Explore the most popular forest 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.

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.

on Lookout Trail

hiking
25 days ago

Beautiful trail and fun hike for a little Forrest bathing! Very well marked and easy to follow trail markers. Very heavily shaded with mature trees. Beware of walking into spider webs especially in the early morning. Waving a branch in front of you is a good way to avoid this unpleasant encounter. Wish it was longer! Hope they expand it to a longer section to make it at least a 3 mile loop. Also spotty cell phone reception.

Very strenuous! The hills are steep...... I recommend bringing trekking poles as they are needed ( I’ve never used trekking poles until this trip) The Park has both a North and South trail. If doing both as one large loop it is 40 miles. There is water at or near every campsite. Also there is a fire tower that you can climb to the top of for a great view on the way to camp 1. If you are only doing half of the loop be prepared for a 5 mile road hike on a busy 2 lane state route back to the trailhead. Again this trail is very strenuous and will test your endurance!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked the west loop on Memorial Day weekend 2018. Actual mileage was about 4.2, not posted 3.7. Some parts were nice. Beautiful hardwood forest with nice assortment of trees , including conifers and some towering oaks. HOWEVER, this trail clearly sees little activity so the trail had lots of sections with long grass/weeds and poison ivy (in the trail). And worse.... 1000’s of tics. My wife , son, and I hiked with our dog ... and had to stop every 50 yards for inspection. We had them all over us all day. (And still are finding them hours later)

hiking
3 months ago

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

3 months ago

great trail, just wish they would stop logging everything. Part of the trail is logging roads with the equipment still sitting there.

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.

backpacking
8 months ago

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.

This is a great hike to take in 2 great scenic spots in one day. There is a little more elevation gain on this route than some others, but it wasn't terrible. I look forward to doing this again in the future.

backpacking
11 months ago

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.

We opted for the East loop which had some nice single track trail on the far east side, but adds 3 miles or so. There was a map near the trailhead that we took a picture of, since alltrails has the shorter version. The grass was mowed, so no high weeds this time around. There are some small openings that offer some nice views and some deep hollows that would be gorgeous with spring flowers. we'll definitely be doing this one again!

hiking
11 months ago

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

backpacking
11 months ago

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

A nice day hiking trail with some nice views. I hike it several times a year. I enjoy Spring and Fall the most.

hiking
Friday, July 07, 2017

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.

hiking
Friday, June 09, 2017

Trail was a very nice hike. There is actually quite a bit of vertical rise in the trails. I wouldn't take a small child or beginner hiker on this trail just because of the difficulty. There were sections of the hike where you had to wade thru waist high grass so make sure you bring and use bug spray. But overall it was a great hike.

on Shawnee Trail

backpacking
Tuesday, 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.

hiking
Monday, April 10, 2017

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.

hiking
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

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.

hiking
Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The map from the government does not correspond well with the actual signs on the earth! No where on their backpacking map does it mention an East Loop. But there are signs about the East Loop along the "Day Hike" trail. Their map also does not show this loop. It appears the signs on the trails are referring this loop as the "West Loop".

hiking
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

We like do this trail when we camp at the state park. It's a loop and the kids like it. Easy!

hiking
Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wonderful hike!! As the poster before me stated, it is 4.2 miles now. Was a good workout, good elevation change 1.5 miles in. Well marked and in nice shape. Not much to see, but if you love being in the woods like me, I'd be on it everyday.

hiking
Monday, November 09, 2015

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.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

They've changed this trail. It's now a 4.2 mile hike. It has a wonderful midway point with a great view.

camping
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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.

hiking
Monday, September 21, 2015

Tough trail.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

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.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

the "lookout" spot was not that impressive. Overall it was a fun hike. quite a few fallen trees to admire. it rained the day before and the trail was only muddy in a couple spots.

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