DEAN STATE FOREST
Located in the unglaciated hill country of extreme south central Ohio, Dean, one of Ohio's first state forests, was established in June of 1916 The early history of the region centered around Dutch and Irish farmers who emigrated from Pennsylvania. From the early 1800s to about 1900, most of the timber in the area was cut for charcoal to supply blast furnaces for the smelting of locally mined iron ore. The area had also been burned over many times by fires started along the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad which ran through the forest. Thus, when the land was purchased in 1916 for Dean State Forest, it was largely denuded of trees and was used as an early reforestation experimental area to determine the best species and planting methods. Several of the planting, such as the white pine, red pine and tuliptree along State Route 373 in Texas Hollow, are visible resuolts of those experiments and efforts. In the early 1930s, a Civilian Conservation Camp was located on the forest. Supervised by the Division of Forestry, camp personnel constructed and improved access roads and did much timber stand improvement work. Today, Dean contains an unbroken block of 2,745 acres of forest land. A side variety of recreational opportunities exist at Dean State Forest. One popular activity is hunting. Deer, wild turkey, grouse, squirrel and rabbits are hunted in season at Dean. Several small ponds are located on the forest, and used by anglers. Mushroom and ginseng hunting are becoming increasingly popular activities. Approximately 20 miles of bridle trails run throughout the forest and offer users a scenic ride through the woods. Hiking is also permitted on the bridle trails.
Dean State Forest is a 607-acre state forest located in Belmont County, Ohio. The forest was established in 1922 as a result of the Ohio legislature's passage of House Bill 942, aimed at acquiring lands for reforestation and conservation purposes.
The history of Dean State Forest dates back to the early 1900s when the area was heavily logged for its valuable timber. The deforestation led to erosion, loss of wildlife habitat, and diminished water quality in the nearby streams and rivers. Recognizing the ecological and economic significance of forests, the state of Ohio embarked on reforestation efforts to restore the forested areas.
Dean State Forest was named after George W. Dean, a prominent state senator from Belmont County who championed the cause of conservation. The forest was established to demonstrate the potential of reforestation and educate the public about the benefits of sustainable forestry practices.
In the early days, the forest was primarily used for research and experimentation in timber management and wildlife conservation. Foresters conducted various studies and experiments to determine suitable tree species for timber production and the impact of forest management practices on wildlife populations.
Over the years, Dean State Forest has been managed using sustainable forestry practices, including selective logging, tree planting, and habitat improvement initiatives. These practices aim to ensure the long-term health and productivity of the forest while providing recreational opportunities for visitors.
Today, Dean State Forest offers various recreational activities, including hiking, bird watching, hunting, and nature photography. It provides a tranquil natural setting for visitors to enjoy the beauty of Ohio's woodlands and wildlife.
In conclusion, Dean State Forest has a rich history as a reforestation and conservation project in Ohio. It showcases the importance of sustainable forestry practices and serves as a valuable recreational resource for the local community and visitors.
Hiking Trail, miles20
Bridle Trails, miles20