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Shawnee State Park 'Lake as seen from lodge swimming pool' © Ann E. Riggs
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USA Parks
Ohio
Southeast Ohio Region
Shawnee State Park
SHAWNEE STATE PARK
SHAWNEE STATE PARK
4404 State Route 125
Portsmouth, Ohio   45663-9003

Phone: 740-858-6652
Reservations: 866-644-6727
Shawnee State Park
'Lake as seen from lodge swimming pool'

Shawnee State Park
'Lodge at Shawnee State Park'

Shawnee State Park

Shawnee State Park
'Lobby at Shawnee Lodge'

Shawnee State Park
'The indoor pool is great for smaller children'

Shawnee State Park
'Outdoor pool at Shawnee Lodge'

Shawnee State Park
'Bridge by Roosevelt Lake'

Shawnee State Park
'Geese by Roosevelt L.'

Shawnee State Park
'Knighton Nature Trail '

Shawnee State Park..trail off main campground

Located in the Appalachian foothills near the banks of the Ohio River, Shawnee State Park is nestled in the 60,000-acre Shawnee State Forest. Once the hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians, the region is one of the most picturesque in the state, featuring erosion-carved valleys and wooded hills. The rugged beauty of the area has earned it the nickname "The Little Smokies."
Nature of the Area
Several hundred million years ago, a general upheaval of eastern North America made changes in the terrain that are evident in Ohio today. South and east of Ohio, the layers of bedrock folded and buckled, giving rise to the Appalachian Mountains.

The forested hills of Shawnee are a part of the Appalachian Plateau. Here, the bedrock layers were uplifted but no real distortion occurred; for this reason, Shawnee never had true "mountains." In fact, all of Ohio's hill country is a feature of stream erosion on this prehistoric raised plain and is often referred to as the foothills of the Appalachians.

The hills of Shawnee have also been dubbed "Ohio's Little Smokies." Looking toward the Ohio River, one can certainly see how the region acquired such a nickname. From the highest points in the forest, ridge after ridge appears to roll away toward the horizon in a gentle blue haze. This distinctive color comes from moisture in the air which is generated by the thousands of acres of forest.

The hardwood forest is host to a variety of flora and fauna. Wildflowers are abundant including several rare types of orchids such as the tiny whorled pogonia and the showy orchis. Forest wildlife includes white-tailed deer, wild turkey, raccoon, various songbirds and rare sightings of bobcat and black bear.
History of the Area
The 60,000 acres of Shawnee State Forest and Shawnee State Park encompass a part of the former hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians. Historians note that the Shawnee name means "those who have silver," as the tribe conducted considerable trade in this precious metal. A major Shawnee village, known as Lower Town, was located near the confluence of the Ohio and Scioto rivers. The Scioto River provided access to the heart of the Shawnee country in central and southern Ohio.

The Ohio River was the gateway to frontier settlement in the Ohio region as well as for Indiana and Illinois. This expansive waterway, the Spaylawitheepi in Indian tongue, was the site of many confrontations between incoming pioneers and the red man. The Shawnees monitored the influx of the white settlers from the line of ridges that overlooked the mighty Ohio River.

During the 1700s, the Shawnee Indians were gradually displaced as the settlers continued to build their cabins and clear land in this new and fertile country. The face of the region changed a great deal in the years to come, but through effective timber management practices by the state's Division of Forestry, Shawnee State Forest has regained much of its original appearance. Similarly, resource conservation programs coupled with wise land use practices at Shawnee State Park have assured that this 1,168-acre recreational facility will continue to maintain its natural beauty.

Lands were acquired for the park in 1922 and it was first operated as Theodore Roosevelt State Game Preserve. In the 1930s, six Civilian Conservation Corps camps were located in the area. It was at this time that many of the roads and lakes of the area were constructed. In 1949, with the creation of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Division of Parks and Recreation, the area became a state park and forest. The name was changed to Portsmouth State Park in the early seventies but has since been changed back to Shawnee State Park.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
GeneralLand, acres1095
 Water, acres68
 Nearby State Forest, acres63000
Day-UseFishingyes
 Huntingyes
 Hiking Trail, miles10
 Backpack Trailyes
 Picnickingyes
 Picnic Shelters, #2
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bridle Trailsyes
 Beach Concessionyes
 Nature Centeryes
 Nature Programsyes
BoatingBoat Rentalyes
 Boating Limits-1
 Seasonal Dock Rental137
 Launch Ramps, #1
 Fuel For Saleyes
CampingPrimative, #6
 Electric Sites, #101
 Pets Permittedyes
 Flush Toiletsyes
 Dumpstationyes
 Showersyes
 Rent-A-Camp Sites, #3
 Camper Cabins, #2
 Group Camp, capacity35
 Rent-A-Teepee, #2
 Horsemen Campsites, #38
WinterIce Fishingyes
AccommodationsLodge Rooms, #50
 Family Cottages, #25
 Game Roomyes
 Indoor Swimming Poolyes
 Tennisyes
 Outdoor Swimming Poolyes
 Golf Courseyes
 Restaurantyes
Camping
The family campground at Shawnee has 107 sites suitable for tents or trailers. The campground features electric hookups, waste disposal, heated shower houses, flush toilets and laundry facilities. Pet camping is available on a limited number of sites. A 20-site horsemen's campground with latrines is available near Bear Lake on state forest land.
Cottages
There are 25 family cottages at Shawnee. They have one bedroom with one standard bunk bed and one single-over-double bunk bed, one bedroom with a double bed, bath with a shower, living room, complete kitchen, dining area and screened porch. Lodge facilities are available to cottage guests.
Swimming
Two public beaches with change booths are situated on Roosevelt and Turkey Creek lakes.
Boating
Roosevelt and Turkey Creek lakes offer boating with electric motors only. Launch ramps are provided for access to the lakes. Canoes are available for rental. Boaters may spend a day on the Ohio River with access from the park's marina facility.


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Nearby Parks


Picnicking
Picnic areas with tables and grills are located in many secluded and scenic areas of the park. Two picnic shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Trails
The park and surrounding state forest invite hikers to discover the plant and animal life of Shawnee's forested hills. The Shawnee backpack trail operated by the Division of Forestry takes hikers to some of the best wilderness areas in Ohio. The forest also offers 75 miles of bridle trails.
Area Attractions
Many historic attractions can be found in the Shawnee area including Tremper Mound, Serpent Mound, the Olde Wayside Inn, the 1810 House and the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center. The Bonyfiddle section of nearby Portsmouth is a historic district containing numerous antique shops and historic architectural buildings.

Shawnee State Forest is the largest of Ohio's twenty state forests. The forest contains impressive stands of oak, hickory, sassafras, buckeye, black gum, pitch pine and shortleaf pine. Other forest features include a 42-mile backpack trail with primitive campsites, over seventy miles of bridle trails, horsemen's campground, and an 8,000-acre wilderness area.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 27 One of the best times I ever had by haskinsmary778512@yahoo
My parents stayed at the Lodge and loved it. My brothers and I stayed at the campground in tents. We enjoyed the sand volleyball court and the beach. We also went horseback riding and that was a great time.
December 5 The perfect Happy Place by Sharon
This is one of the cleanest & well maintained parks you will find. The employees extend a very warm & welcoming hospitality to everyone. They are all very professional & take great pride in keeping this park in excellent condition. It is the perfect place to take the family.


Area Campgrounds

Shawnee Village RV Park & Campground
13610 U.S. Highway 52
West Portsmouth, OH
740-858-2409


Area Cabins and Lodges
Xanterra Parks & Resorts
11383 Us Highway 52
Stout, OH
(740) 858-6681


Shawnee State Park Resorts
Star Rte
West Portsmouth, OH
(740) 858-6621


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Rocky Fork Lake Cottages - Hillsboro, OHCottages and Cabins
Lake Front but not lake view. This cottage is situated on 3 Acres, mostly wooded. Rocky Fork Lake is a 2,000 acre quiet and secluded lake. Because of the heavy concentration of trees the lake is a secluded paradise hidden in the woods.
Web Site: vacationhomerentals.com/52625
34.6 miles from park*
Area Resources
Hocking Hills Internet Guide - hockinghills.com - Rockbridge, OHTourism
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
Web Site: hockinghills.com
57.5 miles from park*
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Directions
4404 State Route 125, Portsmouth, Ohio 45663-9003

USA Parks
Ohio
Southeast Ohio Region
Shawnee State Park
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