Description - The Wayne National Forest covers an area of rolling Appalachian foothills. There are some unique features including the Vesuvius Furnace, a partially restored iron furnace built in 1833. The Irish Run Natural Bridge is one of seven natural rock bridges in Ohio, and is 51 feet long, 16 feet thick and 39 feet high. There are several century old covered bridges on the Forest. The Shawnee Lookout Tower is another interesting attraction, which was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939.
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Wayne National Forest
The Covered Bridge Scenic Byway on State Route 26 showcases one of Ohio's most beautiful stretches of highway. Historic barns, covered bridges, and century old buildings dot the landscape along the route following the Little Muskingum River.
- Southeastern Ohio is rich in history. Mounds and prehistoric earthworks from the Adena and Hopewell cultures are still found on the Forest. Cemeteries and historic buildings on the Forest offer visitors a glimpse into the past. Vesuvius Furnace, Ring Mill House, three covered bridges, the Shawnee Fire Tower, old oil derricks, and several rock shelters are interpreted for the public.
Many miles of multi-use trails are available for mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, and ORVing. (Permits required for high-impact users, everyone except hikers.) There are three canoeable rivers: the Little Muskingum River and Hocking River (very little public access -- private outfitters available) on the Marietta Unit - Athens Ranger Distric, and Symmes Creek on the Ironton Ranger District. All three have access points on public land and provide a tranquil float, ideal for family canoeing. Nestled among the foothills is a variety of fishing opportunities from remote walk-in ponds to large, developed lakes. Collecting plants in the Wayne National Forest has become so popular that a permit system is now required to protect these resources from "over collection." Hunting opportunities abound with a variety of species to be hunted and an array of hunting experiences from remote walk-in areas to easily accessible lands near roads.
Recreation - Hiking, horseback, mountain bike, and ORV riding trails, hunting, nature study, camping, picnicking, boating, fishing and scenic drives are all available on the Wayne National Forest.
Pan fish, catfish, and bass fishing opportunities are available throughout the Forest. Lake Vesuvius (143 acres) offers paddleboat and canoe rentals and is within the largest recreation area on the Forest. Timbre Ridge Lake (100 acres) has a primitive boat access.
Climate - This state has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.
Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.
The Wayne National Forest is located in southeastern Ohio. The Forest is Headquartered in Athens, Ohio, with offices also in Marietta and Pedro, Ohio. The Wayne is within a day's driving distance of Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; and Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia.