Description - Located in the Appalachian foothills near the banks of the Ohio River, Shawnee State Park's rugged beauty has earned it the nickname "The Little Smokies." From the highest points in the forest, ridge after ridge appears to roll away toward the horizon in a gentle blue haze.
Copyright: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Shawnee State Park
During the 1700s, the Shawnee Indians were gradually displaced as the settlers continued to build their cabins and clear land in this new and fertile country. The face of the region changed a great deal in the years to come, but through effective timber management practices by the state's Division of Forestry, Shawnee State Forest has regained much of its original appearance. Similarly, resource conservation programs coupled with wise land use practices at Shawnee State Park have assured that this 1,168-acre recreational facility will continue to maintain its natural beauty.
The hardwood forest is host to a variety of flora and fauna. Wildflowers are abundant including several rare types of orchids such as the tiny whorled pogonia and the showy orchids. Forest wildlife includes white-tailed deer, wild turkey, raccoon, various songbirds and rare sightings of bobcat and black bear.
- Located within the state forest bearing the same name, Shawnee State Park features a resort lodge with breathtaking views of the surrounding hill country. The lodge features fifty guest rooms, elegant dining room, meeting rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, basketball and shuffleboard courts.
There are 25 family cottages at Shawnee. They have one bedroom with one standard bunk bed and one single-over-double bunk bed, one bedroom with a double bed, bath with a shower, living room, complete kitchen, dining area and screened porch. Lodge facilities are available to cottage guests.
The family campground at Shawnee has 107 sites suitable for tents or trailers. The campground features electric hookups, waste disposal, heated shower houses, flush toilets and laundry facilities. Pet camping is available on a limited number of sites. A 20-site horsemen's campground with latrines is available near Bear Lake on state forest land.
Roosevelt and Turkey Creek lakes offer boating with electric motors only. Launch ramps are provided for access to the lakes. Canoes are available for rental. Boaters may spend a day on the Ohio River with access from t he park's marina facility. The well-stocked lakes provide good catches of largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie and trout. A trout derby is held annually at Turkey Creek Lake.
Two public beaches with change booths are situated on Roosevelt and Turkey Creek lakes.
The park and surrounding state forest invite hikers to discover the plant and animal life of Shawnee's forested hills. The Shawnee backpack trail operated by the Division of Forestry takes hikers to some of the best wilderness areas in Ohio. The forest also offers 75 miles of bridle trails.
Picnic areas with tables and grills are located in many secluded and scenic areas of the park. Two picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
An 18-hole championship golf course and pro-shop are within a short drive of the main park area.
Recreation - Specific activities at Shawnee State Park include fihsing, hiking, picnicking, indoor and outdoor swimming, nature study, miniature golf, river boating, ice fishing, overnight stays at a family cottage or lodge room, restaurant dining, golfing at an 18-hole course, tennis, family camping, and group camping. The state forest offers bridle and backpack trails along with hunting opportunities.
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.
Shawnee State Park is located in southern Ohio near the Kentucky state line. Park is accessible from State Route 125.