About the Wayne National Forest
Discover the wonder and beauty of the Wayne National Forest. Tucked away
in the Appalachian foothills, you'll experience the natural beauty of
wildflowers, rocks formations, trees, butterflies, and abundant wildlife.
Explore the Forest's hills, fishing lakes, rivers, and trails. Every
season holds its own special beauty: the white dogwoods and pink redbuds of
spring; summer's emerald hills reflected in quiet lakes; the colorful pallet
of autumn; and the shimmering beauty of a new snowfall. Campgrounds
sheltered under towering trees and thousands of acres open to hunting and
nature study await your visit.
The Wayne NF is located in three units. These units are located across
twelve Ohio Counties. Although the boundaries include 833,990 acres, most of
the land within those boundaries is in private ownership. The national
forest exists as a patchwork across the land, normally occupying lands less
suitable for agricultural or commercial development.
The mix of open land and forest provides a wide variety of wildlife
habitats. Common mammals include white-tailed deer, gray fox, woodchuck,
opossum, and gray squirrel. Common birds are turkey, ruffed grouse, pleated
woodpecker and wood duck.
Wayne National Forest
13700 US Highway 33
Nelsonville, OH 45764
Wayne National Forest - Forest
HockingHills.com - Great site for
finding available lodging and activities.
Backpacking or cross country hiking is permitted anywhere on National Forest
(NF) lands. Take extra precautions during hunting seasons by wearing bright
orange clothing. It is a good idea to carry a compass. Forest streams do not
meet the safety standards for drinking water. We recommend taking your water
with you. NF ownership is not continuous and private lands are interspersed.
Respect the rights of these owners by staying on public lands.
Keep away from oil/gas operations, they are private property and potentially
dangerous. Pump jacks may begin to operate without warning and any open
flame, firearm discharge, or spark could cause an explosion.
Except for seeing eye dogs, all pets must be caged or placed on a leash no
longer than six feet long when using designated trails, at trailheads, or
within any developed recreation areas.
Primitive Camping is allowed on NF land away from developed campgrounds and
anywhere that your camping equipment and/or vehicle do not block developed
trails or road right-of-ways.
Plan to bring enough drinking water for the duration of your stay. Leave a
clean campsite by packing out all refuse. There is no charge for primitive
camping, although a 14 day limitation is in effect. It is not normally
necessary to check in with the Forest Service. However, groups larger than
25 people require a permit and prior coordination is required.
Small, open fires are permitted except during extremely high fire danger. No
special permits are required. Please use extreme caution with campfires and
make sure they are dead out before vacating the campsite. Use only dead and
down material for firewood. Cutting or defacing live trees or shrubs is
prohibited. Campfires are not allowed within rock shelters.
A Forest Trail Permit is required to operate off-road vehicles and mountain
bikes or to ride horses on the Wayne National Forest. Please review the
Forest Trail Permit System.
Non-motorized bicycles are permitted on the ATV trail systems on the Wayne
NF. A handout is available showing which trails allow for mountain bikes.
Use caution since bicycles are sharing the trails with ATVs and hikers.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
There are several areas which provide designated ATV trails. All vehicles
must be properly licensed or have an APV sticker and drivers must abide by
Reservations are not required for developed campsites. However, to be
assured a campsite, especially on holiday weekends, you may wish to make a
reservation. To reserve a campsite at the Vesuvius or Leith Run Recreation
Areas call the National Reservation System at the toll free number
1-877-444-6777. Hearing impaired persons should call 1-877-833-6777. You can
also reserve a site online at www.recreation.gov. A reservation service fee
of $10 will be charged. You should call 5 days in advance. Camping is
limited to 14 days within a 21 day period.
Personal property should not be left unattended for more than 24 hours and
campsites should be occupied the first night.
Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing
State laws on hunting, trapping and fishing are enforced on NF lands,
requiring either a resident or non-resident license. Generally hunting is
allowed anywhere on NF land. An exception is recreation areas with
designated boundaries. In all areas with scattered ownership please have a
detailed map and do not trespass on adjacent private land.
Discharging a firearm (including a bow and arrow) is prohibited in or within
150 yards of a developed recreation site, trailhead, a residence, or any
place where people are likely to be. Shooting across roads or bodies of
water is also prohibited. State law prohibits target practicing on all
public lands (including the Wayne National Forest), except when legally