Parks & National Forests

Whether you're interested in hiking, hunting, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing or just relaxing, there's a park for every mood and every outdoor enthusiast in Athens County.

Adventures in the Hills!

Whether you're interested in hiking, hunting, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing or just relaxing, there's a park for every mood and every outdoor enthusiast in Athens County.

Athens County Parks:

Desonier (Marie J.) Nature Preserve

Desonier (Marie J.) Nature Preserve

An ideal example of an Appalachian Forest, the Marie J. Desonier Nature Preserve includes a 2.5 mile hiking trail and a perfect place for viewing birds and butterflies.

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Fox Lake Wildlife Area

Fox Lake Wildlife Area

A fishermanís delight, the Fox Lake Wildlife Area boasts a large stock of large mouth bass, channel catfish, bluegills, and red ear sunfish. Hunters are also welcome in this 421-acre wildlife area.

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Gifford State Forest

Gifford State Forest

Ohioís smallest state forest at 320 acres, Gifford State Forest offers some very pleasant fishing, hunting and hiking opportunities. Get off the beaten path and enjoy this peaceful forest.

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Hocking Hills Adventure Trek

Hocking Hills Adventure Trek

The BEST way to experience the Hocking Hills? With the Hocking Hills Adventure Adventure Trek! Choose from guided hikes, rappelling adventures, Shawnee Storytelling treks, and Naturalists-on-the-Go! See the permit-only areas of the Hocking Hills and other areas in Southeast Ohio.

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Lake Hope State Park

Lake Hope State Park

A natural paradise, Lake Hope State Park lies entirely within the Zaleski State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. It is a rugged, heavily forested region traversed by steep gorges and narrow ridges. In addition to the beautiful scenery youíll also see remnants of abandoned mining and iron industries, the Hope Furnace and a pioneer cemetery.

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Sells Park

Sells Park

Tucked away just a few blocks off of East State Street, Sells Park is one of Athens's best hidden treasures. As you enjoy nature and explore the various trails, you'll forget that the business district is just minutes away.

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