Shade River State Forest
Nestled in the rolling hills of southeastern Ohio, the 2,859-acre Shade River State Forest encompasses mostly wooded country. Native hardwoods grow on what was formerly abandoned, unproductive farmland.
In the 1950s, a few abandoned field areas were planted with different species of pines including white, red and loblolly pine. In addition, many acres of native Virginia pine, shortleaf pine and pitch pine are present. Modern forestry practices are evident throughout the forest. Large blocks of Virginia pine are being harvested for conversion to hardwood species, which are more beneficial and have greater commercial value.
The forest is open year-round to hunting, hiking and general sight-seeing. Camping, swimming and fishing are available in nearby Forked Run State Park. Portions of the forest are within sight of the Ohio River near the Belleville Locks and Dam at Reedsville. Truck farming is common on the rich floodplain soil near the river. Crops of cabbage, tomatoes, sweet corn and cucumbers are produced.
Favorite Things to Do or See
- Public access hunting
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the forest open for public access hunting? Yes.
Rules for Shade River State Forest
- Shade River 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
- 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.
Courtney Cawood, Forest Manager
Zaleski State Forest
P.O. Box 330 / State Route 278
Zaleski, OH 45698