|Twisting park and forest roads pass through 604 acres of deep ravines and dense woodlands • Scattered shortleaf and pitch pines growing on the ridges were once a source of pine tar for early settlers, hence the name Tar Hollow • Dogwoods, redbuds and a variety of wildflowers color the hillsides in the springtime • Fall's pageant of color is spectacular
- Sunny and shady sites to suit every camper
- 71 electric sites
- 11 non-electric sites
- 12 walk-in sites
- 5 primitive sites along the backpack trail
- Campground equipped with showers, laundry facilities, pit latrines and a dump station
- Beach is close by
- General Store offers camping supplies, souvenirs and snacks
- Registerd campers may borrow game and sporting equipment from the General Store
- Pet camping is permitted on all sites
- Camping is permitted at 7 picnic shelters by reservation • For more information, call the park office at 740-887-4818
- Boating with electric motors only permitted on the 15-acre Pine Lake
- The lake is perfect for canoes and rowboats
- Launch ramp is located near the beach
- Boating laws and information
- Bluegill and other panfish provide good sport for the fisherman on the 15-acre Pine Lake
- Valid Ohio fishing license is required
- 4 picnic areas offer excellent scenery and a peaceful setting
- Big Shelterhouse can be reserved online or by calling 866-644-6727
- 7 other shelters can be reserved by calling the park office at 740-887-4818 on the first business day of each calendar month • Camping is permitted at these shelters
|Get Involved! The Friends of Tar Hollow State Park is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the outdoors and providing funding for park events • They help maintain the park where many visitors spend quality time with family and friends • Their mission is to provide key funding to the park through fundraising and donations, which is put toward park functions that give back to the campers • The group also looks to the future by assisting the park in providing activities that will keep the park enjoyable and beautiful for many generations to come • If you are interested in joining or making a donation to the Friends of Tar Hollow, please contact: Teresa Graham at email@example.com or Cheri Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org • In addition, you can support the Friends of Tar Hollow by signing up your Kroger Rewards Card with #80808 – Friends of Tar Hollow State Park selected as the Community Rewards organization • Visit us on Facebook
- Ross Hollow Hiking Trail • 3.5 Miles (yellow blazes), located near the camp, provides foot access to the hills of Tar Hollow
- 21-mile Logan Boy Scout Trail (red blazes) traverses the park and forest
- Section of Ohio's Buckeye Trail (blue blazes) also passes through the area
- 25 miles of bridle trails (white blazes) and a horse camp are located on the forest land
- Backpack camp is located at the fire tower
- 2.5-mile Pine Run mountain bike trail begins at the general store
- Pine Lake offers a 500-foot unguarded beach, which is within walking distance of the campgrounds
- Swimming is permitted during daylight hours only
- Swim at your own risk & be sure to keep an eye on the kids
- Pets are NOT permitted on swimming beaches
- Check for water quality advisories
- Hunting is not permitted in the state park
- Adjacent state forest provides excellent hunting opportunities for squirrel, deer, grouse and turkey
- Valid Ohio hunting license is required
More To Do
- Playground and basketball court are located near the campgrounds
- General Store, open seasonally, offers an 18 hole miniature golf course, bike and boat rentals, as well as a game room, which features a ping pong table, air hockey and fooseball
- 16,046 acre Tar Hollow State Forest is managed to provide timber, wildlife habitat, forestry research and demonstrations of good forest management. During the spring and fall forest fire seasons, the prevention, detection and suppression of wildfires within the protection area becomes a major objective.
- Nearby state parks include Great Seal (just north of Chillicothe), Scioto Trail (south of Chillicothe) and Hocking Hills (near Logan). These areas provide a variety of recreational opportunities.
- Conkles Hollow, a state nature preserve, is found within the Hocking Hills' region. Ross Lake, a wildlife area operated by the ODNR Division of Wildlife, offers good fishing opportunities.
- Mound City Group National Monument, three miles north of Chillicothe, includes 23 prehistoric Indian burial mounds, a museum and a visitor center.
- Adena State Memorial, the restored home of Thomas Worthington is one of The Ohio Historical Society's premier sites. It includes Worthington's newly-restored 1807 mansion and a 13,000 square foot Museum/Visitor Center.
- Tecumseh, an outdoor historical drama, is presented during the summer in the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater just north of Chillicothe. The drama depicts the life of the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh.
- Ross County Historical Society in Chillicothe highlights the region's history. The Capital Room records Chillicothe's early years as Ohio's first capital.
- For additional information on local attractions, vist
Nature of the Area
At one time, Ohio was covered by a warm, shallow sea • As land rose to the east, sand and gravel were washed westward into Ohio's waters • Southeastern Ohio's sandstone was formed from this sediment • These sandstone hills are covered with a rich, diverse forest • Oak and hickory prefer the dry ridge tops of the area, while sycamore, black willow, buckeye and silver maple line the stream valleys • The forest not only supports a variety of hardwoods but also contains a vast array of ferns, mosses, mushrooms and wildflowers • Bloodroot, wild geranium, cardinal flower and Solomon's seal are typical wildflowers found in the forest
Surrounded by the rugged foothills of the Appalachian Plateau, Tar Hollow State Park and surrounding state forest are characteristic of the wilderness that blanketed Ohio in the days of early settlers • It is a stronghold for many exciting species of wildlife • Numerous reptiles and amphibians, colorful game birds, songbirds and secretive mammals can be found here • The timber rattlesnake, dwindling in Ohio due to deforestation, holds on in Tar Hollow's forest • The five-lined skink, distinguished by its brilliant blue tail, is found in the area along with the elusive fence lizard • Painted turtles can be seen along the shores of Pine Lake while the lumbering box turtle inhabits the dry land • Salamanders such as the red-backed, dusky, long-tailed and northern two-lined thrive on the cool, moist forest floor • In spring, the wooded hollows echo with the gobbling of wild turkey and the drumming of the ruffed grouse • Rare sightings of bobcat have been reported in this unique, wild region
History of the Area
This region was wilderness to early man. Indians and settlers both found the land, especially in the valleys, to be rich and fertile • Many different Indian tribes contributed to its history • From about 200 B.C. to 500 A.D., the Hopewell inhabited the area • This culture left burial mounds that can still be seen • Later both the Shawnee and Mingo claimed the area as hunting grounds
In 1796, Nathaniel Massie platted a town on the Scioto River just north of the mouth of Paint Creek which he named Chillicothe • One hundred of the first lots were offered free to the first settlers • Farm lots in the area were sold for one or two dollars an acre, in 100- to 200-acre tracts • The area attracted many Kentuckians and Virginians • In 1803, Chillicothe became the state capital
For a time, the ridges to the east of Chillicothe remained wilderness because the hills were too steep to farm • But as the pressure for land and lumber increased, the hills of Tar Hollow were gradually cleared and inhabited by marginal farms • Life was difficult and settlers took advantage of every resource available • The region derives its name from pine tar, an essential commodity in early Ohio households • It was taken from the knots and heartwood of the native Pitch Pine tree to be used in the home manufacture of balms, animal liniments, and lubricants for pioneer wagons and equipment
In the 1930s, the Tar Hollow region was purchased for conservation purposes under a New Deal program, the Ross-Hocking Land Utilization Project • People were given a new financial start in life and were encouraged to move to the cities • Most, however, bought more poor ground outside the park and continued to live as they always had
During the Depression years, recreation facilities including the 15-acre Pine Lake and group camp were built by the WPA and NYA programs • In 1939, the Ohio Division of Forestry accepted operational control of the land which was then known as Tar Hollow Forest-Park
When the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was created in 1949, the Division of Parks and Recreation accepted land of several state agencies including the old Division of Forestry • Tar Hollow State Park was developed from the earlier forest • The park, today, is bordered by Tar Hollow State Forest -- Ohio's third largest state forest