Scioto Trail State Park is in Ross County, Ohio, within the stunning 9,000-acre Scioto Trail State Forest. It is just south of Chillicothe, where the various ridge-tops and winding roads give way to breathtaking views of southern Ohio’s Scioto River Valley.
Visit Scioto Trail State Park
Scioto Trail State Park is a reminder of Ohio’s rich, natural past. The Mound Builders are the foundation of the Scioto River Valley and its tributaries. Smaller mounds also exist in the Ross County area. There are other extensive earthworks that exist north of Chillicothe. Mound City is connected to a more advanced culture called the Hopewell’s. There are other Hopewell mounds as well including Seip Mound and Fort Hill.
The Shawnee used the River as their means of transportation from one settlement to another. The Scioto Trail was used by the Native Americans that followed the Scioto River from northern Ohio to the Kentucky hunting grounds. This trail was also used by settlers who traveled upriver from Portsmouth. The first European settlers came to this area in the 1790s. General Nathaniel Massie and a group of settlers founded the town of Chillicothe. West of the Scioto River and east of Little Miami River set aside for Virginia veterans of the Revolution.
The first purchases of the land started in 1922. A majority of the development took place in the 1930s. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed most of the facilities within the park. A monument was erected within the park in 1842. The monument was in honor of William Hewitt. William Hewitt was a private individual and he lived in a cave in the park for 14 years. Hewitt died in 1838 and became a local legend. The cave was eventually reduced due to highway development. It is for this reason that the monument was moved 1,000ft North from its original site. The Monument is now based near the Log Church in the park campground.
Natural Features Of Scioto Trail State Park
Ross County is a county in the Appalachian region of the U.S. state of Ohio. Located in the Appalachian foothills, the park’s fantastic rugged ridge tops and wooded valleys support some amazing natural wonders. In the spring, the trail is lined with flowering dogwood. The first floor has plenty of woodland wildflowers. This includes flowers such as wild blue phlox and wild geranium. If you are a Mushroom hunter, then you will be delighted to know that the park is host to the wonderful morel mushrooms.
With the remoteness of the area, the area is also host to some beautiful wildlife. There are small mammals in the Forest and this includes skunks, foxes, and raccoons. Rare sightings of black bears and Polecats have been reported in recent years. Various Reptiles and Amphibians also live in the park.
Boating and Camping At Scioto Trail State Park
For boating, Scioto Trail State Park has Caldwell Lake, which offers boating for hand-powered vessels and for electric-only motors. Boats that use Fossil Fuels are not allowed on the Lake. The lake is renowned as a very good paddling lake.
The lake does have one boat ramp, so canoes and paddle boats can be rented out on a seasonal basis. To rent out, you will need to go to the campground check-in station. Camping is also available near Caldwell Lake.
Reservation for camping is required. You can reserve your spot online or by calling 866 644-6727.
Fishing and Hunting At Scioto Trail State Park
Fishing is available within Scioto Trail State Park. Species of fish that are available to catch include Bluegill, Bass, catfish, and Trout. To fish within the park, a valid Ohio fishing license is required. You must be aged 16 and over to receive this license.
Hunting is not allowed within the park. Adjacent parks do allow hunting for deer, grouse, and turkey. A valid Ohio hunting license is required.
Picnicking and Swimming At Scioto Trail State Park
Picnicking in the park is allowed. There are some wonderful areas that allow picnicking. In these areas, tables and grills are provided. There is a small wading beach near the campground that is open during daylight hours. It must be noted that this area does not have a lifeguard.
Swimming is only permitted within the allowed areas. People are reminded to exercise caution and common sense when swimming at the beach. It must also be noted that pets are not permitted on the swimming beach.
Other Seasonal Activities and Routes To Explore At Scioto Trail State Park
Here are three of the best trails for walking, biking and other activities:
Scioto Trail Loop – A 10.8km trail loop in Scioto Trail State Park. Commonly described as a moderately challenging route, it is said to take approximately 2h 56 minutes to complete. Popular activities here include birding, hiking, and mountain biking.
Buckeye And Estep Hollow Loop – is a slightly shorter trail loop in Scioto Trail State Park. Running at 8.2km, it is said to take an average of 2h 17 minutes to complete. Also described as moderately challenging, and a reviewer has noted that it is mostly steep.
Moss Hollow Trail – is described as being an easy trail in Scioto Trail State Park, coming in at 6.4km. It is completed on average, within 1hr 57 minutes.
The park also offers winter recreation. When the weather is suitable and the conditions allow, visitors can partake in the activity of ice fishing. The park also has a Playground, Basketball courts, and Horseshoe court.
Overview of Facilities and Activities At Scioto Trail State Park
- Land: 218 acres
- Water: 30 acres
- Nearby State Forest: 9151 acres
- Fishing: YES
- Hunting: NO
- Hiking Trail: 5 miles
- Backpack Trail: YES
- Picnicking: YES
- Bridle Trails: YES
- Boating Limits: -1
- Launch Ramps: 1
- Primitive: 33
- Electric Sites: 40
- Pets Permitted: YES
- Dump Station: YES
- Camper Cabins: 2
- Sledding: YES
- Cross-Country Skiing: YES
- Ice Skating: YES
- Ice Fishing: YES
Video of Scioto Trail State Park:
A beautiful remote park that is not busy at all. Caldwell Lake is small but scenic. Took 2 trails and both were strenuous due to steep climbs. A great place to get away.carl apperson (Google)
Cindy’s Insider Ohio Tips!
If you want a quiet, relaxing getaway or day out, Scioto Trail State Park is definitely the place to go. This is a quiet park, I would consider it to be something of a hidden gem as not many people seem to know about it! The lakes and scenery are beautiful and the wildlife is amazing to see!
Where is Scioto Trail State Park Located?
- Address: 144 Lake Rd, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
- Phone: 740-887-4818 | Website | Facebook
- Reservations: 866-644-6727
Let’s Go to Scioto Trail State Park!
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