Description - Forked Run State Park lies in the forested hill country of southeastern Ohio. This is Ohio's oldest landscape never reached by the glacial ice that once covered much of Ohio. Although this area was untouched by the massive ice sheets, torrents of glacial meltwaters hastened the carving of the valleys and hillsides into their present-day form.
Copyright: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Forked Run State Park
Much of the area, now heavily forested, was once void of timber. Trees were cut to fuel the many iron furnaces of the area in the mid 1800's. Today, much of the forest has regrown, and vast stands of oak, hickory, maple and tuliptree clothe the deep ravines and hillsides. Wildflowers can be found in bloom except in winter months. Wild blue phlox, bloodroot, dame's rocket, cardinal flower, daisy fleabane, goldenrod and asters provide colorful displays. In spring, the hillsides burst forth with brilliant blooms of dogwood and redbud.
The forest and fields provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species including gray fox, raccoon, opossum, gray squirrel, white-tailed deer and wild turkey. Many songbirds enjoy the refuge of the forest including wood thrush, white-breasted nuthatch, scarlet tanager, pileated woodpecker and whip-poor-wills.
- Construction of Forked Run State Park began in May of 1951. In October 1952, the 102-acre lake was completed and a year later it was stocked an opened to the public.
Today, visitors find the main campground situated on the ridges overlooking the scenic valley of Forked Run Lake. There are 198 non-electric sites in both sunny and shady areas. The campground offers showers, pet camping sites and a dump station. A group camp that can accommodate 120 individuals is available by reservation. Three Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining fly, cooler, cook stove and other equipment can be rented during summer months by reservation. Three camper cabins are available for nightly rental.
A ten horsepower limit on boat motors ensures a quality boating or fishing experience on the lake. Three launch ramps provide access to the lake. Boat rentals are available. The first Ohio River Access project for the state park system was completed here in 1990. The easy access launch ramps also have a wheelchair accessible area for fishing plus boat tie-ups and restrooms. This area is located south of the park entrance off S.R. 124. Anglers will enjoy nice catches of crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish.
Swimmers and sunbathers enjoy the lake's 100-foot sand beach. Several scenic picnic areas with tables and grills offer a relaxing outdoor dining experience. Two reservable shelters accommodate larger groups.
Three hiking trails provide opportunity for exploration, exercise, nature study and wildlife observation.
The park is also open to hunting in designated areas and in the nearby Shade River State Forest. Squirrel, deer, grouse and wild turkey are popular game species in the area. A valid Ohio hunting and / or fishing license is required.
Recreation - Activities enjoyed at Forked Run include fishing, hiking, boating, swimming, family and group camping, cabins, nature study, hunting, picnicking, and sledding
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.
Located in southeastern area of the state near the Ohio River, Forked Run State Park may be accessed off State Route 124.