Description - Pike State Forest consists of 11,961 acres in southern Ohio in Pike and Highland counties. Originally obtained for reforestation purposes, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps, along with the Division of Forestry, made a major impact on the land. Today, Pike State Forest spans 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.
Copyright: Patty Elton-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
A wealth of plant and animal life is preserved in Ohio's State Forests
- The forest offers a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities. Located off State Route 124 is Pike State Forest APV area. The facility has 15 miles of trail open to motorcycles and 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. Each year the APV trails close December 1 through March 31.
For the equestrian there are 33 miles of bridle trail located on the forest. Beautiful scenery and challenging terrain greet riders as they wind through the forested hills and valleys.
Hiking is available on the Buckeye Trail, which runs through the forest. Hiking is also permitted on the 33 miles of bridle trails. Bird watching, photography, collecting nuts, berries, and mushrooms are all pursuits which hikers may take advantage of.
For those who want to stay on the beaten path, there are numerous county and township roads that pass through the forest. During the spring, the red bud and flowering dogwood trees provide spectacular displays of color, not to mention all the wildflowers that blanket the forest floor. The hills come alive again in the fall with a panorama of vivid colors. Scenic vistas also await the visitor who wants to tour the forest by car.
Pike State Forest is open to public hunting and fishing in season. Hunters can pursue many species of forest game including squirrel, grouse, deer, turkey, raccoon, opossum, and rabbit. Fishing is also 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.
Pike Lake State Park, located in the middle of Pike Forest, offers a variety of recreational facilities and activities including camping, cabins, swimming, fishing, hiking, and boat rentals.
Recreation - All-terrain vehicular use, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, berry picking, nut and mushroom gathering, bird watching, photography, scenic driving, fishing, and hunting, are enjoyed in Pike State Forest.
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.
Perry State Forest Headquarters is located on State Route 124, just west of the village of Latham.