What to do in Fernwood State Forest

The 3,023 acre Fernwood State Forest was purchased in 1961. A substantial portion of the land has been strip mined for coal. However, the production of acid mine water is minimal because of the neutralizing effect of limestone deposits. The majority of unstripped lands are located on ridges or in valleys, and are in forest cover. Subsequent reforestration and installation of recreation facilities, funded through the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 and the Ohio Capital Improvements program, have restored the area to a beautiful, healthy forest, providing visitors with many outdoor recreational opportunities.

Fernwood State Forest invites campers to enjoy Hidden Hollow Campground offering 22 family campsites and equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water and vault latrines. Campers must select a site; a forest officer will issue permits, and familiarize visitors with camping regulations.

Located just outside the perimeter of the Hidden Hollow Campground is the Fernwood State Forest Land Lab. The land lab is used to promote natural resource and environmental education.

Hiking trail loops around most of Fernwood's largest tract.

Picnic tables located in several areas, and the Little Round Top Picnic area provide forest users with ample opportunities to relax, eat, and enjoy the forest's natural beauty. Two scenic vistas provide breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Parking areas are located throughout in the forest area.

The forest is open to public fishing and hunting under Division of Wildlife regulations. Many ponds are scattered throughout the area and have been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish.

Hunters pursue white-tailed deer and many small game species including squirrel, rabbit, and grouse. Hunting is not permitted within 400 feet of any camping area, residence or structure, and firearms may not be discharged on, from or across any road or driveway.

Three shooting ranges are located southwest of the Hidden Hollow Campground. There are separate areas for pistol, rifle and trap shooting. Users need to furnish their own targets (paper or clay only), and must clean up their casings and debris before leaving. Ranges are open daily from one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset.

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

Open daily from 6 AM to 11 PM, day use visitors enjoy hiking, picnicking, fishing, nature study, hunting, all-terrain vehiclue use, target practice, and berry picking.

Fernwood State Forest is located southwest of Steubenville, north of State Route 151.

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.

Route 1, Box 186A
Bloomingdale, OH 43910-9726

Phone: 330-339-2205

Email: Tim.Humphrey@dnr.state.oh.us
  • Fernwood State Forest Travel Q&A