Holiday Gifts

For Someone Special
Hocking Hills Gift Certificates
©

Lake Hope

A natural paradise, Lake Hope State Park lies entirely within the 18,200-acre Zaleski State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. It is a rugged, heavily forested region traversed by steep gorges and narrow ridges. Abandoned mines, ancient mounds and beautiful scenery provide interest and pleasure for hikers, photographers, nature lovers and historians alike at one of Ohio's most historic and scenic state parks.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Ash Cave Leaf - Look down, you may see a photo op.

Lake Hope State Park is truly a nature lover's dream. In the forest-draped hills, the observant visitor can discover the abundant natural resources of this wild and scenic park.

Although most of the forest was cut to fuel the iron smelting industry that once flourished here, the land has recovered and supports a magnificent, second-growth forest. Oak and hickory are the dominant trees while the woodland floor harbors a fascinating assemblage of shrubs and wildflowers. The yellow lady's slipper ,one of the rarest and most showy orchids, blooms in secluded hollows. Other spring wildflowers such as blue-eyed mary, bloodroot and wild geranium can be found in abundance.

Deer and wild turkeys are often seen in a number of park locations. Of the many animals inhabiting the park, none is as popular as the beaver. As nature's dam builders, the beavers are found in numbers and can be observed near the quiet inlets of the lake.

A fine swimming beach is located near the dam. Facilities include a bathhouse with restrooms, showers and change booths and a concession building where food and beverages can be purchased.

Fifteen miles of hiking trails traverse the lake and scenic woodlands of the Lake Hope area and offer opportunities for photography and nature study. In the adjacent state forest, a 21-mile backpack trail with primitive campsites is available. Backpackers must register upon arrival. Thirty-three miles of bridle trail are available for riders with their own mounts in the state forest.

© hockinghills.com
New Earth Touch Photo -

The Hope Furnace was built here over 100 years ago to process the iron ore extracted from the region's sandstone bedrock. The iron resulting from the ore smelting process was used to produce many different items, including ammunition and cannon for the Union Army during the Civil War. Hundreds of men labored cutting timber, working the furnace and driving teams of mules hauling iron ore to the furnace. Charcoal fires were tended 24 hours a day; so much wood was required for this process that the surrounding hillsides were almost completely stripped of their timber. At the height of the Hope Furnace's production, Ohio was one of the nation's leading producers of iron. As time passed, iron ore was discovered farther west and Ohio's reputation as a major iron producer waned.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Butterflies Are Free - This fellow had a wing problem. Not subject matter I normally shoot.

Location Map
Lake Hope Park Map
Lake Hope Campground Map
Calendar of Events
Gobble, Gobble at Lake Hope
Sat Nov 18

2:00 - 3:00 pm

It is Turkey Time at the nature center. Learn all about the life of a turkey including how they use their creatively named body parts.

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Birdseed Basics at Lake Hope
Sun Nov 19

10:00 - 11:00 am

We will help you use the right foods to keep your backyard birds healthy and happy all winter long. Learn how to attract specific species and make your own take-home bird feeder. Meet at the nature center.

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Wildcat Cave Hike - Lake Hope
Wed Nov 22

1:00 - 2:00 pm

Join us for a .75-mile hike to see one of Lake Hopes hidden gems, a large recess cave. Discover the geological process at work. Meet the naturalist at Grouse Point. Wear study shoes and dress in layers.

Recreation programs and activities can be inherently dangerous. Participants accept and acknowledge that any injury or property damage that occurs during any program or activity is not the responsibility of ODNR or its naturalist educators.

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Oh, Deer... at Lake Hope
Fri Nov 24

4:30 - 6:00 pm

Join us to catch a glimpse of a white-tailed deer on a 2-mile walk. Learn about their natural history and ways to attract them in for a closer look. Meet at the Hope Furnace.

Recreation programs and activities can be inherently dangerous. Participants accept and acknowledge that any injury or property damage that occurs during any program or activity is not the responsibility of ODNR or its naturalist educators.

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Built By Beaver
Fri Dec 1

5:00 - 6:00 pm.

Some industrious little fur-bearers have been - busy beavers - along one of our trails. check out a dam and lodge up close and maybe even hear that slap of their tail. Prepare for muddy conditions. The walk is less than .5 miles. Meet at the Beach House to caravan to the location.

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Christmas at Lake Hope
Sat Dec 16

4:00 - 6:00 pm

Join Santa for cookies, hot chocolate, and even a horse-drawn wagon ride.

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Photo Gallery (click on an image to enlarge)
Featured Businesses and Events
Hocking Hills Adventures
Cherry Ridge Retreat
Latitude 39
Cranes' Place