Forest Facts


Southeastern Ohio.  Within a day's driving distance of: Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; and Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia.



Rolling Appalachian foothills.


Land Status:

The Wayne NF is located in three units. These units are located across twelve Ohio Counties. Although the boundaries include 833,990 acres, most of the land within those boundaries is in private ownership. The national forest exists as a patchwork across the land, normally occupying lands less suitable for agricultural or commercial development. Click here for land statistics for the Wayne National Forest.

Unique Features

Points of Interest - There are many points of interest on the Forest including historical and natural sites - a few are listed below but others are linked to the Points of Interest site.

Vesuvius Furnace - A partially restored iron furnace built in 1833.

Irish Run Natural Bridge - One of 7 natural rock bridges in Ohio, 51' long, 16' thick and 39' high.

Covered Bridges - Several century old covered bridges are found on the Forest.

Shawnee and Snake Ridge Lookout Towers - Constructed by the CCC in 1939.



The mix of open-land and forest provides a wide variety of wildlife habitats. Common mammals include white-tailed deer, gray fox, woodchuck, opossum, and gray squirrel. Common birds are turkey, ruffed grouse, pileated woodpecker and wood duck.


Watchable Wildlife:

Ohio has developed a Wildlife Viewing Guide. The guide recommends "watchable wildlife" sites on the Wayne, primarily along Forest waterways, where heron, osprey, beaver and otter can be seen. Other sites featured indicate where upland forest wildlife can be viewed.


Heritage Resources:

Southeastern Ohio is rich in history. Mounds and prehistoric earthworks from the Adena and Hopewell cultures are still found on the Forest.

While many towns date back to the first settlements in the Northwest Territory, others are founded on sites that are even older. Cemeteries and historic buildings on the Forest offer visitors a glimpse into the past. Vesuvius Furnace, Ring Mill House, three covered bridges, the two Fire Towers, old oil derricks, and several rock shelters are interpreted for the public.

Significant work has been done through a special grant on African-American communities on the Forest.

The Wayne sponsors an annual artifact ID day for private citizens to bring in artifacts they have found.


Payments to States:

National Forests do not pay property taxes but payments in lieu of taxes are made annually. For payments to counties information click here.


Land Recreation:

Hiking, horseback, mountain bike, and ATV riding trails; hunting; nature study; camping and picnicking; and scenic drives are all available on the Wayne N.F.


Water Recreation:

Leith Run Recreation Area is popular with boaters and fishermen alike because of the easy access to the Ohio River. The Little Muskingum and Hocking Rivers, as well as Symmes Creek, offer opportunities for seasonal float trips through the Forest.

Panfish, catfish, and bass fishing opportunities are available throughout the Forest. Lake Vesuvius (143 acres) offers paddle boat and canoe rentals and is within the largest recreation area on the Forest. Timbre Ridge Lake (100 acres) has a primitive boat access.


Scenic Views:

The Covered Bridge Scenic Byway on State Route 26 showcases one of Ohio's most beautiful stretches of highway. Historic barns, covered bridges, and century old buildings dot the landscape along the route following the Little Muskingum River.


Natural Resources:

Central Hardwoods, primarily oak and hickory, are predominate in southeastern Ohio. Most species of pine and hemlock found on the forest are native, but many areas, particularly previously mined areas have been planted.

The Wayne has a "plant a tree" program to plant trees in honor of someone on the Wayne NF. To order trees for planting on your own private property go to the Ohio DNR website.

The Wayne is rich in mineral resources. The mineral program on the Wayne provides jobs and money to the local economy as well as returns revenue to the federal government. Click here for more information on the Wayne NF minerals program.

The Forest also manages fire on the land, both protecting areas from wild fire and in some cases carefully burning areas for certain specified reasons.

Several Special Areas have been identified to manage and protect unique ecosystems. Rock shelters, bluffs, and coves provide interesting places on the Wayne and are home to many rare plants.


Other items of interest

Wayne N.F. Offices

Information of interest to visitors

Annual Reports

Employees of the Wayne National Forest, August 2001.Wayne NF_employees, August 2001