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Perry State Forest

Overview

Whether you come to ride APVs (all purpose vehicles), go horseback riding, hunt or just visit, you will have an enjoyable forest experience. Perry State Forest features 4,706 acres in Perry County with 24 miles of hiking trails, 8 miles of bridle trails, and 16 miles of APV trails. Much of Perry State Forest was strip mined for coal prior to existing reclamation law, resulting in very rugged, sometimes barren terrain. Since the state acquired the area in 1961, some reclamation has been accomplished, including a large area along County Road 48. Several reforestation and test tree plantings have been established on the forest.

The Perry APV area is the most popular public riding area in Ohio. Miles of challenging trails are open. Picnic tables and latrines are provided at the parking area. The APV area closes the day after deer gun season ends through March 31.

Perry State Forest has a very scenic day-use bridle trail system. Parking for horse trailer rigs is provided along County Road 48. The Miles Lake water is suitable for horses.

The diversity of forest cover encourages a variety of wildlife species and hunting opportunities.

Favorite Things to Do or See / Unique Feature

  • APV area

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the forest open for public access hunting? Yes.

Rules

Forest Rules

  • Perry 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 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

APV Rules for Perry State Forest

  • Trail bikes, motorcycles, all purpose vehicles, mountain bikes and snowmobiles are the only vehicles permitted on the designated trails. Each vehicle shall display a valid APV or highway license. You should bring a copy of your registration with you. (Put it in a waterproof bag and store it under your seat with your tool kit.) For more information on titling and registering your APV: bmv.ohio.gov
  • APVs shall be operated only within the designated area.
  • No person shall operate an APV having a width greater than 62 inches.
  • The APV area is open for riding from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.
  • The APV areas at Perry State Forest are closed from the day after the end of deer gun season until March 31.
  • All transport vehicles and trailers should be parked in the designated parking area for safety concerns.
  • Maximum speed limits are 5 mph in the parking area. At no time shall an APV be operated at a speed greater than that necessary to stop the vehicle in the assured clear distance.
  • All operators shall wear protective headgear and eye protection.
  • All operators shall have a valid, current motor vehicle operator's license, except that minors less than 16 years of age may operate an APV if they are accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian 18 years of age or older.
  • All vehicles shall be equipped with adequate brakes, mufflers, and spark arrestors and must follow decibel limitations outlined in OAC 1501:3-4-12.
  • No person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs of abuse shall operate an APV.
  • No person shall operate an APV in such a manner as to willfully damage or destroy vegetation and trails, or for the purpose of chasing, capturing or killing wildlife.
  • Operators of APVs shall not carry or transport any firearms or other weapons that are not unloaded and securely encased.
  • No APV shall be used to carry more passengers than the vehicle was designed to carry. Contact your manufacturer for ride capacity.
  • No races or contests are permitted in the APV area.
  • Operators must report any accidents to the forest headquarters within 24 hours. This is in addition to the reports necessary to be made to the local law enforcement authorities. Call 911 in an emergency.

Attention Out-of-State Riders: The State of Ohio requires riders from Michigan and other states that do not have reciprocity to obtain an annual “Temporary Operating Permit” at an Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) location. In order to obtain this permit, you must present a valid title, a driver’s license and Social Security card. The cost is $14.75 per year. When contacting the BMV, please refer to Ohio Revised Code 4519.09 to ensure prompt service. The permit must be kept with the APV and must be displayed to law enforcement/management if requested.

For more information on states with reciprocity, call the Forest Manager at (740) 385-4402 ext. 100. 

Contact

Forest Manager: David Glass, (740) 385-4402 ext. 100

Administrative Office:
Hocking State Forest
19275 State Route 374
Rockbridge, OH 43149-9749

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

Emergencies

Call: 911

Phone Number

(740) 674-4035

Non-Emergency

#ODNR

Available Trails

    Activities