State Forest

Zaleski State Forest at a Glance
Date established:1930s
Acreage (total):26,827 acres (10,861 hectares)
Miles of trails:69 miles (110 kilometers)
Trail miles open to horses:29 miles (46 kilometers)
Campsites:3 backpacking campsites plus seasonal hunters' camp, plus
16 horse campsites at horse camp (regular campsites available
at Lake Hope State Park within the Forest)
Hunting:All hunting allowed (other than safety zones)
Special features:Wild turkey management area
Grouse management area
Sawmill (only state sawmill)
Hunters' camp
Bordering natural areas:Waterloo Wildlife Research Station
Lake Hope State Park
Turkey Ridge Wildlife Area
Moonville Rail-Trail
Wayne National Forest
Nearby natural areas: Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest
Vinton Furnace Wildlife Area
Richland Furnace State Forest
Superior Wildlife Area
Wellston Wildlife Area
Lake Alma State Park
Fox Lake Wildlife Area
Hocking Hills State Park
Hocking State Forest
Official state forest website:
Zaleski SF: own website:
Zaleski State Forest is the second-largest state forest in Ohio, after Shawnee State Forest (and ahead of #3, Tar Hollow State Forest). It is also one of the oldest state forests, and it includes the even older Waterloo State Forest, in Athens County. It maintains a wild turkey management area in conjunction with the adjacent Waterloo Wildlife Area, as well as a grouse management area. There is a horse camp and network of horse trails, as well as a hunters' seasonal camp, and the backpacking trail with three backpacking campsites. This is the only state forest in Ohio with a sawmill.

Trails at Zaleski State Forest

Olds Hollow Trail
0.7 mile; complete loop with the backpacking trail is 1.4 miles. Hikeable from the Zaleski Backpacking Trail trailhead, as are the Hope Furnace Trail and Peninsula Trail at Lake Hope State Park
Zaleski Backpacking Trail
23.5 miles, shorter options available. Backpacking trailhead with overnight parking is directly across from Hope Furnace at Lake Hope State Park.
Zaleski Horse Trails
29 miles total (46 kilometers), with many loop options. The state's website claims 50 miles of horse trails, but this is adding the mileages of each loop, which repeats many sections of trail.
Moonville Rail-Trail
16 miles; 6 miles continuous (with restored bridges)


To get to Zaleski State Forest from Athens, take OH-56 (which begins as West Union Street) miles west from OH-682 (Whites Mill Road) to OH-278 in Vinton County. Turn left on OH-278. Go miles to the backpacking trailhead, on the left. Go miles to the horse trail head. Go miles to the forest headquarters just north of the village of Zaleski. Alternate route for forest headquarters: Take US-50 miles west from US-33 at Athens, to OH-. Turn right on OH- and take miles into the village of Zaleski. Turn right on OH-278 and go miles to . Turn left into the forest headquarters. Total driving distance from downtown Athens to the swimming beach: 5.4 miles.

Note: The map version below is only temporary.