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In the southeastern portion of the state is Wayne National Forest, named in honor of Revolutionary War hero Gen. Anthony Wayne. The forest encompasses three general areas totaling 244,000 acres. More than 300 miles of hiking, mountain biking, horse and off-highway vehicle trails wind through the forest; the trails are open mid-April to mid-December. Redbuds and dogwoods bloom in spring, and the fall foliage is stunning. Starting in Marietta and ending in Woodsfield, the Covered Bridge Scenic Byway stretches 35 miles and leads travelers to 10 interpretive stops, including a historical mill site, covered bridges, a painted barn advertising Mail Pouch Tobacco, a historic inn, a homestead and an oil well.
Flowing through the forest's Marietta unit, the Little Muskingum River offers opportunities for canoeing and kayaking as well as fishing. Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area, north of Ironton off SR 93, includes a lake, campground and a 19th-century furnace left from Ohio's iron industry. Primitive camping is available throughout the forest and both the Athens and Ironton units have developed campgrounds; a small fee is charged. Hunting is permitted in season.
The forest is free and open all year. For maps and information contact the Supervisor's Office/Athens District, (740) 753-0101, at 13700 US 33, Nelsonville, OH 45764; Ironton District, (740) 534-6500, at 6518 SR 93, Pedro, OH 45659; or the Marietta District, (740) 373-9055, 27515 SR 7, Marietta, OH 45750.
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Current Location: Wayne National Forest, Ohio