Shawnee Trail

HARD 25 reviews
#1 of 11 trails in

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.

8.9 miles
1,276 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash






horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports

trail running






wild flowers



The trail after Camp #1 is currently closed due to logging activity.

2 months ago

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

7 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.

10 months ago

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (, 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.

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.

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, June 29, 2014

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!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Did the 7.2 mile day hike and it is a challenge but worth it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

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.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

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.

Monday, March 12, 2012

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.

1 month ago

1 month ago

6 months ago

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Thursday, February 14, 2013