The majority of the 3,023-acre Fernwood State Forest in Ohio is made up of reclaimed strip mining land that has been in the process of being restored since it was purchased in 1961. The Hidden Hollow Campground, situated in the western portion of the forest, has 22 primitive campsites available for either tent or RV campers. There are no hookups, but the sites are generally level and well-maintained. If you are traveling in an RV or trailer, pick a site at the front of the loop, which are more suitable for rigs.
Fernwood is a favorite stop for anglers since it has small quarry and beaver ponds that are stocked with bluegill, bass, and channel catfish. It is also a popular destination for hunters looking to bag white-tailed deer or other small game such as wild turkeys, rabbits, or grouse. RV visitors to this park may also enjoy the hiking trails that meander through the forest. You may also want to visit the Fernwood State Forest Land Lab, which is used to promote environmental education and natural resources.
The Hidden Hollow Campground in Fernwood State Forest are located approximately 12 miles east of the small town of Steubenville, Ohio, near the eastern border of the state. There are several roads that lead to the campground. Each of them winds through miles of remote agricultural areas and forest. While these roads have a fairly large number of twists and turns, they tend to be fairly easy to navigate even when driving a big rig or towing a trailer. This is a remote wilderness area, so it is important to pay attention to your driving and be aware that wild animals may cross the road without warning, particularly in the early morning hours and around dusk. The roads inside the park are paved, as are the parking lots, and they should provide enough space for the majority of campervans. Some of the campsites themselves are too small for big rigs.
The Hidden Hollow Campground, located in the western portion of the Fernwood State Forest, is comprised of 22 primitive first-come, first-served sites that are suitable for either tent camping or RVs. The sites at the front of the loop are better set up for trailers and campervans, but they do not have electrical, water, or sewer hookups. Generators are permitted during the day but should be silenced during the campground’s quiet hours from 11 PM to 6 AM. While this is a fairly remote campground, it can get a bit noisy during the daytime, particularly when the shooting ranges are being used. There are no set limits for vehicle size in the park, but the sites are fairly small and close together, and many may not accommodate larger rigs. There are picnic tables and fire rings provided at each campsite, and the campground is equipped with vault latrines for campers to utilize. Leashed pets, up to a maximum of two per campsite, are welcome in campgrounds in Ohio as long as they are attended to at all times.
RV campers who plan on stopping in the Fernwood State Forest should be sure to pack their rod and reel in their rig. There are several small, stocked quarry ponds that are scattered throughout the forest, giving anglers a great opportunity a more solitary fishing experience. The largest concentration of quarry ponds can be found in the southeastern portion of the forest and are typically stocked with several species; bluegill, channel catfish, and largemouth bass are the most predominant.
When you are packing for your visit to Fernwood State Forest, you will want to ensure that your camera is in your camper or trailer. Much of this state forest is made up of reclaimed and recovering strip-mined areas, and there are a number of beautiful images to record. You'll want to capture spectacular views of the countryside from two scenic vistas located near the Little Round Top picnic area. There are also a number of animals in the area to capture on film, such as white-tailed deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, and squirrels.
If you are in the mood to explore the wilderness, Hidden Hollow Campground, located inside Fernwood State Forest, is a wonderful place to do so. There are several trails that traverse the scenic beauty of the forest, including an moderate three-mile loop around the campgrounds with just a few steep climbs. Also, just outside of the campgrounds is the Fernwood State Forest Land Lab, an area designed to provide education and information about the environment and natural resources in the area.
Locals and visitors alike enjoy practicing their aim at the three shooting ranges that are situated just a little southwest of the campground. There are three separate areas that are available from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset, one for trap shooting, one for pistols, and one for rifles. Only weapons that are permitted for legal hunting in Ohio are allowed on the ranges.
Fernwood State Forest is also a popular hunting ground for both visitors to the area and locals. White-tailed deer are plentiful in the forest, as are smaller game animals such as squirrels, grouse, and rabbits. Hunters must be at least 400 feet from any camping areas, structures, or residences before shooting, and they may not discharge firearms from or across any road or driveway. The archery season for deer typically begins in late fall with firearm hunting permitted later in the winter. The hunting season for small game is usually in the late winter to early spring, however, coyotes and feral pigs may be hunted in Ohio year-round.
Geocaching, a type of international treasure hunt, is a relatively new activity that has been made possible by modern advancements in both GPS and cellular technology. Participants utilize the technology in order to locate small containers, known as caches, that have been hidden by other participants in the game. The caches each hold a log book or logsheet and many of them also have small trinkets which participants can take and replace with similarly valued trinkets. Some caches even have small trackable tokens that can be moved from site to site, an entertaining venture for RVers who are visiting multiple campgrounds on their journeys.