Lake Hope State Park '' © Tabitha Cullison
Behind the shelter house at Lake Hope there is a quaint spot for fishing that is acompanied by this beautiful scenery.
upload your photos
view photogallery
USA Parks
USA Parks
Southeast Ohio Region
Southeast Ohio Region
Lake Hope State Park
Lake Hope State Park
27331 State Route 278
McArthur, Ohio   45651

Phone: 740-596-5253
Reservations: 866-644-6727
Lake Hope State Park
© These photos are the original work of Tabitha Cullison and are not to be redistributed without permission.

Behind the shelter house at Lake Hope there is a quaint spot for fishing that is acompanied by this beautiful scenery.

Lake Hope State Park
'Moonville Tunnel'

Old abandoned rail tunnel near Lake Hope State Park region

Lake Hope State Park
'On Furnace Trail'

Lake Hope

Lake Hope State Park
'Lake Hope waterscape'

Lake Hope State Park


Lake Hope State Park
'Lilies in the shoreline'

Lake Hope

Lake Hope State Park

State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. It is a rugged, heavily forested region traversed by steep gorges and narrow ridges. Abandoned mines, ancient mounds and beautiful scenery provide interest and pleasure for hikers, photographers, nature lovers and historians alike at one of Ohio's most historic and scenic state parks.
Nature of the Area
Lake Hope State Park is truly a nature lover's dream. In the forest-draped hills, the observant visitor can discover the abundant natural resources of this wild and scenic park.

Although most of the forest was cut to fuel the iron smelting industry that once flourished here, the land has recovered and supports a magnificent, second-growth forest. Oak and hickory are the dominant trees while the woodland floor harbors a fascinating assemblage of shrubs and wildflowers. The yellow lady's slipper, one of the rarest and most showy orchids, blooms in secluded hollows. Other spring wildflowers such as blue-eyed mary, bloodroot and wild geranium can be found in abundance.

Deer and wild turkeys are often seen in a number of park locations. Of the many animals inhabiting the park, none is as popular as the beaver. As nature's dam builders, the beavers are found in numbers and can be observed near the quiet inlets of the lake.
History of the Area
Though the roar of the iron furnaces no longer echoes through the hills of Vinton County, there are many reminders of days gone by at Lake Hope State Park. Situated at the heart of Ohio's Hanging Rock iron region, Lake Hope State Park reflects the rich history of much of southeastern Ohio.

The Hope Furnace was built here over 100 years ago to process the iron ore extracted from the region's sandstone bedrock. The iron resulting from the ore smelting process was used to produce many different items, including ammunition and cannon for the Union Army during the Civil War. Hundreds of men labored cutting timber, working the furnace and driving teams of oxen hauling iron ore to the furnace. Charcoal fires were tended 24 hours a day; so much wood was required for this process that the surrounding hillsides were almost completely stripped of their timber. At the height of the Hope Furnace's production, Ohio was one of the nation's leading producers of iron. As time passed, iron ore was discovered farther west and Ohio's reputation as a major iron producer waned.

By 1900, nearly all of the major furnaces in southern Ohio were shut down. Today, the Hope Furnace chimney and some of the foundation are all that remain of the structure. In the vicinity of the chimney, one may find pieces of slag, the cast-off residue from the smelting process. These pock-marked, glass-like pieces have now become a part of the forest floor. The forest we now see is one that has grown back where hundreds of years ago a primeval forest once stood.

For a time, coal was an important Vinton County export. A number of mines tunneled into the hills and large quantities of coal were transported out in ox-drawn coal cars. Most of the mines were abandoned early in this century.

Lake Hope Forest Park was created in 1937 by the Division of Forestry. The Division of Parks and Recreation and Lake Hope State Park came into existence in 1949.
GeneralLand, acres2983
 Water, acres120
 Nearby State Forest, acres26824
 Nearby Wildlife Area, acres1361
 Hiking Trail, miles11
 Picnic Shelters, #1
 Swimming Beach, feet600
 Mountain Bike Trails, miles25
 Bridle Trails, miles6
 Beach Concessionyes
 Nature Centeryes
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating Limits-1
 Launch Ramps, #1
CampingPrimative, #141
 Electric Sites, #46
 Pets Permittedyes
 Rent-A-Camp Sites, #3
 Camper Cabins, #1
 Group Camp, capacity100
 Youth Group Camp, capacity100
 Rent-A-Teepee, #1
 Horsemen Campsites, #16
 Cross-Country Skiingyes
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
AccommodationsLodge Roomsyes
 Family Cottages, #66
The rustic dining lodge, built of native stone and lumber, offers a spectacular view of the lake. The dining lodge features The Stone Terrace Restaurant, meeting room, General Store, as well as lodge and cottage reservation office. Souvenirs and firewood are available for purchase. Restaurant and meeting room reservations may be made by calling 740-596-0400.
The rustic dining lodge, built of native stone and lumber, offers a spectacular view of the lake. The dining lodge features The Stone Terrace Restaurant, meeting room, General Store, as well as lodge and cottage reservation office. Souvenirs and firewood are available for purchase. Restaurant and meeting room reservations may be made by calling 740-596-0400.
A beautiful 119-site campground is suitable for tents or trailers. The campground includes heated showerhouses, pit latrines, waste disposal, laundry facilities, picnic tables and fire rings. Forty-six sites have electric hookups. Three Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining fly, cooler, cook stove and other equipment, and two camper-cabins can be rented during the summer months by reservation. Pets are permitted. A group camp is available for organized groups on a reservation basis. A horsemen's camp is offered for bridle trail users in Zaleski State Forest.
Nearby Accommodations
Mesa Vista Lodge - Union Furnace, OHCottages and Cabins
Mesa Vista Lodge offers 4200 sq. ft. of luxury living with 8 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 2 gas log fireplaces, massive kitchen/dining/great room with cathedral ceiling, 8-10 person hot tub and 2400 sq. ft. of covered walk-around porch.
8.9 miles from park*
Cherry Ridge Retreat - New Plymouth, OHCottages and Cabins
The privacy and beauty of a woodland paradise with the comforts and amenities of the Hocking Hills finest accommodations. Amenities include, Absolute privacy, Gourmet Kitchen, Stone fireplace in family room and master bedroom, Artist-designed furniture, Private Cabana with deluxe hot tub, custom bar and stereo.
5.6 miles from park*
Firefly Cottage on Lake Logan - Logan, OHCottages and Cabins
A lakeside retreat in the beautiful Hocking Hills on scenic Lake Logan. Full kitchen, Hot Tub, Satellite HD TV, sitting room, breakfast nook, and electric AC/Heat.
15 miles from park*
Haven Inn the Hills - Logan, OHCottages and Cabins
Great for a private relaxing get away. Whether you are looking for rest and relaxation with that special someone, or the best cook-out for family and friends Haven Inn The Hills is the answer for you.
11.8 miles from park*
Hocking Hills Dreamscape Hideaway - Logan, OHCottages and Cabins
This is not your typical cabin in the woods and you aint gonna be roughing it. Its a log home lovingly furnished to make you feel spoiled. From the moment you enter, youll realize that youve found your dreamscape. Beautiful, tranquil music playing the background feel free to take the CD home with you, luxurious amenities all around you, a soothing, private hot tub overlooking the forest and a bottle of champagne chilling next to the flick-of-a-switch gas fireplace. Oh yes, you have arrived And we promise youll wish you never had to leave.
13.5 miles from park*
October 17
Annual Fall Hike - Lake Hope
Three-mile guided hikes begin at the Shelter House and end at the Hope Furnace with bean soup and cornbread. Shuttles return you to your car. (740) 596-3030.
October 31
R.O.A.R Days - Lake Hope
Celebrate Appalachian culture through crafts, music and food.

Regional artists will demonstrate their skills and sell their wares.

(740) 596-3030.

November 21
Fall Craft Show - Lake Hope
More details to come.
December 19
Santa and Wagon Rides - Lake Hope
More details to come.
click here to see more events!
Accommodation Availability Calendars
A fine swimming beach is located near the dam. Facilities include a bathhouse with restrooms, showers and change booths and a concession building where food and beverages can be purchased.
Boats with electric motors only may be used on the 120 acre lake. Canoes and rowboats are available for rent at the beach concession, mid-May through October.

Get directions
to this park:

by Town and state
by zip code

Picnic areas with tables and grills are located at many secluded and scenic areas around the park. Two picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis or by reservation.
More than 17 miles of hiking trails traverse the lake and scenic woodlands of the Lake Hope area and offer opportunities for photography and nature study. Seventeen miles of singletrack, multi-use trail are available for mountain biking. In the adjacent state forest, a 21-mile backpack trail with primitive campsites is available. Backpackers must register upon arrival. Thirty-three miles of bridle trail are available for riders with their own mounts in the state forest.
Area Attractions
Hocking Hills State Park, just twenty miles northwest of Lake Hope, boasts some of the most spectacular geological formations in the state. The Blackhand Sandstone has been carved into deep gorges, large recess caves and imposing cliff faces.

Zaleski State Forest surrounds Lake Hope State Park and includes miles of hiking and bridle trails and backpacking routes. Information on backpacking is available from the Division of Forestry at (614) 265-6694. The Waterloo Wildlife Area where forest game are managed is within minutes of the park.

Lake Alma State Park, 15 miles southeast of Lake Hope, offers opportunities for fishing, camping, swimming and picnicking.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 21 The Best State Park In Ohio Hands Down!! by Jason Muncie
Awesome cabins, lake, and scenery. My family spends a week there every July and keeps getting better. Plenty of things to do and attractions near by. Check out Splash Down Country Waterpark in nearby Wellston. The kids will love it as they love Lake Hope!
January 10 Heaven On Earth by Organs
We come here every year..every year it gets better and we cherish these memories as a family!
June 18 Paradise every summer! by K. MacDonald
Some of the most cherished family memories that will stay with me the rest of my life. Fishing, swimming and evening fireflies everywhere you look.

Area Campgrounds
Top O' The Caves
2265 Lancaster Thornville Road
South Bloomingville, OH
Happy Hills Campground and Cabins
22245 S.R. 278 South
Nelsonville, OH
Hocking Hills KOA
29150 Pattor Rd
Logan, OH
Lake Snowden Campground
5900 US Route 50
Albany, OH
Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Fernwood Log Cabin - Logan, OHCottages and Cabins
It features a hot tub, 2 bedrooms, pool table, ping pong table, CD player, telephone, living room with fireplace and tv/vcr with 50 movies. The kitchen is full equipped and the deck has a swing.
15.2 miles from park*
Rose's Vacation Cabin - Glouster, OHCottages and Cabins
Burr Oak State Park - Located in the rolling hills of southeastern Ohio. Rose's Vacation Cabin Rental is a special place to make your Honeymoon, Anniversary, or Family Getaway a relaxing experience.
21.9 miles from park*
Hocking Hills Backwoods Retreat - ROCKBRIDGE, OHCottages and Cabins
Close proximity to Old Man's Cave and Ash Cave, both very popular tourist attractions in the Hocking Hills area. Our cabins are perfect if you are looking for a place to enjoy a relaxing getaway in the Hocking Hills Region, with fire pits, hot tubs, outdoor grilling, hiking, picnicking, fishing, and hunting.
15.9 miles from park*
Area Resources
Offical Guide to Southeastern Ohio's Scenic Wonderland, the Hocking Hills. The 9 State Parks and State Forests. How to get there, things to do, interesting local merchants, what to see, places to stay. Reserve your cabin or campsite online
11.6 miles from park*
Weather Forecast, (45654)

27331 State Route 278, McArthur, OH 45651

USA Parks
USA Parks
Southeast Ohio Region
Southeast Ohio Region
Lake Hope State Park
Lake Hope State Park