12,089 acres in Vinton County near McArthur, OH
Vinton Furnace State Forest is home to the state’s largest known population of bobcats and is also home to timber rattlesnakes, cerulean warblers, and several rare plant species.
The forest is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the United States and home to more than 50 years of ongoing forest research. Data collected at the forest has been cited in hundreds of scholarly papers on forest ecology, forest management, and wildlife.
The site is home to research dedicated to restoring oak trees to Ohio’s forests. Oaks are some of Ohio’s most important wildlife species and a valuable part of the state’s multi-billion dollar wood industry. Since 1952, land at the Vinton Furnace has been dedicated towards forest use and sustainability research — an agreement formalized between previous owner Mead Corporation and the USDA Forest Service in 1965.
Favorite Things to Do or See
- Belgian Coke Oven Ruins
- Arch Rock
- Watch Rock
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the forest open for public access hunting? Yes.
The Ball Diamond Hunter’s camp is located on Experimental Forest Road (TR-6) just south of Sam Russell Road. The campground offers a latrine. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Hunter’s Camp is operational one day before the start of squirrel season until one day after the close of grouse season. It is operational again 14 days before the start of spring wild turkey season and closes the day after the season ends.
Campers must be legally licensed hunters and must complete a self-registration form on-site.
- Vinton Furnace 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
- Fires are not permitted expect 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 permitted only at the Hunters camp. The Hunters camp is operational one day before the start of squirrel season until one day after the close of grouse season. It is operational again 14 days before the start of wild turkey season and closes the day after the season ends.
- Hunting and fishing is 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: Courtney Cawood, (740) 596-5781
Zaleski State Forest
P.O. Box 330 / State Route 278
Zaleski, OH 45698