Pine Run Trail to Vinton Iron Furnace

EASY 2 reviews

Pine Run Trail to Vinton Iron Furnace is a 5.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Hamden, Ohio that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
656 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

wildlife

historic site

Vinton Furnace Experimental State Forest is roughly 12,000 acres used for forest research, but open to hikers as well. There are several buildings at the park's 'headquarters' and if you go during the week, my understanding is you can drive to a parking area near them. On weekends however, the gate is closed on the entrance road, but parking is provided there. This adds about 3/4 of a mile to each end of the hike, getting from the gate to the headquarters. Once there, the 'trails' which are essentially gravel roads, branch out like spokes on a wheel. Each spoke is marked by name and they are relatively easy to find. This hike leads from the entrance gate to the Pine Ridge trail, which ends at the ruins of the Vinton Iron Furnace, and coke ovens. Standing in the center of the headquarters area, the Pine Run trail would be at roughly 11 o'clock. Grades are mostly gentle and as I said you are walking on a gravel road. There are no blazes on the road but the path is obvious. When you reach the end of the road there is a turnaround surrounding a tree. A mowed path leads off to the right and begins to descend downhill, switching back several times. This is the most strenuous part of the trail but doesn't last long. The path leads you right to the ruins of the coke ovens. These ovens were made in Belgium in the mid 1800's and shipped here as individual numbered bricks for reassembly. The coke they produced was used as fuel to make iron in the furnace which is located directly over the hill from the ovens. Again, a mowed path to the furnace is provided. Iron furnaces dot the southern Ohio landscape but the coke ovens are the only known remnants of Belgian ovens anywhere in the world. The path back is simply reversing the route. This appears to be a very underutilized state forest. We were there on a beautifully sunny March day with temps in the mid 40's, and my friend and I had the entire 12,000 acres to ourselves. For a nice walk in the woods and some history you apparently can't see anywhere else, I highly recommend a day at Vinton Furnace State Forest

hiking
3 months ago

My friend and I visited here on a cold and clear beautiful sunny March day, and had the place to ourselves. It was a very nice walk, not overly strenuous but there is something about coming upon man made structures left to rot in the middle of a forest that fascinates me every time. I give this hike five stars simply because of the interesting history at the end of the trail...and because there were no crowds!

hiking
3 months ago