What to do in Lake Hope State Park

Lake Hope State Park is truly a nature lover's dream. In the forest-draped hills, the observant visitor can discover the abundant natural resources of this wild and scenic park. It is a rugged, heavily forested region traversed by steep gorges and narrow ridges. Abandoned mines, ancient mounds and beautiful scenery provide interest and pleasure for hikers, photographers, nature lovers and historians alike.

The Division of Forestry created Lake Hope Forest Park in 1937. The Division of Parks and Recreation and Lake Hope State Park came into existence in 1949.

Lake Hope State Park offers a lovely rustic dining lodge, built of native stone and lumber that provides a spectacular view of Lake Hope. The lodge features The Stone Terrace Restaurant, meeting room, General Store, as well as lodge and cottage reservation office. Souvenirs and firewood are available for purchase. See contact information below.

Several cottages accommodate those wishing to spend the night. Wildlife, Iron Furnace, and Forest cottages have linens, towels, complete cooking utensils, and outdoor grills and fire rings. The Iron Furnace and Forest cottages have wood burning fireplaces. Groups may reserve Laurel Lodge, a rustic structure with a beautiful stone fireplace, which sleeps 24 persons, provides kitchen facilities and is open all year.

In addition, the park features a beautiful 119-site campground suitable for tents or trailers. The campground includes heated shower houses, pit latrines, waste disposal, laundry facilities, picnic tables and fire rings. Forty-six sites have electric hookups. Three Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining fly, cooler, cook stove and other equipment, and two camper-cabins can be rented during the summer months by reservation. Pets are permitted. A group camp is available for organized groups on a reservation basis. A horsemen's camp is offered for bridle trail users in Zaleski State Forest.

Fifteen miles of hiking trails traverse the lake and scenic woodlands of the Lake Hope area and offer opportunities for photography and nature study. Mountain bikers have four miles of trail to explore. In the adjacent state forest, a 21-mile backpack trail with primitive campsites is available. Backpackers must register upon arrival. Thirty-three miles of bridle trail are available for riders with their own mounts in the state forest.

Picnic areas with tables and grills are located at many secluded and scenic areas around the park. Two picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis or by reservation.

Lake Hope has 120 acres of water surface available to boaters with electric motors only. Canoes and rowboats are available for rent at the beach concession, mid-May through October. Anglers will find good catches of bluegill, catfish, crappie and largemouth bass at Lake Hope. A fine swimming beach is located near the dam. Facilities include a bathhouse with restrooms, showers and change booths and a concession building where food and beverages can be purchased.

Hunting is permitted in the adjacent Zaleski State Forest. A valid Ohio hunting or fishing license is required.

Recreation
Recreation opportunities at Lake Hope State Park abound. Visitors can fish, hunt, hike, ride horses, mountain bike, picnic, swim, enjoy nature programs, view exhibits at the nature center, boat with their own craft or rent one, sled, ice skate, cross-country ski, ice fish, or enjoy a leisurely stay in a cottage.

Location
Nestled in southeastern Ohio, Lake Hope State Park is adjacent to Wayne National Forest and within Zaleski State Forest. The nearest town is McArthur which rests approximately 10 miles away. The park is off State Route 278.

Climate
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.

Address
27331 State Route 278
McArthur, OH 45651

Phone: 740-596-5253

  • Lake Hope State Park Travel Q&A

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