Lake Hope State Park, Ohio

Posted on February 5, 2012


Over the winter break we rented a cabin in a small state park in south-central Ohio.  Lake Hope is surrounded by state forest and other parks in a very rugged region.  The park is centered around the man-made Lake Hope.

We rented a small cabin surrounded by trees. It was very quiet and at night the stars put on quite a show.  The cabin consisted of a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom.  It was plenty of room for the two of us, plus our dog as the cabins are dog-friendly.  It even had cable TV!

Lake Hope was founded in 1949.  We hiked a seven-mile trail around the lake.  It was quiet, cold, and beautiful.  The park did not have many visitors due to the temperature and the holidays.  It was a really nice trail that wound around the lake, over boulders and through pine forest.

On our hike we found a rock that looks like the head of a german shepherd.

The park area was home to smelting furnaces in the 1800’s.  At that time all of the trees were cut and the population grew until iron ore smelting became more economical in the Western US.  The park still has the remains of several furnaces, which now look like abandoned small pyramids.

A major find was the annual Lake Hope light show.  It takes place deep in the woods and consists of thousands of strands of lights, lit reindeer, music, and every type of display you can imagine all packed along a short trail through the woods.  Highly recommended and not the sort of thing you are likely to find in the city.


Posted in: Camping, Hiking