RV campers will enjoy the rolling hills and rugged terrain surrounding Ohio’s Great Seal State Park. The park, located in Chillicothe, Ohio, celebrates the deeply rooted history and the beautiful mountain vistas of the Ohio Scioto Valley. Because of its location, the park was named after the mountains depicted on The Great Seal of the State of Ohio.
The area surrounding Great Seal State Park is a junction of the state’s many different geographical regions. The park lies on Ohio’s midsection of the sandstone hills that form the Appalachian Plateau. The glaciated plains lie to the north and west of that line, and to the south and east lie the hills transitioning to the foothills of the mountains. On a clear day, hikers on the trails of Great Seal State Park can see the clearly defined landscapes from nearly every direction.
Once inside the park, campers and recreationists will enjoy the beauty of Ohio’s natural landscape. The hardwood, chestnut oaks, and sugar maple trees hug the park’s boundaries as well as the surrounding hilltops. In the springtime, wildflowers color the coves, and in the fall, papaws and persimmons light up the landscape and draw in a variety of wildlife. Whatever time of year you visit, you will be surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.
Great Seal State Park is located 45 miles south of Columbus, and 109 miles northeast of Cincinnati, Ohio. From Huntington, West Virginia, the park is 95 miles northwest. Great Seal State Park’s location makes it easy for visitors coming from many different places, both in and out of Ohio, to access the park.
Ohio State Parks do not charge a daily access fee to visit the parks. Visitors only have to pay for accommodations and recreation in Great Seal State Park. The park’s day use areas are generally open from sunrise to sunset. During the operating season, from early March through November, the campground is open 24 hours a day, with visiting hours from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. Contact the park for the exact operating dates and times, as these times change depending on the season.
Camping at the Great Seal State Park Campground is a primitive camping experience within the safe parameters of a park. The campground is closed during the winter, and all spaces are first-come, first served during the operational season. Choose from 15 pet-friendly, non-electric sites. Because this is an equestrian campground, campers with or without horses can stay here. Some of the sites have horse picket lines while others do not. The campground has drinking water, vault toilets, a playground, and a horse shelter house near the camping area. Each site has a fire ring and a picnic table. Please silence your generators between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am.
Aside from the spectacular outdoor eating areas, the park encourages its guests to stay outside by providing plenty of recreational areas for guests of all ages. The park has two playgrounds that are located close to restrooms. Guests can also play sand volleyball, basketball, or play horseshoes. Because many of these areas are located next to trails, you can play and then go for a walk, and then come back and play again. Pick up a park map for more information.
Spend your days outside in one of the four scenic picnic areas. Many of the unsheltered picnic areas sit trailside or next to beautiful vistas. The sheltered picnic areas are available for reservations. Reserve your space ahead of time to ensure you and your family can have a day in the sun and the shade. The Ireland Shelter is paved and has a fireplace, grill, picnic tables, and it is close to restrooms, a playground, and the disc golf course. There is no electricity at the Ireland Shelter. The Vista Shelter has a paved surface, a small grill, picnic tables, and parking nearby. The shelter is close to restrooms and a playground. The Vista Shelter does not have electricity.
If you are a disc golfer, then you know what draws people to this fun, dual-purpose sport. Bring your discs and spend time on the 18-basket course or just play half a round if you don’t have time to play the whole game. Campers and guests can play for free, as long as they have their own equipment. Access the disc golf area near the Ireland Picnic Area. The white hiking trail follows the disc golf course which is approximately one and a half miles in length, and will entertain both the participants and the spectators!
Hunters will enjoy multi-season hunting in and around Great Seal State Park. The park is open to bow hunting in November and stays open through the end of the bow hunting season. The more remote areas allow trapping and hunting during open season. All hunters must purchase and possess a valid license, and be aware of the rules, regulations, and safety measures before heading out for the season. The most common animals hunted within the park are game birds, game quadrupeds, and fur-bearing animals.
During the winter, when the snow covers the ground, the Spring Run Trail turns into a multi-use trail perfect for cross country skiing. The Spring Run Trail is a two-mile trail that offers ten training stations along the pathway. Skiers can ski to each training station, and remove their skis to get more of a body weight or cardiovascular workout along the way. To create a longer workout, repeat the trail as many times as you need. Check with the park for information about winter operating hours.
If part of your camping experience includes hiking and mountain biking, then you won’t be disappointed with the 23 miles of hiking and multi-use trails in Great Seal State Park. Two of the trails, the white-blazed trails, are for hiking and walking only. Mountain bikes and horses are permitted on the other 17 miles of trails. Most of the trails cross wooded and hilly terrain. A few routes include steep inclines and ravines, so prepare for your ride ahead of time to ensure you are ready for a challenge. See a park map for detailed trail and mileage information.