The boardwalk of Lake Vesuvius lit by the early morning sun.

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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.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

Area Name Status Area Conditions
Baileys Trail System Open Open
Balancing Rock Trailhead Open Open
Big Bend Swimming Beach Open Open
Bluegrass Trailhead Open Open
Burr Oak Cove Campground Open Open
Elm Trailhead Open Open
Hanging Rock OHV System Open Open
Hanging Rock Trailhead Open Open
Hune Bridge Campground Open 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:
  • Take Scottown Road (Twp. Rd. 35) across the Little Muskingum River.
  • After a short drive, turn right onto Smith Road (Twp. Rd. 408).
  • Follow Smith Rd./408 south along the river until you reach the campground.
Iron Ridge Campground Open Open
John's Creek Trailhead Open Open
Kinderhook Horseback Riding System Open Open
Kinderhook Trailhead Open Open
Lake Vesuvius Horseback Riding System Open Open
Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area Open Open
Lamping Homestead Recreation Area Open Open Remains open to foot travel
Lane Farm Campground Open Open
Leith Run Recreation Area Open Open
Long Ridge Trailhead Open Open
Lyra Trailhead Open Open
Monday Creek OHV System Open Open
Monday Creek Trailhead Open Open
New Straitsville Trailhead Open Open
Oak Hill Campground Open Open
Old Stone Church Trailhead Open Open Two trail bridges along the main loop are closed for public safety until further notice.
Paddle Creek Horse Camp Open Open
Pine Creek OHV System Open Open
Pine Knob Loop Open Open
Red Oak Trailhead Open Open
Ring Mill Campground Open Open
Sand Hill Trailhead Open Open
Scarlet Oak Trailhead Open Open
Stone Church Horse Camp Open Open
Stone Church Horseback Riding System Open Open Two trail bridges along the main loop are closed for public safety until further notice.
Superior OHV System Open Open
Superior Trailhead Open Open
Sycamore Trailhead Open Open
Telegraph Trailhead Open Open See Alerts & Notices for more details. 
Two Point Group Campground Open Open
Wayne National Forest Welcome Center Open Open
White Oak Trailhead Open Open
Wolcott Trailhead Open Open Portions of the Telegraph and Wolcott Trails are temporarily closed. See Alerts & Notices for more details. 


Stone Church Horseback Riding System

Stone Church Horsecamp

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

Hills Covered Bridge

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

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.

Recreation Areas