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The beach at Forked Run State Park

The beach at Forked Run State Park. Photo: Friends of Forked Run State Park Facebook page.

Nestled within the bosky hill country that defines much of southeastern Ohio you’ll find the magnificent Forked Run State Park.

Set within 791-acres, this fabulous park accommodates much of the Ohio River. It also boasts a gorgeous lake and dense forest that combines to create a stunning landscape in which to explore.

This provides guests with excellent opportunities to engage in a range of outdoor recreational activities including boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking and hunting. When the snow hits, in the winter, sledding is a popular activity too.

Situated about a two hour drive from Columbus and three hours from Cincinnati, the park has a distinctly remote and tranquil feel to it.

For many who want to visit the park, it often involves having to stay at least for one night. Thankfully there is an excellent campground available which offers both electric and non-electric sites for RVs, trailers and tent campers.


This Ohio state park provides visitors with a myriad of different ways to immerse themselves in its spectacular landscape.

Here is a brief overview of some of the various activities you can enjoy while you are there.

Boating at Forked Run State Park

One of the premier recreational pursuits at the park is boating. This takes place on the scenic 120-acre Forked Run Lake that resides within it.

While there are no firms restrictions in place on a maximum limit for horsepower, vessels with more than 10HP are encouraged to stick to a no-wake speed.

There are two launch ramps that will help you gain straightforward access to the lake. In addition, the wildlife launch ramp will also get you onto the Ohio River.

If you did not bring a boat with you on your trip you can rent them out. The river and lake are also popular spots for kayaking, canoeing and SUP too.

Fishing at Forked Run State Park

The lake provides excellent opportunities for fishing, with crappies, bluegill and catfish all residing within it in abundance.

To fish in the lake you will need to obtain a valid Ohio fishing license. You can choose to cast a line on the shoreline or in a boat while on the water.

The lake features freshwater jellyfish that are the size of a dime. So it is not recommended you go into the water to fish.

Hiking at Forked Run State Park

If you enjoy hiking, the park provides you with plenty of chance to explore its enchanting landscape.

Overall there are three hiking trails you can tackle, which total four miles in length. These trails allow you to venture deep into the park for wildlife watching, nature viewing and photography.

One of the most popular courses is the Deer Run Trail as it can be accessed from the campground. It runs for just under a mile and showcases delightful scenery.

The Lake View Trail is another regularly attempted trek. Extending for two miles it provides comely views of the water.

Picnicking at Forked Run State Park

Many people who visit the park choose to indulge in a picnic.

Throughout Forked Run State Park you will find several picnic tables and outdoor grills that will enable you to enjoy a cooked al fresco meal. There is also drinking water readily available too.

One of these shelters is based on Forked Run Lake near the small swimming beach. This is a good place to take children as there is also a playground there for them to enjoy.

Hunting at Forked Run State Park

The park and the Shade River State Forest, which is also nearby, provide opportunities for hunting in specifically designated areas.

Some species you can catch are squirrels, deer, wild turkey and grouse. Be aware that you will need a valid Ohio state hunting license in which to do so.

Sledding at Forked Run State Park

When the snow comes in the colder months, the park turns into a haven for those who enjoy sledding.

If you bring a high horsepower snowmobile with you during this time, you will be able to zip around the park’s wintry landscape.

Be aware that some of these trails are elevated, so it’s worth paying attention to the direction in which you are headed.

Pets at Forked Run State Park

Pets are welcome to join you on your visit to Forked Run State Park. However, there are certain conditions that have been put in place that relate to their presence.

This includes them being well behaved and kept on a leash at all times. It also involves them being cleaned up after they have made a mess and only being permitted to go into selected campsites.

For full clarification of their pet policy, it is worth contacting the park’s main office.

Camping at Forked Run State Park

If you are looking to stay for a few nights to really make the most of your time at Forked Run State Park the campground there is very accommodating.

Presenting 143 sites across five different areas, visitors have a choice between 79 that come with connections for electricity and 64 that are non-electric.

Most of these sites take the form of paved pads. They also come with their own fire rings and picnic tables.

Amenities for these sites include vault toilets, showers, a playground and dump station. You can also use laundry services that are situated within the campground as well.

Reservations can be made up to six months ahead of your intended visit and are highly recommended.

Park Location

Forked Run State Park
25381 OH-58
Wellington, OH 44090
Phone: 440.647.4490




Here is a video with a quick look at the campsites at Forked Run State Park: