Hanging Rock OHV System

Area Status: Open
ATV rider chooses a fork in the trail.

The Hanging Rock area of the Wayne National Forest provides some excellent opportunities for riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs). This system has 26 miles of trail available for off-highway vehicle, mountain bike, and hiking use.

These trails wind through an area strip-mined in the 1960's and 1970's. Much of the upland area was badly scarred, and some areas are left with steep slopes providing challenging trails to riders. The area is also known for its fishing ponds, 51 of which are available for fishing. The ponds which are scattered along the OHV trail, lend a picturesque backdrop to an OHV ride.


At a Glance

Operational Hours:
  • Trails are seasonally closed to off-highway vehicle and mountain bike use from winter to early spring. Visit our Recreation page to see seasonal open and close dates for the current year.
  • Day and night (with lights) access is permitted.
  • Open year-round for hiking.
Fees: OHV riding requires a trail permit
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: For OHV riding:
  • OHV Trail Permit required
  • APV Registration required
  • No vehicles greater than 50 inches wide allowed
  • Possession of alcohol is prohibited on the Wayne National Forest per Ohio’s Open Container Law.
  • Helmets and protective eye-wear required.
  • Passengers may ride only if vehicle is designed by manufacturer to carry passengers.
Closest Towns: Hanging Rock Village or Ironton, OH
Water: None
Restroom: Vault
Operated By:

Ironton Ranger District

General Information

General Notes:

Maps of the Hanging Rock Trail System can be found on out OHV Trail Maps page. Maps are also provided when you purchase a trail permit.


Ample parking is provided at trailheads.


Hanging Rock Trailhead - is accessed from State Highway 650 off U.S. Highway 52. Go north 3/4 mile to Forest Road 105. Stay on paved Forest Road 105 for approximately 1.5 miles to the paved trailhead parking. GPS Lat/Long coordinates for the area are 38 deg 34' 51" / 82 deg 43' 29".

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Recreation areas with activity Mountain Biking:

This trail system is availabe to all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, mountain bikes, and hiking.

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Dispersed Camping

Recreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:

Camping is allowed at the trailheads during the open season. Camping is also frequently done around the Hanging Rock ponds by fisherman and during hunting seasons by all the hunters that use the area.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing: There are 50-75 ponds of various sizes - fish populations are surveyed and ponds stocked in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
Special Designations Some of the ponds can be driven to by vehicle, some by ATV, and some are walk-in only. Some of the ponds have been stocked with grass carp which must be returned.
Fish Species largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, and catfish. All grass carp (whit amur) must be immediately returned to the pond unharmed.
Fishing Platform shore or boat
Cleaning Station none
Fishing Method Some lakes are large enough to accommodate watercraft, others only for shore fishing.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking: This trail system is designed primarily for ATV/OHMs but hikers are welcome. Loops of a variety of lengths offer hikers many different lengths of hikes depending on the time they have available.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

OHV Camping

Recreation areas with activity OHV Camping:

Camping is allowed at all of the campsites on the Hanging Rock OHV System, but only during the OHV and mountain biking open season. Please do not limit others' use of the area with your campsite.

No. of Sites 1
Reservation Info No
Fire Information You can build a campfire as long as you have a 10 foot clearance around it and put a ring around it with rocks. Fires must be extinguished before leaving camp. No bon fires are allowed. No standing or green trees may be cut. Check the bulletin boards to ensure no fire bans are in effect.
No. of Accessible sites 0
Hours of Operation:
  • Open April 15 - Dec 15 for camping.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

OHV Trail Riding

Recreation areas with activity OHV Trail Riding:

This 26 mile trail system is designed primarily for ATV/OHMs. Loops of a variety of lengths offer riders many different lengths of rides depending on the time they have available.

Much of the upland area where these trails are developed was badly scarred by strip mining, and some areas are left with steep slopes providing challenging trails to riders. The area is also known for its fishing ponds which are scattered along the ATV trail, lend a picturesque backdrop to an ATV ride. You may also intersect hiking trails, note that only trails marked with orange diamonds are designated for ATV use!

Staging Area 1 trailhead
Class of Vehicle under 50 inches in width
Difficulty Level: Difficult

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized: As a result of past mining or quarrying in the Hanging Rock area of the Ironton Ranger District, there are areas where many ponds are clustered together in a relatively small area. These ponds range in size from ½ acre to 7 acres, and access can be easy to difficult. The ponds located along old mining haul roads receive the most fishing pressure, while those located in the remote and rugged areas rarely are visited by anglers. Many people will bring belly boats along with them when fishing the remote ponds but the larger ponds can be fished in bigger boats.
Trailer Parking parking is provided at trailheads
Launch Ramps dirt banks
Type of Craft canoes, kayaks and flat-bottom Jon boats
Fuel availability motors are not necessary in most of these ponds
Marina/Mooring none
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
26 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude :