Featuring a spectacular terrain of rolling hills and lush, craggy terrain, Great Seal State Park can easily lay claim to being one of the most beautiful state parks in Ohio.
Situated less than an hour’s drive from Columbus the park is named after the official seal of Ohio State. This is because it portrays many characteristics of the park including the stunning mountains of the Ohio Scioto Valley.
Residing within an area where glaciated plains, the Appalachian Plateau and mountain foothills meet, the park has some real ‘pinch me’ parts to it. When conditions are right you can see all these landmarks with such clarity it literally takes your breath away.
Spanning 1,862 acres wide, the park provides visitors with plenty of opportunities to explore its stunning landscape via hiking and biking. In the winter cross country skiing is a popular activity too.
Throughout the year you can also engage in a range of sports and recreational pursuits. While many people choose to enjoy the environment while having a picnic.
Visitors to Great Seal State Park can engage in several outdoor recreational pursuits during their time at the park.
Outlined below are a handful of the many activities you can see and do while you are there.
Trails at Great Seal State Park
For those who really want to immerse themselves in the park’s outstanding natural beauty the best way to do this is on foot, horse or bike.
Throughout the park there are 12 separate trails, all but two of which are multi-use. Some of them have a challenging degree of difficulty, taking you through hilly and woodland terrain as well as ravines and sharply undulating pathways.
They should only be attempted if you are wearing appropriate footwear, a hat, lots of sunscreen and mosquito spray and are carrying plenty of water.
While venturing through the park on these trails, you will see wonderful views of chestnut oaks, sugar maple trees and hardwoods. During the springtime there will be an explosion of wildflowers to take in too.
Sports & Recreation at Great Seal State Park
When not exploring the park’s gorgeous landscape there are plenty of other sports and recreational activities visitors can take part in.
For children you will find two playgrounds. There are volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, a disc golf course and sand volleyball courts available too.
In addition to these activities, there is lots of green space for children to run or throw/kick a football around.
Picnicking at Great Seal State Park
Given its incredible natural beauty it shouldn’t come as a surprise that picnicking is a very popular activity at Great Seal State Park.
Throughout the park you will find plenty of picnic areas to enjoy an al fresco meal while you take in the wonderful scenic views.
For your convenience, restrooms and a playground are located near some of them.
Cross-Country Skiing at Great Seal State Park
The colder months of winter bring a lot of snow to the park. During this time some of the trails turn into excellent tracks for cross country skiing.
One of the best of them to tackle is the Spring Run Trail which provides ten different training stations along its course.
Skiers are able to head over to each training station before taking off their skis to enable them to receive a more intensive cardiovascular or body weight workout as they continue along.
Hunting at Great Seal State Park
If you are into bow hunting you can enjoy this pastime from the month of November until the end of the season. In its more isolated and remote areas trapping is also allowed.
You will need a valid licence if you intend to engage in this recreational pursuit. Should you have one there are plenty of game quadrupeds, fur-bearing animals and game birds around that you can try and catch.
Pets at Great Seal State Park
The park considers itself to be pet friendly but it does impose some restrictions on dog owners.
Throughout their time there all dogs must be kept on a hand held leash of no more than six feet in length. They must also be well behaved and if they make a mess you are held responsible for cleaning it up.
Some other conditions do apply. So it is worth contacting the park’s main office for further clarification if you intend to bring your pooch with you.
Camping at Great Seal State Park
For those needing overnight accommodation the park houses a primitive campground that offers 15 sites.
You won’t be able to reserve these sites as they are only available on a first come, first served basis so it is worth getting to the park early to procure one of them.
It is worth noting that 10 of these sites have been specifically created to accommodate equestrian camping and none of them have any style of hookups.
You are permitted to use generators though and you will also be able to access water from a designated drinking site.
Amenities at this campground include vault toilets, a horse shelter and a playground. These sites also all come with their own picnic tables and fire rings.
If you do plan to stay there it is worth remembering the campground is seasonal and closes during the worst months of winter. For this reason you should contact the park’s main office to double check if it is open.
Should you prefer to stay somewhere that offers a few more comforts of home there are several hotel and motel options available in the city of Chillcothe which is about a 10 minute drive away.
Great Seal State Park
4908 Marietta Rd
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Here is a short YouTube video with a tour of the campground at Great Seal State Park: