Web Content Viewer
Web Content Viewer
Scioto Trail State Forest

Scioto Trail State Forest

During World War I, the area that is now Scioto Trail State Forest was used as an artillery range for Camp Sherman. Seventy-five millimeter guns and six-inch howitzers were set up at the mouth of Stoney Creek on the Scioto River and fired at targets in the general area of Stewart and Caldwell lakes.

The purchase of land for the state forest began in 1922, and most of the present forest area was purchased by 1937. The first 9,088 acres cost an average of $7.70 per acre. The forest was named after the Native American trail that ran from what is now Chillicothe to Portsmouth. They called it the Scioto Trail. Route 23 follows the path of the trail. The major development of the area took place in the 1930s when the Civilian Conservation Corps built most of the roads, lakes and early recreational facilities. The forest now covers 9,600 acres.

Scioto Trail State Forest maintains 26 miles of bridle trails for day use by horseback riders and hikers. Mountain bikes are also permitted on these trails.

Six miles of paved roads and 18 miles of gravel roads provide good access to all areas of the forest. Scenic vistas and overlooks on several of the roads attract many visitors year-round, but especially during the fall when the leaves are turning color.

Populations of deer, wild turkey, squirrel and grouse encourage many hunters to pursue their favorite sport at Scioto Trail State Forest. Mushroom hunting in the spring is attracting more and more visitors to the forest each year.

The 250-acre Scioto Trail State Park consists of two areas in the middle of the state forest. Two 15-acre lakes, a campground, two primitive camping areas, picnic areas, trails and a sled hill are all located within the park.

Favorite Things to Do or See

  • Fire Tower
  • Check out the vista off of Martin Road.
  • Take a ride out North Ridge Road (Forest Road #2)
  • Explore/Fish Caldwell Lake
  • Enjoy the trails by either horseback, bike, or foot

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you hunt in the forest? Yes and the forest boundary is marked with yellow paint.
  • Can you ride mountain bikes on the trails? Yes, on the designated mountain bike trails. 
  • Can you harvest Ginseng? No, you can’t hunt Ginseng in state forests.
  • Where is the fire tower located? It is located near the entrance on SR 23, at the top of the hill at the intersection of SR 372 and FR# 2.
  • Where is the Buckeye Trail located? The Buckeye Trail traverses thru the middle of the forest and is marked with blue blazes.


Rules for Scioto Trail State Forest

  • Scioto Trail State Forest is open to visitors between 6 a.m. and 11p.m. 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 disposed of in receptacles provided.
  • 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


In case of emergency, dial 911.

Brian Kelly, Forest Manager
(740) 663-2538
Administrative Office:
Scioto Trail State Forest
2731 Stoney Creek Road
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Columbus Headquarters:


Call: 911

Phone Number

(740) 663-2538



Natural Features

    Available Trails