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Brush Creek State Forest

NOTICE: Bridle trails are closed for the winter season, November 28, 2022, to March 31, 2023.

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Located in the unglaciated hill country of south central Ohio, Brush Creek State Forest was established in 1928 with the acquisition of 285 acres of land. This and other early land acquisitions were originally part of Shawnee State Forest. As acreage and distances grew, the need to form a separate state forest unit became apparent in order to properly manage these scattered land holdings.

In the early 1950s, a new state forest was formed and drew its name from a major stream in the area known as Scioto Brush Creek. Formerly, the forest headquarters and service center were established along State Route 73 about one mile west of the village of Rarden in western Scioto County.

Today, Brush Creek State Forest comprises well over 13,000 acres of productive hardwood forest land.

The vast majority of these acres is made up of steep hillsides, deep hollows, and narrow ridge tops. Combined with the climate in the region, this land is ideally suited to the growth of deciduous hardwood forests

Favorite Things to Do or See

  • Hunting
  • Mushroom/berry picking
  • Stone Quarry trail    
  • Coffee Hollow & Crabtree Cemetery bridle trail
  • Wildlife viewing

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I hunt? Hunting is legal in season at Brush Creek State Forest. Please note, you are not permitted to hunt by any means within 400 feet of any camping area, residence, barn, service building, latrine, or other structures, or shoot on, from, or across any road or driveway within the forest. OAC 1501:3-6-01
  • What is my access to tracts of state-owned land? Areas can be accessed from state forest roads. Some areas can only be accessed with permission from adjacent private landowners.
  • Can I dig ginseng? No. Disturbance, defacement, or destruction of any property, material, natural feature, or vegetation is prohibited. Berries, nuts, and mushrooms may be gathered and removed except from posted areas.
  • Why are we harvesting timber? State forests are managed for multiple uses including sustainable timber production, wildlife habitat, soil and water protection, and recreation.

Unique Features

  • Historical stone quarries


  • Brush Creek State Forest is open to visitors between 6am and 11pm daily. Legal campers, if applicable, hunters, and anglers may be present during other times.
  • Operation of motor vehicles is restricted to roads provided for such travel. Speed limit on state forest roads is 30 MPH unless otherwise posted. Vehicles may not be parked where traffic or access to division service roads or trails are obstructed. OAC 1501: 3-4 Motor Vehicles
  • Horses may be ridden along forest roads or on designated bridle trails.
  • Fires are not permitted except in grills or fire rings provided, or in portable stoves. Fires must be attended to at all times.
  • Trash must be properly disposed.
  • Camping is not permitted
  • Hunting and fishing are permitted in most state forests as regulated by the Division of Wildlife. Shooting is prohibited within 400 feet of any building, facility, or recreation area and from or across any road or driveway. Discharge of any firearm is not permitted except during lawful hunting season.
  • Public display or consumption of any alcoholic beverage is prohibited.
  • Disturbance, defacement, or destruction of any property, material, natural feature, or vegetation is prohibited. Berries, nuts, and mushrooms may be gathered and removed except from posted areas.
  • State forest boundaries are indicated with yellow blazes on the trees and/or posted signs.
  • Other general rules for visitation are found at OAC 1501:3-2 Rules for Visitation


Forest Manager: Dale Egbert, (740) 858-6685

Administrative Office:
Shawnee State Forest
13291 US Route 52
West Portsmouth, OH 45663

Columbus Headquarters: (877) 247-8733, forestry.comments@dnr.ohio.gov


Call: 911

Phone Number

(740) 858-6685



Available Trails