An Air of Nostalgia within a Few Hours’ Drive
The Wayne National Forest is within a few hours’ drive of several metropolitan areas such as Columbus, Akron, Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Pittsburgh. Yet it retains an air of nostalgia, with covered bridges, rockshelters, springs and rugged hills covered with hardwood and pine, visitors to the Wayne are welcome to camp, hike, hunt, and fish. There are over 400 miles of trails on the forest for hiking, off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding, mountain biking, or horseback riding.
Know Before You Go
Trails Closed to Certain Uses Seasonally
Wayne National Forest trails are open to foot travel year-round. Trails seasonally close to mountain bike, equestrian, and off-highway vehicle use from winter to early spring. The seasonal closing and opening dates are based on trail conditions and change year-to-year.
2023 Season Updates
Spring Opening Dates
Trails reopened to mountain bike, horse, and motorized use on April 7, 2023. Campgrounds are planned to reopen on April 14, 2023.
Fee Free Dates
Fee-free dates in 2023 are:
- Saturday, June 10 – National Get Outdoors Day
- Monday, June 19 – Juneteenth
- Saturday, September 23 – National Public Lands Day
- Saturday, Nov. 11 – Veterans Day
During a fee-free day, motorized riders won’t have to purchase a trail pass to ride, and camping is free as the following campgrounds:
Any campgrounds not listed are not eligible.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
Recreation Conditions Report
|Area Name||Status||Area Conditions|
|Baileys Trail System||Open|
|Balancing Rock Trailhead||Open|
|Big Bend Swimming Beach||Open|
|Burr Oak Cove Campground||Open|
|Hanging Rock OHV System||Open|
|Hanging Rock Trailhead||Open|
|Hune Bridge Campground||Open||Hune Covered Bridge connects Route 26 (which runs west of the Little Muskingum River) with Hune Bridge Campground on the east side of the river. However, Hune Covered Bridge is currently closed due to a land slippage. To access the campground, please follow the detour route below. From Route 26 North Of Hune Covered Bridge, Near Wingett Run:
|Iron Ridge Campground||Open|
|John's Creek Trailhead||Open|
|Kinderhook Horseback Riding System||Open|
|Lake Vesuvius Horseback Riding System||Open|
|Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area||Open|
|Lamping Homestead Recreation Area||Open||Remains open to foot travel|
|Lane Farm Campground||Open|
|Leith Run Recreation Area||Open|
|Long Ridge Trailhead||Open|
|Monday Creek OHV System||Open|
|Monday Creek Trailhead||Open|
|New Straitsville Trailhead||Open|
|Oak Hill Campground||Open|
|Old Stone Church Trailhead||Open||Two trail bridges along the main loop are closed for public safety until further notice.|
|Paddle Creek Horse Camp||Open|
|Pine Creek OHV System||Open|
|Pine Knob Loop||Open|
|Red Oak Trailhead||Open|
|Ring Mill Campground||Open|
|Sand Hill Trailhead||Open|
|Scarlet Oak Trailhead||Open|
|Stone Church Horse Camp||Open|
|Stone Church Horseback Riding System||Open||Two trail bridges along the main loop are closed for public safety until further notice.|
|Superior OHV System||Open|
|Telegraph Trailhead||Open||See Alerts & Notices for more details.|
|Two Point Group Campground||Open|
|Wayne National Forest Welcome Center||Open|
|White Oak Trailhead||Open|
|Wolcott Trailhead||Open||Portions of the Telegraph and Wolcott Trails are temporarily closed. See Alerts & Notices for more details.|
Stone Church Horseback Riding System
Named for the skeletal ruins of an old stone church nearby, the Stone Church Horse Trail System provides a great opportunity for scenic riding. Various loops for other distances are available. The horse trail winds through the rolling hills of the Wayne National Forest. The trails will lead you through a variety of vegetation- open fields, brushland, mature forest, and new forest. Along the way, you may glimpse wildlife, and will recognize the influence of humans, both now and in the past. You will also pass many of our land management activities.
The trailhead provides a camp specifically for equestrians and 21 miles of scenic riding. The horse camp has ten sites are provided at the campground, each with a 45' long by 15' wide parking space. Two sites are fully accessible for people with disabilities. Each site has a covered paddock, fire pit, grill, and tent pad.
Covered Bridge Scenic Byway
The National Forest Covered Bridge Scenic Byway (Map) follows State Route 26 from Marietta to Woodsfield, Ohio. For most of its length, it parallels the Little Muskingum River. The scenic byway traverses some of Ohio's most beautiful countryside and many choose to stop along its route, to camp and savor the natural beauty of this area. There are four campgrounds along the byway. The Scenic Byway is a self-guided tour to interpret 35 miles of scenery and history along the Little Muskingum River. To guide you along the tour, look for the tour markers that will lead you to each of the ten stops. The tour is approximately four hours, plus one hour to return to Marietta. For a shorter tour, omit Stops #9 and #10 and return by S.R. 260.
Brochure on this scenic byways and its stops.
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.