Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area


Area Status: Open
Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area

The Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area is the Wayne National Forest's premier developed recreation site and is named after the historic Vesuvius Iron Furnace. The rugged hills and out-cropping cliffs provide a scenic backdrop for this historical and beautiful site.

It contains a 143-acre lake, two family campgrounds and one group campground, beach and swim area, multiple picnic areas, fishing, boating, hiking, scenic overlook and an archery trail. This recreation area is home to the 46-mile Lake Vesuvius Horse Trail System, open from early spring to winter.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: A segment of the Lakeshore Trail is temporarily closed, and it is not possible to complete the loop around the lake.
Reservations: Camping and shelter reservations can be made at recreation.gov.
Rentals & Guides: Canoes and kayaks avaiable to rent from Kountry Kayaks between May and September at the Lake Vesuvius Boat Ramp. Contact this permitted outfitter for more information.  
Open Season: Year-round (Portions closed seasonally)
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Only boats with electric motors are allowed on Lake Vesuvius.
Closest Towns: Ironton
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush (Furnace Area: Apr-Oct) and Vault at Boat Ramp (Year-round)
Operated By: Ironton Ranger District, 6518 SR 93, Pedro, OH 740-534-6500

General Information

Directions:

From Ironton, Ohio: Take State Route 93 north 6.5 miles. Turn on County Road 29 and follow the signs to the Recreation Area (1 mile). 


General Notes:

The Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area is located in Lawrence County, 6.5 miles north of Ironton, just off State Route 93. 

Maps and Guides

 


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Sand Play

Recreation areas with activity Sand Play:

The sandy beach at Big Bend Beach offers children and adults a place to play in the sand. The beach is generally open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Status: Closed
Fees: $3/car

Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

Vesuvius Recreation Area has four campgrounds for visitors. Each offers a slightly different experience for those who come to stay at the Vesuvius Recreation Area.

RV Camping

Recreation areas with activity RV Camping:

Two of the campgrounds at Lake Vesuvius accomodate RVs.

Group Camping

Recreation areas with activity Group Camping:

Lake Vesuvius has a group campground that accomodates up to 100 people.

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:

This 143-acre lake is stocked by ODNR and has a boat ramp.

Fish Species largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish are commonly caught
Fishing Platform See Boardwalk below
Cleaning Station none
Fishing Method A boat ramp is available and boats with electric motors are allowed.

Horse Camping

Recreation areas with activity Horse Camping:

There are two trailheads, one of which has ample room for camping with horses.

Horse Riding

Recreation areas with activity Horse Riding:

46 miles of trails offer riders many loops and options on this trail system.

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

This large lake nestled in the wooded hills is encircled by over 25 miles of hiking trails. These trails travel through some of the most striking landscapes that Ohio has to offer with a variety of vegetation, rock outcrops, and many species of wildlife.

Species Woodland songbirds, deer, beaver, and turkey are commonly seen. Soaring above the lakes or perched in shoreline trees you may also see hawks and osprey.

Viewing Plants

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Plants:

This large lake nestled in the wooded hills is encircled by over 25 miles of hiking trails. These trails travel through some of the most striking landscapes that Ohio has to offer with a variety of vegetation and spectacular array of spring wild flowers and fall color.

Species Various upland and bottomland species.
Special Feature Interpretive hikes are given as part of the nature center programing on plants

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:

This area is scenic for many reasons. It's topography lends itself to panoramic views from the roads, trails, and overlooks. The lake is a beautiful backdrop to the forested rolling hills and the furnace and historic Civilian Conservation Corps era buildings lend an air of nostalgia to the site. There is even the famous "Indian head" rock near the entrance - which is a giant rock formation which looks like the profile of a Native American overlooking the lake.

Special Feature lake, furnace, Indian head rock, dam, boardwalk

Target Shooting

Recreation areas with activity Target Shooting:

This area has a 1/2-mile barrier free trail with eight archery field targets.

Status: Open
Hours of Operation: sunrise to sunset

Picnicking

Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

The Vesuvius Recreation area has a large day use picnicking area plus two picnic shelters.

Group Picnicking

Recreation areas with activity Group Picnicking:

There are two picnic shelters at the Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area.

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:

Only non-motorized boats and boats with electric motors are allowed on Lake Vesuvius. Kountry Kayaks is a local vendor who rents canoes and kayaks from May through September. Contact this vendor for more information.

Trailer Parking parking is provided at the boat ramp
Launch Ramps a long loading ramp and dock flanks the boat ramp
Class of rapids none
Type of Craft
Size Restrictions small boats
Fuel availability no
Marina/Mooring none
Rental info: Canoes and Kayaks are available seasonally for rent - contact Kountry Kayaks.

Swimming

Recreation areas with activity Swimming:

The beach area has a bath house and offers swimming opportunities in season. No life guards are present but the site has picnic tables, sand, and is an enjoyable place to spend an afternoon in the water.

Fees: $3 for parking

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
38.6138

  Longitude : 
-82.6332