Description - This state forest was donated to the state in 1959 by William Gifford Selby under conditions that it be used for experimentation and research. It was named for his mother Virginia Gifford and her family.
Copyright: - Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Gifford State Forest
Today, Gifford State Forest is managed by the Division of Forestry as a seed orchard facility. Trees planted here are genetically superior plants that produce superior seeds which are made readily available to the division's tree nurseries. In turn, the seedlings grown from these seeds are made available to the citizens of Ohio for reforestation on public and private lands.
Seed orchard species include black walnut, white pine, red oak, pitlolly pine, autumn olive, sweet gum, loblolly pine, black alder, cottonwood, and others.
- Game animals such as deer, grouse and rabbit, as well as many non-game animals thrive in Gifford State Forest, which is Ohio's smallest. The 320 acres offers scenic hiking and hunting opportunities in the northern edge of Athens County. Picnicking and fishing opportunities are located off State Route 377.
Recreation - Open daily from 6 AM to 11 PM, visitors enjoy hiking, picnicking, fishing, and hunting.
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.
Gifford State Forest is located in northern Athens County, 17 miles northeast of Athens, on State Route 377.