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© Bud Schrader Photography

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.

© hockinghills.com
New Earth Touch Photo -

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
Frozen Leaf - On the concrete at Old Mans Cave. look down

Location Map
Lake Hope Park Map
Lake Hope Campground Map
Calendar of Events
Full Moon Hike
Mon Aug 7

8:00 - 10:30 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. Sturdy footwear and bug repellent are recommended. Meet at the Lake Hope shelter House just past the Boat House.

Cost: Free Event

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Kayaking Introduction Event
Fri Aug 11

3:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Limited availability. First come, first served. Ages 12 and up. Bring water and prepare to get wet.

All courses are introductory, 1.5 hours long and meant to get you familiar with the parts, safety concerns and paddling techniques of a kayak or SUP.

Nature Center Hours: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-4:00 pm

Hungry Hummingbirds: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-3:00 pm

Hand-feed ruby-throated hummingbirds at the nature center.

Cost: Free Event / Equip Provided

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest,
Insect Investigations
Sat Aug 12

10:00 am

Find out what makes it an insect then try to find them. Prepare to get wet and dirty. some bug nets and containers provided.

Meet at the Hope Furnace.

Nature Center Hours: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-4:00 pm

Hungry Hummingbirds: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-3:00 pm Hand-feed ruby-throated hummingbirds 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
Sun Aug 13

10:00 am

Learn how to shoot a bow and arrows. All equipment will be provided.

Meet the naturalist below the Lake Hope Dam.

Nature Center Hours: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-4:00 pm

Hungry Hummingbirds: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-3:00 pm Hand-feed ruby-throated hummingbirds 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,
Standup Paddle Boarding
Wed Aug 16

4:00 pm and 6:00 pm

Limited availability. First come, first served. Ages 12 and up. Bring water and prepare to get wet.

All courses are introductory, 1.5 hours long and meant to get you familiar with the parts, safety concerns and paddling techniques of a kayak or SUP.

Nature Center Hours: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-4:00 pm

Hungry Hummingbirds: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-3:00 pm

Hand-feed ruby-throated hummingbirds at the nature center.

Cost: Free Event / Equip Provided

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest,
Standup Paddle Boarding
Thu Aug 17

6:00 pm

Limited availability. First come, first served. Ages 12 and up. Bring water and prepare to get wet.

All courses are introductory, 1.5 hours long and meant to get you familiar with the parts, safety concerns and paddling techniques of a kayak or SUP.

Nature Center Hours: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-4:00 pm

Hungry Hummingbirds: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-3:00 pm

Hand-feed ruby-throated hummingbirds at the nature center.

Cost: Free Event / Equip Provided

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest,
Standup Paddle Boarding
Sat Aug 19

5:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Limited availability. First come, first served. Ages 12 and up. Bring water and prepare to get wet.

All courses are introductory, 1.5 hours long and meant to get you familiar with the parts, safety concerns and paddling techniques of a kayak or SUP.

Nature Center Hours: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-4:00 pm

Hungry Hummingbirds: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-3:00 pm

Hand-feed ruby-throated hummingbirds at the nature center.

Cost: Free Event / Equip Provided

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

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest,
Solar Eclipse Viewing
Mon Aug 21

2:00 pm

Watch the moon eat the sun during the peak of what will be a partial solar eclipse. Eye protection provided. You don't want to miss it, the next one will not be until 2024.

Meet at the Dining Lodge.

Nature Center Hours: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-4:00 pm

Hungry Hummingbirds: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-3:00 pm Hand-feed ruby-throated hummingbirds 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,
Kayak Fishing at Lake Hope
Sun Sep 10

1:00 - 5:00 pm

Learn how to fish from a kayak. For ages 12 and up, fishing license required for participants 16 and older.

Sign up at the Lake Hope Nature Center by Friday, September 8th.

Nature Center Hours: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-4:00 pm

Hungry Hummingbirds: Thu/Sat/Sun 1:00-3:00 pm Hand-feed ruby-throated hummingbirds at the nature center.

Cost: Free Event/Must Register

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)
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