(Last Updated On: )

a bridge in front of the lake at Scioto Trail State Park

If you are looking for somewhere to escape the hustle and bustle of city life in Ohio then consider Scioto Trail State Park.

Situated less than an hour’s drive to Columbus, the 9,000 acre park offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.

Surrounded by wooded hills, the park’s centerpiece is its 145-acre lake, which provides a scenic and serene setting for water activities such as boating and fishing. In addition, its diverse landscape also features rolling hills, forests, and valleys, which provide visitors with a variety of hiking trails to explore.

Other popular activities at this Ohio state park include picnicking, photography, birding and wildlife watching. While the park’s campground has both electric and non-electric campsite options for visitors who want to stay for a night or two, or more.


Whether you’re looking to relax in nature or enjoy a day of outdoor adventure, Scioto Trail State Park is a must-visit destination in Ohio.

Here are some of the main recreational activities you can enjoy whilst you are there.

Boating at Scioto Trail State Park

boats on the edge of the lake at Scioto Trail State Park

Scioto Trail State Park is a great destination for boaters in Ohio. The park’s scenic 145-acre lake provides a perfect setting for all types of boats, including motorized boats, canoes, and kayaks.

To get you onto the water, the park has a boat launch located near the park office that provides easy access to the lake. The launch is available to all visitors and can accommodate boats of various sizes. The park also has a marina with seasonal boat dock rentals available.

Visitors can bring their own boats to the park or rent boats from nearby marinas. The park also offers boat rentals during the summer season. Rental options include rowboats, canoes, and kayaks, providing visitors with a variety of ways to explore the lake.

Fishing at Scioto Trail State Park

Fishing is a popular activity at Scioto Trail State Park, with the lake providing a scenic and peaceful setting for anglers to enjoy a day out by the water.

The lake has several fishing piers and a handicapped-accessible fishing dock, making it easy for visitors to find a good spot. Alternatively guests can use the boat ramp to fish from their watercraft out in the middle of the water.

The lake’s depth varies, with some areas reaching depths of up to 30 feet. This variation in depth creates a diverse underwater environment, providing habitats for a variety of fish species including bass, catfish, bluegill, and crappie. The lake also has several coves and inlets where you can fish alone.

Fishing is allowed year-round at the lake, although all anglers must have a valid Ohio fishing license. This can be purchased online or at various locations throughout the state.

fishing spot on the river at Scioto Trail State Park

Hiking at Scioto Trail State Park

Hiking is one of the main attractions at Scioto Trail State Park, and the park has several trails that offer visitors a chance to explore the park’s natural beauty.

One of the park’s most popular trails, the Vista Point Trail, is a 1.25-mile loop trail that presents panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The trail is rated as easy, making it a great option for families with children or those looking for a less strenuous hike.

Another well explored path is the 2.5-mile loop trail which takes hikers through a hardwood forest and offers gorgeous views of the park’s lake.

For those who fancy a bit of a challenge, the 13-mile Shawnee Backpack Trail is a must. Involving a multi-day hike, guests are required to obtain a permit to camp overnight along the trail before attempting it.

This trail is a challenging hike that takes hikers through the park’s most scenic areas. It is marked with blue blazes and winds through dense forest, past streams and waterfalls, and up and down difficult terrain.


Pets are welcome at Scioto Trail State Park, but must be well behaved and restrained on a leash at all times.

Pet owners should be mindful of the park’s rules and regulations when visiting with their pets, and are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.

Full a full rundown of their pet policy it is worth contacting the main office.

picnic table under a tree by the water at Scioto Trail State Park


Scioto Trail State Park offers a range of camping options for visitors, making it an ideal destination for those looking to spend a night or two in the great outdoors.

Overall, the park has a total of 69 campsites, including both RV and tent camping options. By and large, these campsites are located in a wooded area, providing a serene and peaceful setting for campers to enjoy.

The RV campsites are equipped with electric hookups, while the tent sites offer more primitive camping options. Each campsite comes with a picnic table and fire ring, providing visitors with a place to cook and enjoy meals while camping. The park also has a dump station for RVs, making it easy for visitors to dispose of waste during their stay.

In addition to traditional camping options, the park also offers a group campsite for larger groups. This group campsite can accommodate up to 40 people and is equipped with a large fire ring, picnic tables, and a pavilion for cooking and gathering.

For those looking for a more comfortable camping experience, the park also has several deluxe cabins available for rent. The cabins are equipped with heating and air conditioning, as well as a full kitchen, bathroom, and living area. The cabins can accommodate up to six people and provide a comfortable and convenient option for those who prefer a bit more luxury when camping.

To compliment the accommodation, amenities at the campground include a shower house and laundry facilities.

Park Location

Scioto Trail State Park
144 Lake Road
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Phone: 740.887.4818

Park Website



Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Scioto Trail State Park: