What to do in Shade River State Forest

In the 1950s, a few abandoned field areas were planted with different species of pines including white, red and loblolly pine. In addition, many acres of native Virginia pine, shortleaf pine and pitch pine are present. Modern forestry practices are evident throughout the forest. Large blocks of Virginia pine are being harvested for conversion to hardwood species, which are more beneficial and have greater commercial value.

Shade River State Forest is open year-round to hunting, hiking and general sight-seeing from 6 AM to 11 PM. Camping, swimming and fishing are available in nearby Forked Run State Park. Portions of the forest are within sight of the Ohio River near the Belleville Locks and Dam at Reedsville. Truck farming is common on the rich floodplain soil near the river. Crops of cabbage, tomatoes, sweet corn and cucumbers are produced.

Recreation
State forest activities include hunting, hiking, and viewing scenery.

Location
Shade River State Forest is located southeast of Athens, adjacent to the Forked Run State Park, accessible by State Routes 248 or 681.

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
c/o Gifford State Forest
17221 SR 377
Chesterhill, OH 43728-9604

Phone: 614-554-3177


Email: David.Glass@dnr.state.oh.us
  • Shade River State Forest Travel Q&A

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