Visitors are reminded to follow all recommended COVID-19 protocols including maintaining social distance and refrain from gathering in groups of more than 10. Restrooms may be closed or limited in day-use areas and we are asking visitors to practice carry in, carry out. Learn more about ODNR facilities and COVID-19 protocols.
Located in the Appalachian foothills near the banks of the Ohio River, 1,095-acre Shawnee State Park is nestled in the 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest.
Once the hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians, the region is one of the most picturesque in the state, featuring erosion-carved valleys and wooded hills. The rugged beauty of the area has earned it the nickname "The Little Smokies."
The state park offers a lodge and cabins as well as a campground for overnight stays. There are Ohio River and inland lake boating and paddling opportunities as well as hiking and naturalist programming.
Lodge & Cabins
Shawnee Lodge & Conference Center
Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center offers breathtaking views of the forest and Ohio River.
50 guest rooms with private balconies
Elegant full service dining room
Indoor and outdoor pools
Tennis, basketball and shuffleboard courts
Reserve a Cabin
25 family vacation cabins with A/C and heat, available year-round.
Sleep up to 6 (one queen bed and two sets of bunk beds)
Roll-away double bed
Living room with gas log fireplace and satellite TV
Bath with a shower
Complete kitchen, microwave, dining area
Screened porch and charcoal grill
Bed and bath linens, cookware and table settings are provided.
Lodge facilities are available to cabin guests.
Pets are permitted in select cabins, call (740) 858-6621 for details.
Roosevelt and Turkey Creek lakes total 68 acres and each has a launch ramp. Usually the only motorized boats allowed on these lakes are those with electric motors, however beginning January 10, 2019, boats with all types of motors are allowed to operate on Turkey Creek Lake as long as they maintain idle (no-wake) speed. This trial period ends October 31, 2020 and only applies to Turkey Creek Lake. Roosevelt remains an electric-only lake. ODNR will seek public comments at the end of each boating season before recommending a permanent change.
Rowboats, canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and pedal boats are available for rental at the camp store.
A marina facility off U.S. Route 52 offers access to the Ohio River as well as 72 seasonal docks (including one ADA courtesy slip for loading and unloading) and 8 transient docks.
108 campsites are suitable for tents or trailers. Reserve online or by calling (866) 644-6727.
94 electric sites
Dump stations, heated shower houses, flush toilets, and laundry facilities
Pet are allowed on all sites
Games and sporting equipment to loan to registered campers
A 58-site equestrian campground with latrines is available near Bear Lake in Shawnee State Forest.
Black Bear Disc Golf Course is located near Turkey Lake. Park in the Beach parking lot.
Two well-stocked lakes provide good catches of largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie and trout. A trout derby is held annually at Turkey Creek Lake. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Hunting is NOT permitted in the state park but is allowed in the adjacent state forest. A valid Ohio hunting license is required.
Five picnic areas with tables and grills are located in many secluded and scenic areas of the park. All areas are Carry-in, Carry-out; no trash cans are available.
Public beaches are situated on Roosevelt Lake and Turkey Creek Lake. Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are NOT allowed on swimming beaches.
Many hiking trails traverse the park and the surrounding state forest:
Lampblack Trail - 1 mile
Lake Trail - .8 mile
Lodge/Beach Trail - .5 mile
Knighton Nature Trail - 2.3 miles
Turkey Creek Nature Center Trail - .5 mile
Park Loop Trail - 5 miles
Lookout Trail - 1.5 miles
Campground Loop Trail - .5 mile
Shawnee Forest Day Hike Trail - 4.6 miles - Follow blue blazes.
Shawnee Backpack Trail - 40+ miles - Follow orange blazes. This trail winds through wilderness area and includes portions of the Buckeye Trail and North Country Trail. Take the 40-mile main loop, or a shorter trek around the 23-mile North Loop, or 17-mile South Loop. Back country camping is offered in 7 designated areas. Hikers and backpackers must have a self-registration permit, available at the trail head parking area. Drinking water and latrines are provided at camping areas.
A mountain biking trail system has recently been completed. Park at the lodge and ride towards the playground/cabin entrance. Trail head is across the grassy knoll and is marked with signage. Find more details at www.trailfork.com
High Meadow - easy - .6 mile
High Meadow Gap Pass - intermediate - .3 mile
Cabin Fever - intermediate -.6 mile, loop
Horseshoe - intermediate -.4 mile
Lampblack - intermediate - 1 mile, loop
Down & Out - .6 mile
The park also features bridle trails in the adjacent Shawnee State Forest:
Lampblack Bridle Trail
Mackletree Bridle Trail
An additional 75 miles of bridle trails with 58 primitive equestrian camp sites are located within the adjacent Shawnee State Forest.
In winter, park guests can enjoy ice fishing under the proper conditions.
More to Do
Miniature golf, located at the camp store, is open to all park visitors
Volleyball and basketball courts
Tennis courts and shuffleboard at the lodge
History & Natural Features
The 63,000 acres of Shawnee State Forest and Shawnee State Park encompass a part of the former hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians. Historians note that the Shawnee name means "those who have silver," as the tribe conducted considerable trade in this precious metal. A major Shawnee village, known as Lower Town, was located near the confluence of the Ohio and Scioto rivers. The Scioto River provided access to the heart of the Shawnee country in central and southern Ohio.
The Ohio River was the gateway to frontier settlement in the Ohio region as well as for Indiana and Illinois. This expansive waterway, the Spaylawitheepi in Indian tongue, was the site of many confrontations between incoming pioneers and the Native Americans. The Shawnees monitored the influx of the white settlers from the line of ridges that overlooked the mighty Ohio River.
During the 1700s, the Shawnee Indians were gradually displaced as the settlers continued to build their cabins and clear land in this new and fertile country. The face of the region changed a great deal in the years to come, but through effective timber management practices by the state's Division of Forestry, Shawnee State Forest has regained much of its original appearance. Similarly, resource conservation programs coupled with wise land use practices at Shawnee State Park have assured that this 1,168-acre recreational facility will continue to maintain its natural beauty.
Lands were acquired for the park in 1922 and it was first operated as Theodore Roosevelt State Game Preserve. In the 1930s, six Civilian Conservation Corps camps were located in the area. It was at this time that many of the roads and lakes of the area were constructed. In 1949, with the creation of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Division of Parks and Recreation, the area became a state park and forest. The name was changed to Portsmouth State Park in the early 1970s, but has since been changed back to Shawnee State Park.
Several hundred million years ago, a general upheaval of eastern North America made changes in the terrain that are evident in Ohio today. South and east of Ohio, the layers of bedrock folded and buckled, giving rise to the Appalachian Mountains. The forested hills of Shawnee are a part of the Appalachian Plateau. Here, the bedrock layers were uplifted but no real distortion occurred; for this reason, Shawnee never had true "mountains." In fact, all of Ohio's hill country is a feature of stream erosion on this prehistoric raised plain and is often referred to as the foothills of the Appalachians.
The hills of Shawnee have also been dubbed "Ohio's Little Smokies." Looking toward the Ohio River, one can certainly see how the region acquired such a nickname. From the highest points in the forest, ridge after ridge appears to roll away toward the horizon in a gentle blue haze. This distinctive color comes from moisture in the air which is generated by the thousands of acres of forest.
The hardwood forest is host to a variety of flora and fauna. Wildflowers are abundant including several rare types of orchids such as the tiny whorled pogonia and the showy orchis. Forest wildlife includes white-tailed deer, wild turkey, raccoon, various songbirds and rare sightings of bobcat and black bear.