Vesuvius Lakeshore Trail and Backpacking Trail

Area Status: Open

These two trails encircle Lake Vesuvius.

The Lakeshore Trail is a scenic 8.25 mile trail that follows along the shore of Lake Vesuvius. This trail can take more than 4 hours to hike so bring plenty of water and snacks. Start at the boat dock and follow the accessible boardwalk, cross the dam, and begin your 8 mile adventure! This scenic trail takes you under overhanging hemlock, along rock bluffs, and across foot bridges. 

The Vesuvius Backpack Trail is a 17.28 mile trail that goes through difficult rugged terrain and dense vegetation. The landscape is striking, taking backpackers through open fields, brushland, mature forests, and along the lakeshore. 

The Lakeshore Hiking Trail is marked with white diamond markers with blue dots. The Backpack Trail has white diamonds with yellow dots. 

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Year-round
Fees: Free
Open Season: January through December
Usage: Medium
Restrictions: Hiking only
Closest Towns: Pedro or Ironton
Water: None
Restroom: Vault at Boat Dock Trailhead.
Operated By: Ironton Ranger District, 6518 SR 93, Pedro, OH 740-534-6500

General Information

Directions: Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Dispersed Camping

Camping is allowed along the trail for this long backpack trail.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Lake and Pond Fishing

This 143 acre lake is stocked by ODNR, for those backpacking and overnight camping, there are places where you camp close enough to the lake to catch your dinner!
Fish Species largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish are commonly caught
Cleaning Station none
Difficulty Level: Intermediate


The Vesuvius Backpack Trail is 16 miles. We are looking for volunteers to help maintain the backpack trail. Contact the Recreation Manager at 740-534-6532.

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. All campsites must be 150 feet from trails, lakes, and streams; and outside Vesuvius Recreation Area.
Difficulty Level: More to Most Difficult

Viewing 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.

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
8 miles and 16 miles

  Latitude : 

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