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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.

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Lake Hope Lilly -

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.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Lilies on the Lake - Lake Logan water lilies.

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
What's All The Buzz...
Thu Jun 1

3:00 pm

Learn about the fascinating world of honey bees life cycles, job classes, and why pollinators are important to humans. 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,
Nature On Display
Sun Jun 4

12:30 - 2:00 pm

Meet at the Lake Hope Dining Lodge.

Cost: Free Event

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Full Moon Hike
Fri Jun 9

8:00 - 10:00 pm

Join the naturalist for a 3-mile hike along the edge of the lake in search of the full moon and other night time creatures. Meet at the Lake Hope shelter House just past the Boat House. This is an Explore Ohio initiative.

Cost: Free Event

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Gone Creekin
Sat Jun 10

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Prepare to get wet. Some nets provided. Meet at the Lake Hope dam.

Cost: Free Event

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Leaf Litter Critters
Sat Jun 10

10:00 - 11:00 am

Take a micro hike to look for creatures living among the leaves such as spiders, pill bugs, and perhaps even a toad. 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,
Archery for Beginners
Sun Jun 11

1:30 - 3:00 pm

All equipment is provided. Meet at the Lake Hope dam.

Cost: Free Event

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
What's All The Buzz...
Fri Jun 16

3:00 - 4:00 pm

Learn about the fascinating world of honey bees life cycles, job classes, and why pollinators are important to humans. 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,
Paw Patrol
Fri Jun 23

7:00 - 8:00 pm

Pets must be up to date on all hots, friendly, and be on a leash. Do not forget the clean up bags. Meet the naturalist at eh Hope School House.

Cost: Free Event

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Intro to SUP
Sat Jun 24

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

During this 4-hour course participants will learn the parts of a stand up paddle board, basic strokes, and safety factors when paddling. Prepare to get wet and bring water to drink. Ages 12 and up. All equipment is provided. Limited space available so sign up in person at the park office in the dining lodge.

Cost: Free/Advanced Registration

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
SUP Quickstart
Sun Jun 25

1:30 - 3:00 pm

Basic stand up paddle board skills required.

Prepare to get wet and bring water to drink. Ages 12 and up. All equipment is provided. Limited space available so sign up in person at the park office in the dinging lodge.

Cost: Free/Advanced Registration

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
What's All The Buzz...
Wed Jun 28

3:00 - 4:00 pm

Learn about the fascinating world of honey bees life cycles, job classes, and why pollinators are important to humans. 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,
SUP Quickstart
Fri Jun 30

6:30 - 8:00 pm

Basic stand up paddle board skills required.

Prepare to get wet and bring water to drink. Ages 12 and up. All equipment is provided. Limited space available so sign up in person at the park office in the dinging lodge.

Cost: Free/Advanced Registration

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
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