Lake Hope State Park
Lake Hope State Park is part of a bigger state forest, Zaleski State Forest, which contains 18,200 beautiful acres of scenery, lakes, and natural geographic features for everyone to enjoy. Lake Hope offers dining, campsites, canoe rental, swimming, fishing, and hiking.
Welcome to Lake Hope State Park
Lake Hope State Park is part of a bigger state forest. Zaleski State Forest contains 18,200 beautiful acres of scenery, lakes, and natural geographic features for everyone to enjoy. People come from all around to enjoy quiet time on the water, splash around with friends, and just get away from life for a while. From ancient ruins and mounds to hiking trails and picturesque scenes worthy of a magazine cover, Ohio’s historic park offers a little something for every person to enjoy whether young or old. Come away and find out more about this pristine state park.
Explore Lake Hope
Pick a cabin or camping spot, hike the trail, or canoe the lake - either way, have a blast!
Lake Hope Information
History of Lake Hope
Southeastern Ohio is rich in minerals but also rich in history. Going back over 100 years ago, the Hope Furnace once burned hot. The furnace processed iron ore extracted the sandstone bedrock this region is known for. During the smelting process, iron was produced which was used for ammunition and even a cannon for the Union Army during the Civil War. Iron played a key role in giving the region some economy during very hard times. Men cut timber in the forest for lumber, worked the furnaced, and hauled iron ore.
Interesting historical fact: Ohio was once the leading producer of iron. As more iron was discovered across the United States, this eventually dissipated but the historical context remained. Landscape and geography were changed by the mining of this iron ore as people settled and landed here for decades.
Wild turkeys are often seen around the park. Beavers help build dams in the area and many wild flowers bloom for all to see.
Activities at Lake Hope
Many fun activities await individuals and families who visit Lake Hope State Park. Lots of people love to check out the rustic dining lodge. It is built of stone and lumber with fabulous views of the lake. What’s not to love? The dining lodge is the perfect place to catch a bite to eat, meet with coworkers or family, grab a snack, and stay awhile. The lodge is the place to make cabin reservations and learn about the area. Here are just a few of the ways to explore Lake Hope:
- Cabins can sleep families, individuals, and groups. Includes linens, towels, and housekeeping. Guests can reserve a rustic lodge for bigger groups that holds up to 24 persons with kitchen facilities for a perfect family reunion or getaway to enjoy nature
- Canoes and rowboats are available for rent though boats with electric motors are allowed on the lake
- Fishing and hunting is plentiful in the lake. Bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass all populate Lake Hope. Zaleski State Forest is the perfect place to go hunting with a valid license
- Check out the best swimming beach near the dam. Concessions for food and beverages are nearby for swimmers
- Hop on any of fifteen miles of hiking trails round Lake Hope. Backpackers can register for a 21 mile trail with primitive campsites. Bridle trails are included for riders with their own horses in the state forest
Camping at Lake Hope
One of the main reasons people come to Lake Hope is to enjoy nature by getting outside. They opt outside with tents and trailers. A 223-site campground makes it easy to explore the area. Forty-six sites have electric hookups. Pets are permitted in limited sites. Family and friends will enjoy the lake, trails, and all amenities it has to offer.
Lake Hope’s Ghost Tales
Now for one of the most unique features of Lake Hope: Hope Furnace. Hope Furnace is an ancient relic of time gone by. Situated in Ohio’s Hanging Rock Iron Region, Lake Hope State Park has a deep, rich history. The area had many materials to spare when people settled in and began taking advantage of all it had to offer. The Hope Furnace processed iron ore extracted from the sandstone bedrock. These fires were tended day and night. Hundreds of men worked to ensure the fires burned brightly. The watchman was said to be walking on his watch late one night when a storm rolled in. He slipped and fell into the bubbling iron ore of the furnace. Another legend says a man was scared by lightning and fell. One worker was said to fight through a storm to get to his watch and was literally struck by lightning then fell into the furnace. Not death nor stormy nights could keep the watchmen of the Hope Furnace from their job!
The Hope Furnace chimney stands as a reminder of the rich, sometimes sordid, history of the region. Campers may tell these stories around the fire at night of how the spirits of local workers from small towns never abandoned their posts.
Come and Stay Awhile
Summertime is a great season at Lake Hope. The birds are singing and trails are open for walking, the beach is alive with activity. Fall is a gorgeous time to visit with change of colors bringing bold flavor to the region. Horse-drawn wagon rides are a favorite, along with the Annual Fall Hike. Winter and Spring also bring visitors for different activities. Every season is busy around the park. Come and see for yourself and stay while enjoying all it has to offer.
BROWSE HOCKING MERCH
Pro Tips from Our Blog
10 Romantic Things To Do in Hocking Hills
Nothing is more romantic than sneaking away with your partner for a little R&R in the hills; Hocking Hills...Read More
Are There Bears in Hocking Hills? (sometimes!)
Encountering native plants and animals while out hiking or enjoying nature is part of the adventure. People want to...Read More
Are These Hocking Hills Yurt Rentals Just Too Much? Or Too Little?
Who knew in 2022 yurts would be the name of the accommodation game. Everything’s turning up yurts right now,...Read More
Autumn Leafers and Pumpkin Patches – Fall is Here!
Die-hard fall season lovers can’t wait for the smell of pumpkin spice, and a taste of apple pie, and...Read More
Best Dog-Friendly Trails in Hocking Hills
When hiking in Hocking Hills through miles of beautiful trails, rock formations and waterfalls, you won’t want to leave...Read More
Check Out These Amazing Wineries Near Hocking Hills
A visit to Hocking Hills, Ohio would not be complete without some time outdoors. Most people visit for the...Read More
Enjoy a True Hocking Hills Spa Experience
Nothing quite says ‘ah’ like a day at the spa. Surrounded by natural beauty and the rolling Hocking Hills...Read More
Everyone Needs To Experience The Tecumseh Outdoor Drama
Hocking Hills offers unique experiences like zip-lining, camping, hiking, and quiet spaces to rest and be restored. In addition...Read More
Experience an Epic Overnight at Ravenwood Castle
Visitors to Hocking Hills often think about the rolling landscape, caves, and parks to explore. The adventure activities like...Read More
Experience the Winter Hikes of Hocking
Hiking is an experience many people love from the time outdoors to quiet space in nature to breathe in...Read More
Family Activities in the Hocking Hills
Heading out into Hocking Hills for some family time and adventure this summer can feel daunting. There are so...Read More
Get Away with Your Furry Friend in These Hocking Hills Dog Friendly Cabins
Hocking Hills is a beautiful area filled with rock formations, caves, treetop canopies, waterfalls, and more. This nature lover’s...Read More
Get Cozy in These Steamy Sauna Pods of Hocking Hills
Going to the spa sauna is a fun experience. Bask in the warmth of a steamy sauna that cleanses...Read More
Get Cozy with a Romantic Getaway in Hocking Hills
Nothing says cozy up like a charming cabin or room in one of the most romantic settings in Ohio....Read More
Go Hocking Merch!
As Hocking natives, we’ve been exploring these hills and valleys for years, and it’s no surprise to us that...Read More
Go Old School with a Hocking Hills Train Ride
The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway offers a historic-feeling adventure in the rolling hills of Ohio. Founded in 1972, the...Read More
Go Stargazing at the John Glenn Astronomy Park
The John Glenn Astronomy Park (JGAP) is dedicated to sparking an interest in science, learning, and exploration by sharing...Read More
Guide to Camping in the Hocking Hills
Like many of us, camping can seem like a daunting task, but with the right gear and camp systems,...Read More
Guide to Hiking the Hocking Hills
People come from all over the world to see the beautiful parks and trails of Hocking Hills. Our little...Read More
Haunted Hocking: Ghost Stories and Local Haunts
The hills are alive with the sounds of ghosts and goblins. At least that is what local lore would...Read More
Here Are the Best Wayne National Forest ATV Trails
Nothing can feel better than the rush of wind in your hair and grit in your teeth after driving...Read More
Hocking Hills A-Frame Cabins are as Iconic as They are Rustic
Heading down into the rolling terrain of Ohio, deep in the heart of Hocking Hills, are amazing views and...Read More
How to Explore the Coolest Hocking Hills Caves
The Hocking Hills caves located in southeastern Ohio are some of the most beautiful geological wonders in the area....Read More
How to Get to Hocking Hills
Situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Ohio’s Hocking Hills offer visitors natural spaces to hike, take a...Read More
How to Spend the Day at Wayne National Forest
Wayne National Forest entices visitors to its thousands of acres to get away from life for a while and...Read More
Ice Age Memories: The Indian History of Hocking
History is difficult to put into context for upcoming generations who did not experience it firsthand. The way things...Read More
Keep it Chill: Your Guide to Glamping in Hocking Hills
Ohio is a beautiful state with breathtaking landscapes, rolling hills, and gorgeous parks to explore. Exploring the beauty is...Read More
Knock Back Some Hocking Hills Moonshine Like GrandDad Used To
Moonshine is one of the oldest beverages and most widely spoken about across America. The history of moonshine, how...Read More
Looking for a Good Hocking Hills Music Festival?
People flock to the Hills for adventure, camping, and to explore this beautiful natural landscape. Another reason people love...Read More
Newbie’s Guide to Hocking Hills Tent Camping
Whether coming from the city, suburbs, or another place near or far, Hocking Hills has campsites to bring everyone...Read More
Our Picks for the Best Places to Stay in Hocking Hills This Year
Many people look at destinations but are stumped at all the choices for lodging. Hocking Hills is no exception...Read More
Slip Away to These Getaway Cabins in Hocking Hills
Whether the waterfalls, caves, hiking, or nature draw you in, Hocking Hills is full of adventure and quiet. This...Read More
Some Easy Things to Do in Hocking Hills if it Rains
Hocking Hills is a beautiful place any season of the year. Travelers and visitors come to see the rolling...Read More
Some Pro Tips for Capturing Amazing Hocking Hills State Park Photos
Photography is an awesome hobby for enthusiasts who visit Hocking Hills, Ohio. Professional photographers also love to come and...Read More
Stay Groovy at the Hippie Fest in Hocking Hills
Hippie Fest is a unique, fun annual festival that comes to Hocking Hills to celebrate peace and love through...Read More
Sweet Treats: Ice Cream Shops in Hocking Hills
Hocking Hills has natural beauty, amazing landscapes, and of course nature activities galore. Exploring Hocking Hills can be tiring...Read More
The Circleville Pumpkin Show Needs to Be On Your List Every October
Welcome to the ‘Greatest Show on Earth,’ the 115th Circleville Pumpkin Show. An annual tradition in Hocking Hills, the...Read More
The Perfect Two-Day Trip in Hocking Hills
Don’t have a lot of time but still seeking an exciting getaway? A two-day Hocking Hills Trip may be...Read More
The Seasons of Hocking: What is the Best Time to Visit the Hocking Hills?
Any time visitors want to go away on vacation, on a weekend trip, or locals just want to explore...Read More
The Trick to Finding the Coolest Cabins Near Hocking Hills
The Hocking Hills are alive with the sounds of visitors, locals, and travelers from afar checking out the sites....Read More
The Wildlife of Hocking Hills
An abundance of natural wildlife is something that stands out about the Hocking Hills area of Ohio. The Hocking...Read More
These Are Some of Our Favorite Wedding Venues in the Hocking Hills
Planning a wedding is no easy task. Lots of planning goes into choosing a venue, and finding the perfect...Read More
Things to do in Hocking Hills in November
Hocking Hills comes alive in autumn with season colors beautifully canvassing the treetops. While looking for some fun activities...Read More
Tour These Inspiring Hocking Hills Wedding Venues
Hocking Hills in southeastern Ohio is a nature lover’s paradise. Treetop canopy soars in natural forests and geological formations...Read More
Visit These Awesome Breweries Near Hocking Hills
Step inside any number of breweries near Hocking Hills and you will find visitors from all over the country...Read More
Welcome to Logan’s Washboard Music Festival
There is nothing quite like summer in ‘the Hills;’ Hocking Hills, that is. Everywhere you look, there are festivals,...Read More
Welcome to the Hocking Hills
…and we’re live! Welcome friends and folks to the brand new website for Go Hocking, a local merch and...Read More
What is the Best Pizza in Logan, Ohio?
Most people don’t come to Logan, Ohio looking for pizza with pizzazz. They are simply looking for a dish...Read More
What is the Devil’s Bathtub in Hocking Hills?
The Devil’s Bathtub sounds a bit suspicious up front, but there is quite a history behind this unique and...Read More
Where to Find the Best Hocking Hills Waterfalls
Hiking around Hocking Hills in Ohio is a pure delight. So many waterfalls and caves are carved out of...Read More
World Famous Pizza Crossing And the Many Pizza Shops Of Logan
Stepping into Logan, Ohio in the heart of Hocking Hills is like taking a step into another world. The...Read More