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Steep ascents and good wildlife viewing characterize the Zaleski Backpack Trail.

A 22-mile trail at Zaleski State Forest in Vinton County was developed along old logging trails and abandoned roads. The trail, which starts at Hope Furnace in Lake Hope State Park, is one of the most family-oriented backpacking trails with many scenic and historical sites. Along the Zaleski Trail, hikers can see remnants of an old town, the original road from Marietta to Chillicothe, 2,000-year-old burial mounds built by the Adena Indians, old mining areas and the former Moonville railroad tracks thought by many to be haunted by a ghost. A 10-mile and a 6-mile loop are available for day hikes. Camping is provided along the trail, the first placed 1.5 miles from the trailhead, the second 6 miles from the trailhead, and the third 12.5 miles from the trailhead. Campsites are equipped with fire rings and pit latrines. Drinking water is also available but park staff suggest that you carry your own because the supply is limited and dependent upon weather and season.

Directions: From Zaleski, OH, Travel north on State Route 278 about half a mile to reach the office, which provides trail maps.

Elevation Gain: 300 feet

Distance: 22 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

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Zaleski State Forest, Ohio

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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