HUESTON WOODS STATE PARK
The outdoor enthusiast will find diverse opportunities at Hueston Woods State Park. Whether boating on Acton Lake, hiking through the 200-acre old growth forest or relaxing in the resort lodge, visitors will enjoy the finest of recreational facilities in southwest Ohio at this scenic park.
Hueston Woods State Park located in southwest Ohio has an enormous wealth of natural resources. The limestone bedrock of the area is evidence of an ancient shallow sea that once covered Ohio. Lime in the water accumulated on the sea floor and eventually recrystallized into limestone bedrock. Much of the limestone is the magnesium-bearing type called dolomite. Fossilized remains of ancient marine animals are concentrated in the limestone, so many in fact that people from all over the world come to Hueston Woods to collect them.
The rich soils of the area are part of the glacial till plains of western Ohio that attracted early settlers due to their tremendous agricultural value. When settlers arrived, the land had to be cleared of the dense woodlands that covered it and most of Ohio. Nearly all of Ohio's original forest has since vanished. However, one unique stand of old-growth timber remains at Hueston Woods. Over 200 acres have been protected and provide visitors with a glimpse of Ohio's primeval forest. Stately beech and sugar maple tower above the abundance of ferns, wildflowers and other woodland species. In 1967, the 200-acre forest was designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.
The history of the Hueston Woods area dates to 1797. Matthew Hueston, while serving with General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, observed the fertile soil in southwestern Ohio. When Indian resistance subsided, Hueston began to buy land in what is now Butler and Preble counties. Hueston, one of Ohio's earliest conservationists, preserved a portion of his forested land as did his descendants.
When the last of the Huestons died in the 1930s, Morris Taylor, a conservationist from Hamilton, purchased the woods and held it in trust until state funds could be allocated for its purchase. Cloyd Acton, a Preble County legislator, influenced the state legislature to appropriate funds to acquire the former Hueston land in 1940. His proposal became reality in September 1941 when the Hueston property was bought by the state and officially designated as a state forest.
In 1945, money was appropriated for the purchase of additional land. The Oxford Honor Camp was established in 1952. This camp, set up under the supervision of the Ohio Board of Corrections, housed honor status inmates for the next twelve years. Buildings of the former camp now serve as the park office, meeting rooms, and nature center.
Early in the summer of 1956, the 1,200-foot earth fill dam across Four Mile Creek was completed, and the following year Acton Lake was impounded. Shortly thereafter Hueston Woods was dedicated as a state park.
Throughout the 1960s, development continued at Hueston Woods with the addition of campgrounds, cottages, lodge, marina, and golf course.
Ohio does not have an annual pass and does not charge entrance fees to state parks.
Hiking Trail, miles35
Swimming Beach, feet1,500
Mountain Bike Trails, miles12
Bridle Trails, miles18
Seasonal Dock Rental234
Fuel For Saleyes
Electric Sites, #255
Camper Cabins, #3
Group Camp, capacity125
Horsemen Campsites, #28
AccommodationsLodge Rooms, #94
Family Cottages, #37
Indoor Swimming Poolyes
Outdoor Swimming Poolyes
There are 255 family campsites with electrical outlets on the west side of the lake. The area is provided with showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities and trailer waste station. Picnic tables and fire rings are also provided.
There are 236 non-electric sites available. These sites have picnic tables, fire rings and vault-type latrines. A group area is also available to organized youth and adult groups. Groups wishing to use this area must contact the park office at least fourteen days prior to the arrival date.
All camping is limited to 14 days within a 30-day period. There are a limited number of sites available for campers with pets.
The 92-room resort lodge opened in 1967. Murals and artifacts of the Miami Indians who lived in this area decorate the lodge interior. A dining room, snack bar, and lounge areas are available to both registered guests and visitors. Recreational facilities for guests include an indoor pool, outdoor pool, game room, lighted tennis courts, and floating boat docks. Two luxury suites are also available. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-AT-A-PARK.
There are 25 family cottages and 12 one-room efficiency cottages available. The housekeeping cottages have two bedrooms, bath, kitchen, living room, and screened porch. With the addition of convertible sofa beds, this cottage will accommodate six people.
The efficiency cottages combine a living room-dining room, with sleeping facilities for four and a private bath. All cottages are equipped with cooking and eating utensils, towels and bedding. Cots are available. For reservations contact 1-800-AT-A-PARK. Weekly rentals are given preference between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Cottage guests have access to all lodge facilities.
A full paintball field and target range is available. Bring your own equipment, or we can supply everything! Group reservations are available. We fill tanks, and sell all equipment and supplies.
The 18-hole, 7,005-yard, par 72 golf course is off Brown Road approximately eight miles from the park entrance. The course is open from March until November. Please call the pro shop at (513) 523-8081 for a tee time.