What to do in Brush Creek State Forest

Located in the unglaciated hill country of south central Ohio, Brush Creek State Forest was established in 1928 with the acquisition of 285 acres of land. This and other early land acquisitions were originally part of Shawnee State Forest. As acreage and distances grew, the need to form a separate state forest unit became apparent in order to properly manage these scattered land holdings. In the early 1950s, a new state forest was formed and drew its name from a major stream in the area known as Scioto Brush Creek. A forest headquarters and service center was established along State Route 73 about one mile west of the village of Rarden in western Scioto County, and presently remains at that site. Today, Brush Creek State Forest comprises well over 12,000 acres of productive hardwood forest land.

The vast majority of these acres is made up of steep hillsides, deep hollows, and narrow ridge tops. Combined with the climate in the region, this land is ideally suited to the growth of deciduous hardwood forests.

Brush Creek State Forest is open to visitors between the hours of 6 AM and 11 PM daily. Legal campers, hunters and anglers may be present during other hours.

Horses may be ridden only along forest roads or on designated bridle trails. Mountain bikes are permitted on APV trails.

ATV riding is prohibited.

Camping is permitted only in areas provided and designated for such use.

Berries, nuts and mushrooms may be gathered and removed from state forest land.

Outdoor pursuits at the state forest include horseback riding, hunting, hiking, camping, fishing, and berry picking. For a few short weeks each spring, the forest is very busy with those in search of tasty morel mushrooms.

Brush Creek State Forest Headquarters and Service Center is off State Route 73, about one mile west of the village of Rarden.

This state has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.

Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.

275 State Route #73
Peebles, OH 45660-9592

Phone: 740-858-6685

Email: Ben.Hamilton@dnr.state.oh.us
  • Brush Creek State Forest Travel Q&A