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Salt Fork State Park 'Tall and Proud' © April Reed
Sometimes things just catch my eye, and these beautiful flowers did just that. They seem to say We stand tall because we are proud. This will soon be an 8x10 hanging on my wall
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USA Parks
Ohio
Southeast Ohio Region
Salt Fork State Park
SALT FORK STATE PARK
SALT FORK STATE PARK
14755 Cadiz Road
Lore City, Ohio   43755

Phone: 740-439-3521
Reservations: 866-644-6727
Salt Fork State Park
'Tall and Proud'
© April Reed Photography

Sometimes things just catch my eye, and these beautiful flowers did just that. They seem to say We stand tall because we are proud. This will soon be an 8x10 hanging on my wall

Salt Fork State Park
'Secret Hideaway'
© April Reed Photography

When I found this little spot, it took my breath away

Salt Fork State Park
'Salt Fork'

A peek at the lake

Salt Fork State Park
'Hosaks Cave Lower Falls'
© 2009 Russell Lowry

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Salt Fork State Park
'Hosaks Cave Upper Falls'
© 2009 Russell Lowry

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Salt Fork State Park
'Hosaks Cave Trail'
© 2009 Russell Lowry

website

Salt Fork State Park
'Freedom'

While fishing with my brother-in-law at Salt Fork State Park in Cambridge, Ohio Guernsey County, a gust of wind came from behind me. I was holding a cigarette at the time and shot this amazing image Ive named it Freedom. As you can see, there are three images the large one overshadowing the other two. The lower image looks to me like a little girl, and the center figure seems to be a little boy holding a book or picture.

The landscape of rural Guernsey County appears as a patchwork of forested hills, open meadows and misty valleys threaded by numerous streams. At the heart of this region is Salt Fork State Park, encompassing the woodlands and fields flanking Salt Fork Reservoir. As Ohio's largest state park, Salt Fork boasts recreational facilities to suit nearly every taste.
Nature of the Area
Before settlement, Ohio lay in the heart of a vast forest wilderness stretching from the Appalachian Mountains to the Great Plains. None of the world's hardwood forests surpassed this one in variety and size of trees. Ohio's forest was a magnificent sight and an enormous challenge for settlers determined to clear and till the land. Towering oaks, hickories, beeches, maples, walnuts, ashes and chestnuts, some over 150 feet tall, rose from the rich fertile soil below. By 1900, most of Ohio's original forest was decimated. In its place stood wheat, corn, oats, hay and thriving cities.

Through conservation efforts over the past few decades, a magnificent regrowth has occurred. Today, nearly 30 percent of the state is once again supporting a thriving forest. This is most evident in the rugged, unglaciated hill region of southeastern Ohio including Salt Fork State Park. Salt Fork contains a blend of rich woodlands and rolling meadows. The park contains diverse populations of plant and animal life. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, red fox, gray squirrels and barred owls are well established within Salt Fork. Songbirds such as the scarlet tanager, cardinal, goldfinch, Kentucky warbler and others provide delight for birdwatchers.

Spectacular wildflowers such as wild geranium, large-flowered trillium, violets, asters and goldenrod line the forest floor and meadows. In spring, the melody of wood frogs, chorus frogs and spring peepers echo through the park.
History of the Area
Salt Fork is said to have derived its name from a salt well used by Native Americans which was located near the southeastern corner of the park.

Historically, this part of southeastern Ohio was one of the first areas of the state to be settled by the pioneers emigrating westward from the crowded eastern seaboard. Some of these settlers may have followed Zane's Trace into the Ohio wilderness -- a route that led a few families into the Guernsey County area. From Zanesville east to the Ohio River, the Trace became part of the National Road, a major east-west transportation route constructed in 1811. Today, the old National Road is known as U.S. Route 40 and passes near Salt Fork State Park.

One of the early residents of Guernsey County, David B. Kennedy, constructed a beautiful stone house overlooking Sugar Tree Fork in 1837. Built from locally-quarried stone cut into 3' x 1' x 1' blocks, the Kennedy Stone House is a sturdy reminder of bygone days. Because of its unique and enduring construction, the house is listed in the National Register of Historic places and can be visited throughout the year.

While the southeastern U.S. was the most important staging area for many Civil War battles, southeastern Ohio saw a few skirmishes, too. Morgan's Raiders, a small group of Confederate soldiers, made excursions into the Salt Fork area under constant pursuit from Union Troops led by General Shakelford.

As the 19th Century progressed, industry continued to develop in Ohio, and many of the southeastern Ohio counties came into prominence as coal-producing areas. Responding to the demand for this important fuel source, Guernsey County became one of Ohio's leading coal producers. Abundant reserves of clay allowed the development of a thriving pottery industry in the county as well. The present impoundment at Salt Fork dates back to 1956 when planning for the lake was begun. The reservoir was originally slated to become a water source for the city of Cambridge, but the potential for the area to become a major recreation area in the state was so great that, in 1960, land acquisition was begun to create a state park. The earthen dam was completed in 1967, and construction of recreational facilities began in mid 1968. The spacious Salt Fork Lodge was opened in May 1972.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
GeneralLand, acres17229
 Water, acres2952
Day-UseFishingyes
 Huntingyes
 Hiking Trail, miles14
 Picnickingyes
 Swimming Beach, feet2500
 Bridle Trails, miles12
 Beach Concessionyes
 Nature Centeryes
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating LimitsUnlimited HP
 Seasonal Dock Rental470
 Launch Ramps, #10
 Fuel For Saleyes
CampingElectric Sites, #192
 Full Hookup Sites, #20
 Pets Permittedyes
 Flush Toiletsyes
 Dumpstationyes
 Showersyes
 Rent-A-Camp Sites, #3
 Group Camp, capacity150
 Campground Beachyes
 Horsemen Campsites, #20
WinterSleddingyes
 Cross-Country Skiingyes
 Snowmobilingyes
 Ice Boatingyes
 Ice Skatingyes
 Ice Fishingyes
AccommodationsLodge Rooms, #148
 Family Cottages, #54
 Game Roomyes
 Indoor Swimming Poolyes
 Tennisyes
 Outdoor Swimming Poolyes
 Golf Courseyes
 Restaurantyes
Camping
The modern campground has 212 sites, all with electricity. Other features include heated shower houses, flush toilets, dump station, a separate beach, boat launching and docking facilities for campers. Eighteen sites are wheelchair accessible. In addition, a group camp and horsemen's camp are available. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites.
Cottages
Thirty-seven two-bedroom vacation cottages in hillside and lakeside locations offer fully furnished living and dining areas, kitchen equipped with cooking and eating utensils, bath with shower, and screened porch. Seveteen chalet cottages also feature gas log fireplaces and hot tubs. All cottages are available year-round.
Nearby Accommodations
Timberline Cabins - Cambridge, OHCottages and Cabins
Situated at the heart of Salt Fork Lake, our cabins all offer privacy and seclusion,with hot tubs, decks, grills, private bonfire pits and beautiful rock wood burning fireplaces. All cabins are extremely clean, well furnished and equipped. Wonderful for all occasions. Hunters are welcome at our cabins
4.3 miles from park*
Swimming
The 2,500-foot beach is one of the largest inland beaches in Ohio. The modern bathhouse provides showers, lockers, toilets and a snack bar.
Boating
Boats with unlimited horsepower are permitted on the lake. Combined speed/ski zones are marked by buoys. There are numerous boat launching ramps on the lake. Boaters may camp on their boats in no-wake zones within fifty yards of shore. Swimming from boats is permitted in designated areas only.


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Nearby Parks


Picnicking
There are several picnic areas with tables and grills in scenic locations around the lake. A shelter house is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A wheelchair accessible picnic area with hard surfaced paths and accessible latrines, parking and tables is located off Park Road 1.
Area Attractions
History buffs will enjoy Roscoe Village in Coshocton, a restored early 1800s canal town featuring a number of historic buildings and special activities. Shoenbrunn Village State Memorial in New Philadelphia depicts the lifestyle of pioneers on the Ohio Frontier. The Guernsey County Museum in Cambridge is open in the summer. Guernsey County is also home to many glass factories and potteries which offer tours and gift shops. Not far from Salt Fork State Park are several of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District lakes, which offer fishing, sailing, waterskiing and other exciting outdoor activities. Wolf Run State Park in Noble County offers a quiet retreat with rustic camping facilities.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 21 One of the best times of my life by Jessica
I was introduced to Salt Fork by the love of my life, whom got away... Before he left, he chose to spend his last weekend with me at Salt Fork, it was one of the best times of my life. We boated, swam, camped, had bon fires, and spent day after day in the beautiful lake. I will always remember it as one of the best times of my life and it has a special place in my heart - forever.
May 3 BEST PARK EVER! by shelby
i loved it!! the trails are great and the lodge is extraordianry! best summer of my life! many great memories made.
February 1 hunters paradise. by walterbeavers@yahoo.com
ive hunted this park for 35 years.
June 21 Loved it! by cgincleveland
This is such a jewel. So beautiful and relaxing. No other place like it in Ohio. We just stayed for the weekend but wished we had booked it for the entire week. The lodge offers a full calendar of great activities for the kids.
June 4 Some Great Fishing
All in all its a great place to be. Its very beautiful anywhere you go. Catfishermans Dream Lake....
July 8 The best park in Ohio by Dorothy
We have went to several state parks in Ohio and this is our favorite. Always clean, lots of wildlife and plenty of things to do.
May 6
best summer ive ever had
October 18 excellent bridle trails by B & B
September 20 Boating Paradise by Sold on Salt Fork!
My husband and I have been coming to Salt Fork for 5 years now. It has become our favorite place to boat. Beautiful views, calm waters, absolutely wonderful every time. We always stay at the Lodge which has friendly staff, good accommodations' and food. We even come in the winter for a nice get-a-way. Bring friends or come on your own, you will be happy you did!
August 29 the best state park in ohio (anywere)
overall the best park i was ever at


Area Campgrounds

Bam Yard Camp Site
68055 Wintergreen Road
Lore City, OH
740-489-5837


Paradise Valley Campground
74131 Plum Rd. (campground)
Guernsey, OH
440-888-1260


Hillview Acres Campground
66271 Wolf's Den Rd.
Cambridge, OH
740-439-3348


Grand Haven Resort
74978 Broadhead Rd
Kimbolton, OH
740-498-9158


Area Fishing Related Businesses
Bakers Bait & Ammo Barn
10681 Plainfield Rd
Kimbolton, OH
(740) 439-1427


Area Cabins and Lodges
Grand Haven Resort
74411 Rocky Fork Rd
Kimbolton, OH
(740) 498-9140


Salt Fork Resorts at Buckett Hill
74978 Broadhead Rd
Kimbolton, OH
(740) 498-4134


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
The Ohio Outback Lodge - McConnelsville, OHCottages and Cabins
In the heart of Ohio the Outback Lodge is located in Southeast Ohio, just minutes from the beautiful Muskingum River. The 2,200 square foot Lodge is constructed of Pine Logs, full basement, beautiful rural setting. It has wooded area as well as a creek and pond. This is a beautiful outdoor vacation spot.
Web Site: theohiooutbacklodge.com
35 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.
Web Site: rosesvacationcabinrental.com
47.1 miles from park*
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14755 Cadiz Road, Lore City, Ohio 43755

USA Parks
Ohio
Southeast Ohio Region
Salt Fork State Park
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