, 2022-10-26 04:58:54,
Shawnee State Park is one of Ohio’s most stunning hidden treasures.
Tucked away in the 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest, the park is located within the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. With two lakes and easy access to the Ohio River, the park is full of boating and fishing activities. But it’s also a gorgeous place to hike.
The park itself is 1,095 acres and has been called “Ohio’s Little Smokies” and it’s the perfect place to spend a day of adventure and exploration.
Although the area doesn’t include any mountains, the ridges of the hills rise into the distance, mimicking the look of the Smoky Mountains. The massive forest adds moisture to the air, which gives the region a blue haze similar to the soft colors produced in the Smoky Mountains.
The forest surrounding the park is full of hardwood trees, wildflowers, rare orchids, and wildlife. From common animal sightings like white-tailed deer and wild turkey to rare sightings like bobcats and blackberry, the whole region is teeming with wildlife.
Shawnee State Park is named after the indigenous people who used to call this region home. One of the largest Shawnee villages, Lower Town, was located where the Ohio and Scioto rivers meet, providing access to the heart of the Shawnee country in central and southern Ohio.
Although the area lost much of its natural beauty through years of colonialism and industry, steady efforts to reforest the region have paid off.
Now, the park is open to all, offering so much to see and do. Here are the best things to do when visiting Shawnee State Park.
Shawnee State Park is a fantastic place for those just getting into backpacking. The Shawnee Backpack Trail covers over 40 miles, winding through the wilderness of southern Ohio. There are two shorter hike options if you aren’t ready to trek the full 40+ miles just yet: The North Loop is 23 miles and the South Loop is 17 miles. There are 7 designated camping areas along the backpacking trail, all of which offer drinking water and latrines. You’ll need to register at the trailhead in the parking lot.
If you’re visiting in the summer, there’s a good chance you’ll want to spend at least part of your time at the park cooling off. There are two places you can go for a quick dip in the park. Roosevelt Lake and Turkey Creek Lake both have beach areas that are specifically designated for visitors to swim. Of course, you…
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