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

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Bethel, Ohio Map
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BRUTAL! Poorly marked in many areas. Some areas not marked at all. The 2 maps from ranger station don’t agree and are both wrong. Thank God for “All Trails” the GPS on the trail map saved me. Lots of horse traffic made trails very rough and i never found the designated campsites. Last 2 miles i had to do on the road because the trail disappeared into nothing. Road crossings need arrows, i walked 1/2 a mile multiple times to find where the trail picked up.
Beautiful scenery, lots of water sources, convenient location but lack of trail markings and inaccurate maps made for lots of bushwhacking & a very discouraging trip.
Closer to trail head nice markings and maps. This is definitely a good day/short hike area but 3-5 miles out it gets rough. I don’t think this trail is backpacked much.

Started out on this trail and somehow ended up on the Buckeye & Perimeter trails. The trail marking at East Fork could use some upgrading. Other than that, was a great relatively easy hike.

nature trips
26 days ago

Very under managed and muddy. However, there are some amazing views on this trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

Trail was very enjoyable, has been awhile since the trail has been marked, a lot of the time we had to follow the permitter trail (blue) markers because the red was so faded or nonexistent. We set up camp about 2 miles prior to camp 2 so we could do some fishing on the lake. The trail wasn’t so bad aside from the lack of markings till the loop, neither side was great but when it came to the south/west portion it didn’t look like it had been maintained for a long time. Was full of thorns, and downed trees.

Friends I was with decided to walk out to the road before we even finished the whole loop. I dropped my gear off near the road and ran the trail back to the trailhead. Doing both I would have to say I think using the trail for a day run instead of a backpacking trip would be more enjoyable.

amazing short walk. beautifully maintained.

hiking
1 month ago

Not a bad hike. Minimal views of the lake, mostly just woods. The path isn’t very clearly marked. We would have gotten lost had it not been for our map. Overall, just OK. Probably won’t be doing this one again.

Entire hike forested with plenty of shade. Occasional lake views through the trees. Pay attentuon to where you're at on a map... couple of opportunitues for a wrong turn to make a 5 mile hike turn into 10 or more... and some of the trails are NOT clearly marked

needs maintenance

the trails aren't marked that well but we are familiar with the park. They are nice clear trails. It was a great hike for us and our dogs

hiking
2 months ago

This was a nice hike. more traffic than I expected. the trails were clear. it was about a 2 hour hike with our dogs

hiking
2 months ago

All the trails at EastFork are great, the only request I would have would to add more trail markers as some of the trails share common links and its easy to get off course.

Nice trail. Trails aren’t marked all that well in places, so this app came in real handy. Just open it up and make sure you are on the right path.

Fun trail with great views and wildlife. It’s longer than the 4.4 miles the app says.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was a disaster. I'm nonetheless giving it two stars because it would be a very nice trail if the ODNR expended any time or effort improving it or at least properly maintaining it, and also because I wasn't able to finish and can't fairly judge that part which I didn't hike (see below.)

I recently went for a day hike on this trail, on a hot summer day, after it hadn't rained for several days. I parked in the lot just north of the park office and set out eastbound on the section that runs concurrent with the 28-mile perimeter ("backpacking") trail, counterclockwise toward the lake.

The trail immediately seemed a bit muddy and not particularly well-traveled (except by horses apparently, because there was sh*t and indentations in the trail everywhere.) It was intermittently so overgrown that it was difficult to discern where the trail even was in spots, but I made do and thought little of it at the time--these things aren't exactly unheard of.

Approximately two miles in, the trail became a literal swamp. Not just mud, but six-inch deep standing water, twenty or thirty feet on each side of the trail, covering thick layers of muck. At my own peril, I declined to turn back, figuring this had to be a passing phase and I could work my way around it. Nope. The swamp lasted a good half mile. My waterproof boots were simply no match and my feet were absolutely drenched after a few misplaced steps on seemingly solid ground put them down in the muck. I concurrently scratched the living hell out of myself on brambles while walking off the trail to avoid the mud as best I could.

Soaked and literally bloody, I finally came to a four-way intersection with a more groomed, gravel trail approximately three miles in. The problem, of course, was that there were no markers aside from spray painted arrows on trees marking the various directions I could travel, and the utterly useless trail map I picked up at the office provided no additional context concerning my location.

I eventually managed to finagle my way to a road; I also found what I'm assuming was the back end of the trail, but my good sense finally got the better of me. I decided to forgo the remaining five-ish miles-- because not being able to walk for a week simply isn't worth the low-impact workout--and guessed my way back to my car.

This was our first time on the trail. We absolutely loved it. From the car down to the creek is just a few minutes. The views by the creek are just beautiful. We decided to go off the beaten path some to get to the playground for the kids. Some spots we had to climb over trees nothing too difficult. Plenty of places to wade in the water. Possibly our new favorite trail.

I attempted one single trek of this back on Tuesday May 1st. The weather couldn’t have been better!! Check out my most recent group of photos. Some portions of the trail were still soggy muddy from horse tracks, especially near the campgrounds area. That’s my only dispute on the trail as a whole- the perimeter should be strictly hiking only to keep from the large puddles and dips from lasting. There are plenty of horseback trails in the park: Cascade and Red Fox trails to name a few. I didn’t complete the entire trek on Tuesday. I stopped at the turnaround on the dam at Slade Rd. I had severe stomach and kidney pain on top of my feet killing me. It was tough! Lol I began at the park office at Bantam and went east, around the lake passed camps 2 and 3 and then to the campgrounds. I did deviate from the trail then and walked southwest on Park Rd 4 to the the North Shore boat launch. After resting the Sun had fallen over the trees with night approaching and I walked the lake shoreline around the north cove (a total bitch!!) of Slabcamp Run and then around to the Slade Rd turnaround where my girlfriend graciously picked me up. It was black night by then. Roughly 30 miles in all and 14 hours later! Next time I won’t be so stubborn and cut down on the pace and camp overnight along the way. I love Eastfork though and make it a must to take care of the trails and nature.

backpacking
4 months ago

Great warm up trail. 8 miles from trailhead to Camp 2. Frequent water access along the way. Many vistas of lake. Very well marked with red blazes that are faded in most spots, but you also follow blue blazes almost the whole time.

We opted for roads on the way back due to time, burgeoning injury, and novel scenery. Saved A LOT of energy and time.

Pretty mucky in areas when we went this weekends. Last two miles (eastern half of loop) was big altitude swings. Camp 2 had tiki torches, fire rings, wood shelters, and easy access to water.

Enjoyable camping!

Well maintained and marked. Nice wooded area walk.

shred the gnar!

hiking
5 months ago

Super muddy and the trails and not all clearly marked.

backpacking
5 months ago

Easy hike. Takes about 2 hours give or take. Was sloppy but I expected as much. Not very well marked, but that’s what gps is for. I will be frequenting as it warms up.

hiking
7 months ago

I've been on this trail several times recently and find it to be ideal for working up to longer distances and/or overnight camping, or breaking in boots and new gear. The full out-and-back hike to campsite #2 (?) can be broken up into a variety of shorter loops and has several bail-out points to roads. It is not a remote wilderness experience of course but once you are familiar with it, becomes a go-to "backyard" walk/run/bike in the woods if you live on the east side of Cincinnati. It is one of the few longer trails in the area.

Pretty scenery and well marked. The trail was extremely wet and made it kind of slow and difficult, but I guess that’s what I get for going in February!

7 months ago

Slippery and slow but very technical for running.

hiking
9 months ago

This is not a very challenging and somewhat boring trail. The loop is Back pack trail out (blue markings) and return via the green markings. The map printed off the website not very helpful.

hiking
10 months ago

Love this trail hiked it a few times, can get muddy during the wet seasons.

trail running
10 months ago

Park at the mountain bike trailhead. All other documentation states this is a 14 mile trail. Most of the trail is poorly marked, especially the first section. Stick to the red trail markers, they were very faded and extremely difficult to see. The majority of the trail is single track. If you're running, watch out for tree roots, I found many buried under the leaves. Lots of thorns on the last bit before the loop and the loop itself, some where at head height, so watch out! It had rained for about 20 hours prior to my run but was not overly muddy. The leaves provided the most difficulty. I saw at least a dozen dear, maybe more! Overall it was a good run that was not overly challenging, exactly what I needed to try out some new shoes.

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