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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.

Ohio Forests

First-timer’s Adventure

Rock House Trail accesses rock overhangs and follows a cliff face. This wheel-chair accessible trail is less than a mile on paved and natural surfaces.

The trail is located by the Lake Vesuvius boat dock parking area on the north side of the lot. The trail extends beyond the paved path, connecting with the Oak Hill Campground at two different trailheads.

Reflect on the power of erosion and the geologic wonder of the great rock houses. Benches, interpretive signage and a boardwalk are all part of your trail experience on the Rock House Trail.




Nearest Large Urban Area


Notes & Conditions:

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.


Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.