Explore the most popular Camping trails in Shawnee State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trail is wide, well marked and has several elevations. Hiked in late fall and the colors were vivid

Definitely one of the hardest trails we’ve tried. Headed for campsite 6 around 3:30pm going around 28min/mi. Made it to camp 7 around 7pm right before dark and thought it was prudent to stay there for the night. Instead of finishing the south loop, we turned around and came back to the car. We will either drive to the other trailhead and stay at camp 3 or go to a hotel for the night. Could go either way. Beautiful views. Lots of sharp elevation change.

Great trail to train for a thru hike. Only place in Ohio to actually climb a decent hill. Still, a lot easier than the AT.

Just did the south loop last week, trail was pretty muddy. Hiked it clockwise and stayed at camp 6. Very nice spot. Lots of elevation on the way from 6 to 7 with a couple of significant climbs. The trail is still blocked between camp 5 & 6, u can get around, but it’s a good scramble through the downed trees. Plenty of ticks, so use a good bug spray and do a good check post hike. It’s a good workout for an overnight hike, but if you were to stretch it to two night it would be much easier.

First, the map is only showing the South Loop, there is also a North Loop for a total distance of 40 miles with 7 campsites. I hiked the entire loop May 2-6, 2019. It is extremely difficult terrain, but a beautiful trail. The wildflowers in May were gorgeous. Saw nobody the first 2 days, passed 2 people on day 3, and passed a group of about 15 heading in when I was leaving. The most important thing to know is that a hillside avalanche has completely destroyed the trail between camp 5 and camp 6. We couldn’t find any way around it and had to camp on the trail and backtrack the next morning.

Trail is up and down, a lot of switchbacks. Not a lot to look at along the trail like rock formations or water features. A good length of the trail is shared with a road. The trail is well marked, and a good map is available at the trailhead. This trailhead also has dedicated parking, and a place to sign in and out of the trail. There are dedicated “camps” at regular intervals which have outhouses, look out for the corn-fed spiders on this trail. Plenty of MONSTER spiders, and a lot of ticks. Fresh water is a problem on this trail so you have to pack accordingly. Plenty of springs/ streams that were good enough to drink from if you are planning to pack fire, so boiling the water was sufficient. Nice time. Not a lot of people on this trail.

Hiked for 3 miles south from the Lake then hiked the road back due to time constraints. Trail drains water nicely and the steeper climbs were still possible even with the heavier rains a couple days earlier. Nice trail. But, Could have been better. The trail portion of the hike was spent looking down at the trail so as to avoid the way too numerous piles of animal waste. Only a couple occasions could be excused as wild animals due to their high fur content. Watch your step!

Surprisingly hard. I wasn’t expecting that from OH.

backpacking
Mon Aug 27 2018

Took the east day hike trail to Camp number 3 the next day hike from 3 to 1 please note that the water at Camp one is a mile from Camp one so if you're coming from the trailhead to one don't walk past it if you're going the way we did it requires you to go an extra mile to get water and then return back to camp. my wife and I spent the weekend there and by far from Camp number one back to the trailhead is some of the toughest hiking we have ever done. love the challenge but it is not for the timid.

This trail is super difficult. We only made it about 1 mile out and realized it was out of our access. Lots of bugs even with bug spray so be prepared. The trail does not seem to be maintained well either.

Another great trail to day hike to see the Spring wildflowers.l go out each Spring.

This was a nice hike for the mileage. If you start at the road as described, you basically have a decent hill climb, and then a ridge walk with moderate ups and downs. This was a good hike for getting in some longer miles without excessive elevation.

We put this loop together to take in the Copperhead Firetower and Camp 1 of the Backpack trail. Overall a scenic woods walk and not too steep. Several Creek crossings, and the bottom area of the bridle trail was a bit muddy. We startled a coyote just below the water source where the bridle trail and backpack trail meet. You could opt for more out and back instead of using the roads for a loop.

This was a great day hike! Plenty of enjoyable hiking along the creek, and camp #6 would be a nice spot for lunch if you had the time. Lots of moderate walking, so the entire trail is not too difficult outside of the couple of hill climbs. Take a look at the elevations and determine how you might want to tackle this loop.

Completed the north and south loop in 4 days total. 40+ Miles all together. There is a lot of discrepancies between maps and mileage markers from camp to camp. Doing this is 4 days kicked our butts. Loved the challenge but 5-6 days would make the trip a little more enjoyable and less painful by the end. Definitely don’t attempt to complete in 4 days if you aren’t in decent shape. Just as the paper at the trailhead says, you will know just how in shape you are just a few hours into your hike. Beautiful views at all of the peaks, would definitely recommend.

backpacking
Mon Sep 11 2017

I just completed this hike last week but as a loop of ~25 miles, starting at the trailhead, following a trail just north of SR125 (traveling SE), crossing south over SR 125, and picking up the displayed trail there, finishing the loop at the trailhead. The trail is fantastic-- you cannot ask for a better groomed trail. It's simple to follow, well marked, with only a couple of trees downed over the trail in all those miles. There is no deluge of water runoff in the rain (& I started during a rainstorm) and the reason is simple in design- on each and every slope, every 50 feet or so, a backsloping cutout is made in the trail to force water runoff off the trail, so no deluge ever forms. This took an enormous amount of work to construct. But (big but), this is an athletically hard trail; easy trail technically; hard trail athletically. Take a water filter-- plenty of streams. Actually, camp 5 was 1/2 way for me and beautiful, on a ridge with great views. I loved this hike and will be going back for more.

Great place! really enjoyed this place and can't wait to go back...

backpacking
Fri Sep 01 2017

Lots of up and down, very challenging if your not in good shape. If you have a dog, watch out for copperheads!!

never a flat moment. topography changes every 20 feet. you're either walking up or down hill the whole time, steep inclines to. wild black berries around the 2.5 miles mark from the head. couple spots the trail was blocked by fallen trees and limbs. it down poured the whole 10 miles for us but we did it.

backpacking
Tue May 09 2017

Backpacked with the Boy Scouts to prepare for our upcoming trip to Philmont. Started at Camp #3 and hiked up to Camp #1. This is a tough trail due to the elevation changes with no switchbacks. The trail after Camp #1 is currently closed due to logging activity. We chose to take the Rose Hollow Bridle trail back to the parking lot near Camp #3.

As mentioned below, this trail is a total of 40+ miles long. I started the north loop today (23 miles). Unfortunately I did not read this review until today, 12 miles into my hike. If I would have done so, I would have avoided the side trail as Matthew's review mentioned. I ended up on multiple trails, traveling about 6 miles out of the way.... But I'm really okay with that I guess. All part of the adventure. The trail has been a blast, campsites are great, water & latrine at each site. I haven't seen another person in 14 hours :) Definitely not for first time hikers.

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

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