What to do in Scioto Trail State Forest

The purchase of land for the state forest began in 1922 and most of the present forest area was purchased by 1937. The first 9,088 acres cost an average of $7.70 per acre. The forest was named after the Native American trail that ran from what is now Chillicothe to Portsmouth. They called it the Scioto Trail. Route 23 follows the path of the trail. The major development of the area took place in the 1930s when the Civilian Conservation Corps built most of the roads, lakes and early recreational facilities. The forest now covers 9,390 acres.

Scioto Trail State Forest maintains 26 miles of bridle trails for day use by horseback riders and hikers. Mountain bikes are also permitted on these trails. A Mountain Bike Family Campout is held each summer to promote this activity.

Six miles of paved roads and 18 miles of gravel roads provide good access to all areas of the forest. Scenic vistas and overlooks on several of the roads attract many visitors year-round, but especially during the fall when the leaves are turning color.

Populations of deer, wild turkey, squirrel and grouse encourage many hunters to pursue their favorite sport at Scioto Trail. Mushroom hunting in the spring is attracting more and more visitors to the forest each year. A fire tower and picnic area are located next to the forest office, and are the sites of many reunions and family outings.

The 250-acre Scioto Trail State Park consists of two areas in the middle of the state forest. Two 15 acre lakes, a campground, two primitive camping area, picnic areas, trails and a sled hill are all located within the park.

Recreation
Mountain bikers, equestrians and hikers enjoy the many miles of trails along Scioto Trail State Forest. Berry picking, nut and mushroom gathering, hunting and picnicking are also pursued.

Location
Scioto Trail State Forest is south of Chillicothe, off of U.S. Route 23. (The Scioto Trail Forest Office is located on State Route 372, off of U.S. 23.)

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
2731 Stoney Creek Road
Chillicothe, OH 45601

Phone: 740-663-2538

  • Scioto Trail State Forest Travel Q&A

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