Lesser Known But Beautiful Get Away: Lake Hope State Park Ohio
Lake Hope sits among the rolling hills of Southeast Ohio, which some consider to be the most scenic land in the state. And Hocking Hills, a very popular state park, is only 20 miles away. However, Hocking Hills is known to get quite crowded.
Lake Hope is very much a destination all its own despite its proximity to Hocking Hills. It has a lovely lake, 67 cabins (more than any other Ohio state park). It also has a very well kept, state-owned campground.
Many people find it more peaceful than some of the other state parks which tend to be more crowded. It is also completely surrounded by the massive 28,000-acre Zaleski State Forest which makes it feel even more remote (the closest gas station is about 12 miles away).
There is plenty to do at the park if one wants: mountain biking, fishing, hunting, hiking, swimming, boating and hummingbird feeding (although this service is closed do to the pandemic).
The Zaleski State Forest is also very popular with overnight backpackers. Its 29-mile trail that includes 3 primitive camping areas and smaller loops for day hiking is one of the most popular among backpackers in Ohio.
Hope Lake, however, is also a great place to sit, relax and just take it all in.