Shawnee Trail is a 8.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near West Portsmouth, Ohio that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The 35.7 miles of the orange-blazed main trail is laid out in a large loop. The loop is bisected by SR125 (north loop and south loop). Both loops are EXTREMELY strenuous and the elevations are steep and provide zero switchbacks. Very challenging trail. Usually a multi-night trip utilizing 7 camps. he 35.7 miles of the orange-blazed main trail is laid out in a large loop, with State Route 125 nearly bisecting it in the middle. A 4.1-mile cutoff side trail paralleling SR 125 from Forest Road 1 back to the trailhead divides the main loop into two smaller loops: an 18.5-mile north loop and a 25.8-mile south loop. Alternately, SR 125 can be used as the cutoff between FR 1 and the trailhead. The distance is shorter at only 2.8 miles, plus two 300-foot plus elevation gains are bypassed. Camp side trails will add additional light mileage to your overall trip, but can be as much as an additional 0.8 mile walking into and out of Camp 2. Most backpackers refer to the backpack trail in terms of its north and south loops, and usually base trips on one or the other. The trail's north and south loops are described separately in this document. The 9.8-mile wilderness side trail takes hikers into the remote 8000-acre Shawnee Wilderness Area. For backpackers, visiting the wilderness area is usually a multi-night trip, allowing one day to hike to a base camp, usually Camp 6, and then day hiking the wilderness side trail the next. Day visitors can access the wilderness side trail via County Road 96 alongside Upper Twin Creek. The official trailhead is located very near the junction of the main backpack trail and the western end of the bisecting cutoff side trail, which means the official trailhead can and should be used for a trip on either the north or south loop, or, of course, an extended trip of the entire trail. Beginning a trip anywhere else along the main trail would require leaving your vehicle overnight in a rural location. This is not recommended as these areas are not regularly patrolled by state park or state forest rangers. source: www.backpackohio.com
The trail in this app is trail head to camp 7 and back. After the first mile you follow the Buckeye Trail for the next 4 miles until you reach the camp. Overall a good challenging hike but not for a first timer.
Despite the description of Shawnee State Park as a 5.6 mile trail, it is far longer in reality. Depending on the configuration that you choose, you can either do one of the 20+ mile North or South loops, or a combined 45+ total loop. Additionally, the elevation change is significant (suggested by many to be the toughest terrain in Ohio) - over 5000 feet on the North loop alone.
My party completed the North loop over three days this past weekend. We had a great time - the placement of potable water stations and latrines near each campsite was a major luxury. The orange-blazed main trail is easy to follow, but be careful of the cutoff trail that bisects the North and South loop. The maps on the Shawnee park site, at the trailhead, and those at various sites (backpackohio.com, etc) are flat wrong - the day hike loop has been significantly rerouted recently, which added great confusion and mileage to that leg of our trip. We are contacting the park office about this omission, and hopefully they will update their maps soon. If anyone has any specific interest in this trail, I can provide much greater detail on how to stay on track. Just give me a shout.
Did it with the Boy Scouts. It kicked their butts, but it was a great learning experience. Awesome place to hear weird strange noises at night.
did the 7.2 two weekends ago and loved it. not much to see but the water and the woods it is a great workout though.
This hike was interesting to say the least. Myself and two buddies hiked this trail last Fall and started late to do some night hiking which was pretty sweet. It doesn't take long to figure out this trail is intense though. All three of us are in good shape, but some of the climbs on this hike are ridiculous. There were sections where we would hike uphill for a solid 40 minute to finally get to the top and see absolutely nothing; then sure enough the trail was start to decline again then straight back up. This is how the entire trail is laid out so if you're okay with getting a good workout in, but not really having the opportunity to see anything then this trail might be for you. Definitely make sure to get water at each of the filling stations though!
Did the 7.2 mile day hike and it is a challenge but worth it.
I did a nine-mile portion of this trail yesterday ad I must say, despite how often I hike and how in shape I thought I was, this trail kicked my butt. It was all super-steep hills the entire way. I was disappointed that even with all the work I did to get high into the hills, there were very few overlooks and not much scenery. Overall, this trail would be very boring if it weren't for the physical challenge if presents. I would recommend it for those trying to train for something, but not for someone just looking for a fun, pretty hike.
Hiked the north loop yesterday all in one day and am in bed recovering today. I am used to putting in big miles but when they built this trail they had in mind to challenge the hiker as much as possible. Down one hill and start the next three hundred foot climb. There are three designated camps along this section, camp 1 on top a ridge and two and three along creeks. I would have enjoyed staying at camp 2 the most camp three is much the same along a creek but a busy road is only a hundred yards away. In my opinion there needs to be switchbacks cut into some of the hills, I pulled something in my knee coming down a very steep section right above camp 2. Be sure to have some creek shoes for the multiple stream crossings
Did the North Loop with 9 yr old son last spring our first backpacking trip together. Was a difficult trip but very enjoyable at the same time lots of straight ups and downs and only a couple of veiws, but well worth the trip. Stayed at camp 1 and camp 3. Camp 1 was well secluded but camp 3 was right on the road. Woke up to rain on our hike out of camp 3, the trail had become very saturated and slick so we took the shortcut to the road after hiking in the rain for about an hour.
I did The North Loop two years ago. It was a challenging and fun climb. Campsite are spread out so you need to be prepared to walk for hours.
Did the north trail in early oct'11. Changeling climb up and down the whole trail. The fire tower was the highlight of the trip. No other good look out points the entire trail. 1st water supply was over a mile away from campsite A.
Campsite C is within 50yards of a paved well traveled rd. we found another campsite up the hill that was perfect.
If you want a hard hike in the woods it a great trail. If you like lite hike with lots of look out points and no rock formations.