Holiday Gifts

For Someone Special
Hocking Hills Gift Certificates
© Bud Schrader Photography

Lake Hope

A natural paradise, Lake Hope State Park lies entirely within the 18,200-acre Zaleski State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. It is a rugged, heavily forested region traversed by steep gorges and narrow ridges. Abandoned mines, ancient mounds and beautiful scenery provide interest and pleasure for hikers, photographers, nature lovers and historians alike at one of Ohio's most historic and scenic state parks.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Frozen Leaf - On the concrete at Old Mans Cave. look down

Lake Hope State Park is truly a nature lover's dream. In the forest-draped hills, the observant visitor can discover the abundant natural resources of this wild and scenic park.

Although most of the forest was cut to fuel the iron smelting industry that once flourished here, the land has recovered and supports a magnificent, second-growth forest. Oak and hickory are the dominant trees while the woodland floor harbors a fascinating assemblage of shrubs and wildflowers. The yellow lady's slipper ,one of the rarest and most showy orchids, blooms in secluded hollows. Other spring wildflowers such as blue-eyed mary, bloodroot and wild geranium can be found in abundance.

Deer and wild turkeys are often seen in a number of park locations. Of the many animals inhabiting the park, none is as popular as the beaver. As nature's dam builders, the beavers are found in numbers and can be observed near the quiet inlets of the lake.

A fine swimming beach is located near the dam. Facilities include a bathhouse with restrooms, showers and change booths and a concession building where food and beverages can be purchased.

Fifteen miles of hiking trails traverse the lake and scenic woodlands of the Lake Hope area and offer opportunities for photography and nature study. In the adjacent state forest, a 21-mile backpack trail with primitive campsites is available. Backpackers must register upon arrival. Thirty-three miles of bridle trail are available for riders with their own mounts in the state forest.

© hockinghills.com
New Earth Touch Photo -

The Hope Furnace was built here over 100 years ago to process the iron ore extracted from the region's sandstone bedrock. The iron resulting from the ore smelting process was used to produce many different items, including ammunition and cannon for the Union Army during the Civil War. Hundreds of men labored cutting timber, working the furnace and driving teams of mules hauling iron ore to the furnace. Charcoal fires were tended 24 hours a day; so much wood was required for this process that the surrounding hillsides were almost completely stripped of their timber. At the height of the Hope Furnace's production, Ohio was one of the nation's leading producers of iron. As time passed, iron ore was discovered farther west and Ohio's reputation as a major iron producer waned.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Bug On Flower - I'm guessing some kind of beetle, but I don't know much about bugs either. More of my original titles.

Location Map
Lake Hope Park Map
Lake Hope Campground Map
Calendar of Events
Archery - Lake Hope
Sun May 20

1:00 - 3:00 pm.

Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow or perfect your skills.

Meet at the Archery Range across the road from the shelter house.

Equipment provided.

Nature Center Hours:

Saturdays, 1-4pm

Sundays, 9am-12pm

Special Hours:

Friday May 25, 2-5pm

Sunday, May 27, 1-7pm

Monday May 28, 10am-4pm

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest,
Friday Fishing - Lake Hope
Fri May 25

6:00 - 8:00 pm.

Join the naturalist for an evening of free fishing fun. Poles and bait are provided. Ages 16+ must present a valid fishing license.

Meet at the Lake Hope dam.

Lake Hope Nature Center Hours:

Saturdays, 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Sundays, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Special Hours:

Friday, May 25, 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 27, 1:00 - 7:00 pm

Monday May 28, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Gone Creekin - Lake Hope
Sat May 26

10:00 am.

Discover what lives in the waters between Lake Hope and Raccoon Creek.

Meet at Lake Hope Dam. Prepare to get wet!

Lake Hope Nature Center is open

Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 pm

Sundays from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Special Hours in May are:

Friday, May 25th from 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 27th from 1:00 - 7:00 pm

Monday, May 28th from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Scavenger Hunt - Lake Hope
Sun May 27

10:00 am.

You may start any time during open hours, but must be completed before 4:00 pm to qualify for a prize. Pick one up at the Nature Center.

Lake Hope Nature Center is open

Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 pm

Sundays from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Special Hours in May are:

Friday, May 25th from 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 27th from 1:00 - 7:00 pm

Monday, May 28th from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Annual Spring Craft Show - Lake Hope
Sun May 27

10:00 am - 6:00 pm.

Come to the Lake Hope Lodge to pick last minute gifts for Mom from local craft vendors. Enjoy a meal at the lodge before you leave.

Lake Hope Nature Center is open

Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 pm

Sundays from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Special Hours in May are:

Friday, May 25th from 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 27th from 1:00 - 7:00 pm

Monday, May 28th from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Early Bird Hungry Hummers - Lake Hope
Sun May 27

1:00 - 3:00 pm.

Hand-feed hummingbirds at the nature center. We are

trying this much earlier in the year than usual to see how it goes.

Lake Hope Nature Center is open

Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 pm

Sundays from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Special Hours in May are:

Friday, May 25th from 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 27th from 1:00 - 7:00 pm

Monday, May 28th from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Full Moon Hike - Lake Hope
Sun May 27

8:00 pm.

Enjoy a 3-mile hike illuminated by the light of the beautiful moon.

Meet at the Shelter House.

Lake Hope Nature Center is open

Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 pm

Sundays from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Special Hours in May are:

Friday, May 25th from 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 27th from 1:00 - 7:00 pm

Monday, May 28th from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Lake Hope State Park, Phone: 740-596-3030

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Photo Gallery (click on an image to enlarge)
Featured Businesses and Events
Spotted Horse Ranch
Diamond Jim's Pizza & Dog Pound Hot Dogs
Lodge at Diamond B Ranch
Grand Bentley Lodge