forest · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Zaleski State Forest is the second-largest state forest in the U.S. state of Ohio, located primarily in Vinton County, with areas in Athens County as well. The 28,000 acre (110 km²) forest surrounds Lake Hope State Park in Vinton County, and extensively borders the Waterloo Wildlife Research Station in Athens County. It is also located close to the Wayne National Forest. In addition, the older and much smaller Waterloo State Forest in Athens County is administered as part of the Zaleski. The forest is named after the Vinton County village of Zaleski, where the forest headquarters are located, and is centered on State Route 278.
The forest has active logging programs, and is one of the few in Ohio to have a working sawmill. The forest also features a 23.5-mile backpacking trail, a network of bridle trails, a horse camp, a large lake (Lake Hope), and the Hope School, an old but renovated one-room schoolhouse. Part of the Zaleski Mound Group, a group of Native American mounds built by the prehistoric Adena culture, is located within the forest.
Recently, the state of Ohio acquired a conservation easement to 10,000 acres (40 km²) of the Raccoon Creek Ecological Management Area (REMA), located south of the forest and formerly owned by Mead Paper Company (now part of MeadWestvaco). This area will be administered in conjunction with the state forest. Plan to visit Zaleski State Forest during your Zaleski vacation using our convenient Zaleski visit planner.
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Zaleski State Forest reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
25 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We Rode through on our way to the Moonville Tunnel and it was Absolutley Breath Taking , I will def. go Back again ! 
    We Rode through on our way to the Moonville Tunnel and it was Absolutley Breath Taking , I will def. go Back again !  more »
  • I honestly don't know if that forest is any good for hiking or camping, we only go there as rally spectators, and all I can say is Zaleski State Forest has the best rally roads in Ohio! 
    I honestly don't know if that forest is any good for hiking or camping, we only go there as rally spectators, and all I can say is Zaleski State Forest has the best rally roads in Ohio!  more »
Google
  • One of my go-to areas for training hikes when I lived in Ohio. The south loop has some challenging hills and the trail is well established. It's not really scenic, but this is Ohio, not Colorado. Free camping and potable water sources are nice perks. I enjoyed supper at the Lake Hope Dining Lodge after a good 13.5-mile hike!
  • We hiked the south loop. Nice hike and only saw 1 other person all day. A lot of up and down. Good work out. Nice easy to follow well marked trail.

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