The forest offers a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities:
- The APV area is located off of State Route 124. The facility has approximately 20 miles of trail open to motorcycles and off-road all-terrain vehicles. The trails wind through the hollows and ridge tops, offering the visitor a challenging ride as well as some beautiful scenery and breathtaking views. Parking, latrines, and a novice area are all provided on the site. The APV area closes the day after deer gun season ends through March 31.
- For the equestrian there are 33 miles of bridle trails.
- Hiking is available on the Buckeye Trail which runs through the forest. Hiking is also permitted on the bridle trails.
- For those who want to stay on the beaten path, there are numerous county and township roads that pass through the forest.
- Pike State Forest is open to public hunting and fishing in season. Fishing is available at several ponds located in the forest. Anderson Lake off of Dry Bone Road is a popular spot that offers quiet seclusion among the hills and trees.
Land acquisition for Pike State Forest began in 1924, with the objective of returning abused hill farms and fire-damaged timber lands to productive forests. Most of the reforestation work was completed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Division of Forestry. Pike State Forest now covers 12,531 acres in western Pike County and eastern Highland County. State ownership is broken up into 13 separate, irregular tracts, which make it difficult to manage for continuous recreational facilities, as well as the management and patrol of the forest resource.
Favorite Things to Do or See
- APV area
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the forest open for public access hunting? Yes.
- APV Trail – 10.3 miles
- Buckeye Trail
- Pike 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
APV Rules for Pike 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 area at Pike State Forest is 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. For accidents at Pike or Richland Furnace, please call the Southern District office at (740) 774-1596. This is in addition to the reports necessary to be made to the local law enforcement authorities. Call 911 in an emergency.
- OAC 1501:3-4 Motor Vehicles
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) 493-2441.
In case of emergency, dial 911.
Ben Kelley, Forest Manager: (740) 493-2441
Pike State Forest
334 Lapperell Road
Latham, OH 45646
Columbus Headquarters: (877) 247-8733, email@example.com