What to do in Tar Hollow State Park

Surrounded by the rugged foothills of the Appalachian Plateau, Tar Hollow State Park and surrounding state forest are characteristic of the wilderness that blanketed Ohio in the days of early settlers. It is a stronghold for many exciting species of wildlife. Numerous reptiles and amphibians, colorful game birds, songbirds and secretive mammals can be found here.

In the 1930s, the Tar Hollow region was purchased for conservation purposes under a New Deal program, the Ross-Hocking Land Utilization Project. People were given a new financial start in life and were encouraged to move to the cities. Most, however, bought more poor ground outside the park and continued to live as they always had.

During the Depression years, the WPA and NYA programs built recreation facilities including the 15-acre Pine Lake and group camp. In 1939, the Ohio Division of Forestry accepted operational control of the land that was then known as Tar Hollow Forest-Park.

When the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was created in 1949, the Division of Parks and Recreation accepted land of several state agencies including the old Division of Forestry. Tar Hollow State Park was developed from the earlier forest. The park, today, is bordered by Tar Hollow State Forest – Ohio's third largest state forest.

Tar Hollow State Park offers a campground set amid a wooded hollow near Pine Lake. There are 28 electric sites and 60 non-electric. Both sunny and shaded site are available. The campground is equipped with showers, pit latrines, dump station, and pet sites. A group camp is also available to organized groups. Additionally, five shelters permit camping.

Ross Hollow Hiking Trail, located near the camp, provides foot access to the hills of Tar Hollow. The 21-mile Logan Boy Scout Trail (red blazes) traverses the park and forest. A section of Ohio's Buckeye Trail (blue blazes) also passes through the area. Bridle trails and a horse camp are located on the forest land. A backpack camp is located at the fire tower.

Picnicking is a popular pastime at Tar Hollow. The picnic areas offer excellent scenery and a peaceful setting. Six shelters can be reserved through the park office, while the others are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pine Lake is a small body of water affording electric motors only. The 15 acres of water surface are perfect for canoeing. Anglers are limited to only two species of fish, bluegill and pan fish. A small launch ramp is located near the 500-foot swimming beach.

Excellent hunting opportunities exist for squirrel, deer, grouse and turkey in the adjacent state forest. A valid Ohio hunting and fishing license is required.

Recreations abound at Tar Hollow State Park including activities such as fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, backpacking, miniature golf, picnicking, group and family camping, lake swimming, nature study, and limited boating.

The park is located in southeastern Ohio several miles east 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.

16396 Tar Hollow Road
Laurelville, OH 43135

Phone: 740-887-4818

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