Four Seasons of Fun!
Nature plays a large part in the county’s recreational offerings. There are two state parks and three state forests located in the area, as well as several campgrounds and lakes. Activities include hunting, hiking, horseback riding, ATV trails, camping, golf, water sports and much more, many of which can be found in one of Pike County’s premier recreational attractions, Long’s Retreat Family Resort.
The county also has a new YMCA located in Waverly, with numerous youth leagues and other opportunities. The facility includes a six-lane heated indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, a state-of-the-art fitness center, an outdoor playground area, meeting and conference rooms with kitchen accommodations, soccer fields, an aerobics/dance studio, a handball/racquetball court, outdoor tennis courts, outdoor basketball courts, locker rooms (male, female, and family), a child care center, game room and a nursery.
Places to explore in Pike County:
BRUSH CREEK STATE FOREST
Originally part of the Shawnee State Forest, this forest was established in 1928 with the acquisition of 285 acres. Today, it covers 12,749 acres in Pike, Scioto and Adams counties with 12 miles of bridle trails and 3 miles of hiking trails. It is open to visitors between the hours of 6 am – 11 pm daily, though legal campers, hunters and anglers may be present during other hours.
WAYNE NATIONAL FOREST
This forest covers 230,000 acres in southeastern Ohio, extending all the way over to Marietta and down to Ironton. Hikers are welcome to use the forest trails year round, but the trails are closed to horses, mountain bikes, and off-road vehicles from mid-December through mid-April each year. A permit system (with varying fees) is also in place for these uses requiring all trail users (with the exception of hikers) to buy a daily, three-day, or annual trail permit.
SCIOTO TRAIL STATE FOREST
Reaching into Pike County from neighboring Ross County, this forest covers nearly 9,400 acres and offers some of the most breath-taking scenery imaginable during the fall and winter. For the outdoor adventurer, the forest offers 26 miles of combined bridle and mountain bike trails, as well as a one-mile hiking trail. The forest is also home to Scioto Trail State Park.
PIKE STATE FOREST
Covering 11,961 acres in Pike and Highland counties, this forest is home to Pike Lake State Park (host of several events throughout the year; home to numerous forms of wildlife), Tanglewood Acres, and LB Camping. It provides 33 miles of bridle trails and 15 miles of all-purpose vehicle trails for those who want to get in to the heart of the forest.
Cave Lake boasts a 42-acre lake, 700 acres of wooded property, shelter houses, boat/canoe rentals, group camping areas, and more. It also has more than 150 species of birds, 160 species of trees and shrubs, and 360 species of plants, while the park’s ecological treasure, a large cave, is a habitat to bats, the rare Sullivantia sullivantil plant, and the Frost Cave Isopod, a rare crustacean.