Wayne National Forest
The Wayne National Forest, located in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, provides a rich diversity of attractions, including the historic Covered Bridge Scenic Byway.
The Wayne National Forest is located in three units, which are located across twelve Ohio Counties. Although the boundaries include 833,990 acres, most of the land within those boundaries is in private ownership. The National Forest exists as a patchwork across the land, normally occupying lands less suitable for agricultural or commercial development.
Throughout southern Ohio are the remnants of the iron industry. The Vesuvius Recreation Area, named for the old Vesuvius Iron Furnace, is the Wayne National Forest's premier developed site. The Vesuvius Iron Furnace was one of 46 charcoal iron furnaces located in the six county Hanging Rock Iron Region of southern Ohio.
The Shawnee Lookout Tower was once a sentinel built to protect a fledgling forest from wildfire. Today, it stands as a tribute to its builders, the last lookout tower remaining on the Wayne National Forest.
The Wayne National Forest has a wide variety of recreational activities. There are over 300 miles of trails are available for hiking, off-road vehicle riding (ORV), mountain biking, and/or horseback riding.
There are three canoeable rivers on the Wayne National Forest; the Little Muskingum River on the Marietta unit, the Hocking River on the Athens unit, and Symmes Creek on the Ironton District. All three have access points on public land and provide a tranquil float, ideal for family canoeing. Private canoe liveries on the Hocking and Little Muskingum Rivers offer float trips of varying lengths.