The Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio near the West Virginia border is located in twelve counties where a number of small communities have an abundance of attractions. The forest was started as a reforestation program after years of logging left the area in poor condition. The best hikes in Wayne National Forest are listed below; trails are also open to OHV, horseback riding, and mountain biking in addition to hiking. Official Website.
|Nearest Metro Area||Columbus, OH|
|Area Size||244,265 acres|
|Established||December 1, 1992|
|Hiking Trails||300 miles|
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Trailhead Traveler’s Recommended Hikes in Wayne National Forest
(*** = Best hikes in Wayne National Forest)
Archers Fork Trail*** – 12.8 mile loop
This loop trail may be the most scenic area on the entire Wayne National Forest. This rugged loop trail includes the Irish Run Natural Bridge, a rock shelter, and some outstanding scenery.
Covered Bridge Trail – 9.4 miles out and back
The Covered Bridge Trail is a 5-mile trail located at Hune Bridge Campground and offers access from either campgrounds to the North Country Trail. Though not difficult, there are some steep sections to this trail.
Ohio View Trail – 7.2 miles one-way
This is a 7-mile linear trail that begins in the Ohio River Valley and winds through shady coves of big trees, a wildlife pond, the side hollows of Collins Run, across brooks, and weaves through interesting rock outcroppings. Parking is along Route 7 between New Matamoras and Newport. The trail ends at State Route 260 near Yellow House.
Scenic River Trail – 6.8 miles out and back
This trail begins along the Ohio River and meanders through a bottomland field and then through a series of switchbacks the trail climbs the steep hillside overlooking the river and its traffic. The trail snakes back and forth through rock boulders and along rock bluffs. The trail begins at the Leith Run Recreation Area. Hikers may park at the picnic area. It ends at another parking area on County Road 9 near German Cemetery. Hikers also have the option of looping back towards the trailhead by utilizing the Greenwood Trail as well.
Wildcat Hollow Loop – 17.2 mile loop
This trail offers two options; a 17.2 mile loop of scenic trail along ridge-tops and stream bottoms, and a short 5-mile loop for day hikes. Both trails will lead through tall pine forests, open meadows, quiet streams, rock outcroppings, and down old roads overlooking miles of beautiful landscape.
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