4404 OH-125 Portsmouth, Ohio 45663Shawnee State Park website
Located in the Appalachian foothills near the banks of the Ohio River, 1,095-acre Shawnee State Park is nestled in the 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest.
Once the hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians, the region is one of the most picturesque in the state, featuring erosion-carved valleys and wooded hills. The rugged beauty of the area has earned it the nickname “The Little Smokies”.
Several hundred million years ago, a general upheaval in eastern North America made changes in the terrain that are evident in Ohio today. South and east of Ohio, the layers of bedrock folded and buckled, giving rise to the Appalachian Mountains. The forested hills of Shawnee are a part of the Appalachian Plateau. Here, the bedrock layers were uplifted but no real distortion occurred; for this reason, Shawnee never had true “mountains”. In fact, all of Ohio’s hill country is a feature of stream erosion on this prehistoric raised plain and is often referred to as the foothills of the Appalachians.
The hills of Shawnee have also been dubbed “Ohio’s Little Smokies”. Looking toward the Ohio River, one can certainly see how the region acquired such a nickname. From the highest points in the forest, ridge after ridge appears to roll away toward the horizon in a gentle blue haze. This distinctive color comes from moisture in the air which is generated by the thousands of acres of forest.
The hardwood forest is host to a variety of flora and fauna. Wildflowers are abundant including several rare types of orchids such as the tiny whorled pogonia and the showy orchis. Forest wildlife includes white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, raccoons, various songbirds, and rare sightings of bobcats and black bears.
Restrooms on site
Content from Shawnee State Park webpage