What to do in Tar Hollow State Forest

Tar Hollow State Forest originated from the Ross-Hocking Land Utilization project of the 1930s. The purpose of the program was to locate families to more productive land, thereby enabling them to better sustain a living. Following termination of the project, the land was leased to the Division of Forestry, and finally transferred to the State in 1958.

A wealth of recreational activities are available at Tar Hollow State Forest. A 48-site primitive horse camp is located at the south end of the forest on Poe Run Road. Latrines are provided at the camp, but electricity and drinking water are not available. Radiating from the horse camp are 33 miles of bridle trails. All bridle trails are south of the fire tower.

A 22-mile network of hiking trails is located in the northern half of the forest. Seventeen miles of paved forest roads and 14 miles of gravel forest roads provide a great opportunity for scenic driving and allow good access to all areas of the forest.

Tar Hollow is known statewide for its excellent hunting opportunities. Hunting success for white-tailed deer and wild turkey has been very good in recent years. Hunting opportunities for squirrel, rabbit and ruffed grouse also exist.

The Division of Forestry has set aside 1,700 acres in Coey Hollow as a special grouse management area located in the extreme northwest section of the forest. The Division is working with the Division of Wildlife and the National Ruffed Grouse Society to design management practices that improve grouse habitat.

No discussion of hunting would be complete without mentioning the morel mushroom. Every spring during April and May, hundreds of hopeful hunters scour the hills of Tar Hollow for the delicious morel. A Mushroom Festival is held each year in April. Information can be obtained by writing to the forest office.

Tar Hollow State Park lies within the forest offering lake swimming, fishing, camping, and several picnic areas.

Recreation opportunities abound at Tar Hollow State Forest. Visitors are able to hike, horseback ride, camp with their horses, mountain bike, enjoy scenic driving, hunt for game animals and hunt for mushrooms.

Tar Hollow State Forest is northeast of Chillicothe, off State Route 327.

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.

Division of Forestry
345 Allen Ave.
Chillicothe, OH 45601-0480

Phone: 740-774-1596

Email: Bob.Boyles@dnr.state.oh.us
  • Tar Hollow State Forest Travel Q&A