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Outdoor Life


Jackson County is renowned for its hunting and fishing opportunities, along with its two state parks, private camping and recreational facilities.

Thousands of hunters invade Jackson County each year after Thanksgiving for the annual gun deer hunting season. Outdoorsmen come from all over Ohio and neighboring states, as Jackson County each year ranks among the top 10 counties in the state of Ohio in number of deer harvested.

The Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area is a 3,420-acre area popular for hunting squirrels, ruffed grouse, deer and wild turkeys. Largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegill are predominant species of fish in the ponds. It also has nearly 20 miles of hiking trails.

There is both fishing and camping at Lake Alma State Park north of Wellston, and Jackson Lake State Park near Oak Hill.


Lake Alma has 60 campsites and Lake Jackson has 34 campsites for tents or trailers, and all are wooded, with electricity. There are picnic areas at both locations, and while only electric motorboats are allowed on Lake Alma, boats with up to 10-horsepower are allowed on Jackson Lake.

Hammertown Lake in Jackson, the city reservoir, allows only electric motors. It is deep enough to support a two-story fishery and has a good population of bluegill, largemouth bass and rainbow trout along with a fair population of white crappie, yellow perch and channel catfish.

It is also home to the Jackson Trout Festival, held each year on a Saturday in mid-April.

The Lake Katharine Nature Preserve is a beautiful area full of flowers, a lake, natural beauty and many trails to hike and follow.

There are also plenty of campsites available in addition to the two state parks, including the newly constructed 80-site campground at the Jackson County Fairground, with all sites having electric and water available.

A privately-owned camping area is Noah’s Ark-Lazy Dog Campground between Jackson and Wellston on State Route 32.

Noah’s Ark has 77 camping sites available, 24 of which are pull-through with electric. It has a pay lake and a recreational area with horseshoes, basketball, sand volleyball, miniature golf, an in-ground pool and a playground.

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