Tar Hollow State Park
Tar Hollow has an unusual name which it received because it was a source of pine tar for the early settlers to the area.
Tar Hollow is in the southern part of Hocking County and is shared with Vinton and Ross counties. It offers a BMX bike trail and paddle boat rentals on Pine Lake.
Hocking County has a natural rock bridge that is the largest one in the state. It rises 45 feet above the gorge below and the 100-foot long Black Hand sandstone span can be walked on from above and observed from the recess cave below.
This most unusual rock formation is at the Rockbridge State Nature Preserve off U.S. 33 between State Routes 374 and 180 on Dalton Road.
The lake has a 500 feet swimming beach and horse rental is offered seasonally by a private company from within the park.
Bluegill and other panfish provide good sport for fisherman on Pine Lake. There is campground near the lake. The General Store offers camping supplies. Pets are permitted at the campground. A group camp area is available for organized groups of up to 100 on a reservation basis.
There is a 2 ½ mile mountain bike trail, 21 miles of backpack trails with five primitive camp sites along the trail, and a miniature golf course.
Picnicking is a popular pastime at Tar Hollow. The picnic areas offer excellent scenery and a peaceful setting. Six shelter houses can be reserved through the park office, while the others are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tar Hollow is located at 16396 Tar Hollow Road close to Laurelville. The Park Office phone number is (740) 887-4818.
With everything it has to offer, Tar Hollow is one of the best-kept secrets in the Hocking Hills area. Check it out on your next stay.
Lake Hope State Park
Lake Hope State Park lies entirely within the 26,824 acre Zaleski State Forest. Cyclists can explore the 7.2 mile Copperhead Loop at Lake Hope State Park. There is also a Sidewinder Loop which is 2 ½ miles. Lake Hope’s 23-mile singletrack trail was chosen as Ohio’s top mountain bike trail by readers of “Mountain Bike Magazine”. Picnic areas with tables and grills are located at many secluded areas throughout the park.
There are twenty five miles of hiking trails to explore. Winter recreation includes sledding, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.
A beautiful 192-site campground is suitable for tents or trailers. During the summer months there are three Rent-A-Camp units with equipment, and two Camper Cabins that can be rented by reservation. Pets are permitted. They have a 21 mile backpack trail with primitive campsites at the nearby state forest. Individual cottages are available for rental as well as Laurel Lodge that sleeps 22 people.
An equestrian camp is available for the 33 miles of bridle trail users in Zaleski State Forest. Various programs are scheduled at the Nature Center. A new lodge was completed in 2012 and features a dining room that overlooks the lake, quick-service food with banquet and meeting rooms. No lodging is available within the lodge but it is situated among the cabins.
Fishermen will find good catches of bluegill, catfish, crappie and largemouth bass at Lake Hope Lake. A valid Ohio fishing license is required. There is also a 600 foot swimming beach with a beach house and sun deck located near the dam. Lake Hope Beach has a changing area and shelter. Boating is allowed on the 120 acre lake with canoes, kayaks, and rowboats for rent.
The Lake Hope State Park Office is located at 27331 State Route 278 in McArthur Ohio. The park office number is 740-596-4938 and the cottage check in number is 740-596-5253. Call 866-644-6727 to reserve a cottage, camp site, lodge or shelter.
The Zaleski Forest Park Office number is 740-596-5781. For those who have explored the Hocking Hills on a regular basis, the Lake Hope area in Vinton County offers quite a lot of new options for a weekend getaway or vacation stay.
Excerpt from “The Best Kept Secrets of the Hocking Hills” Guidebook
Copyright 2015 Terri Baker