Vinton Furnace State Forest--Raccoon Ecological Management Area

Vinton Furnace State Forest--Raccoon Ecological Management Area

Vinton, Ohio 45651

Vinton Furnace State Forest website
Vinton Furnace State Forest map

Also, see all the hotspots at:
Vinton County Birding Drive

About this Location

Formerly owned by the MeadWestvaco Corporation, this public hunting area consists of 15,857 acres. It is located in Vinton, Clinton, and Madison townships of Vinton County and is situated 3 miles southeast of McArthur.

The topography of the Raccoon Ecological Management Area (REMA) property is hilly for the most part and includes some steep and rocky hillsides. This property has been extensively managed for timber production and provides a diversity of forestland wildlife habitats. Oak, hickory, maple, and yellow poplar dominate the mature forest and the understory consists of greenbrier and shade-tolerant woody shrubs. Index of Ohio’s trees from the Division of Forestry.

Many well-established logging roads traverse the area making nearly all portions of the property accessible on foot. Surface mining that occurred on the site has resulted in several constructed ponds.

The wooded hills of southern Ohio are part of the Appalachian Forest, the oldest and most diverse forest system in North America. When healthy, these forests are home to a rich array of flowering and medicinal plants, dozens of tree species, songbirds, game species like ruffed grouse and wild turkey, and other wildlife including bobcat, black bear, bats, salamanders, and snakes.

The diverse mixture of habitat types, ranging from recent timbering operations to forested ridge tops, provides for a rich variety of both game and non-game species. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, and gray squirrel are the principal abundant game species. The timber management occurring on this property provides habitat for grouse, turkey, white-tailed deer, and cottontail rabbit.

About Vinton Furnace State Forest

See all hotspots at Vinton Furnace State Forest

The forest is home to the state’s largest known population of bobcats and is also home to timber rattlesnakes, cerulean warblers, and several rare plant species.

The forest is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the United States and is home to more than 50 years of ongoing forest research. Data collected at the forest has been cited in hundreds of scholarly papers on forest ecology, forest management, and wildlife.

The site is home to research dedicated to restoring oak trees to Ohio’s forests. Oaks are some of Ohio’s most important wildlife species and a valuable part of the state’s multi-billion dollar wood industry. Since 1952, land at the Vinton Furnace has been dedicated to forest use and sustainability research, an agreement formalized between previous owner Mead Corporation and the USDA Forest Service in 1965.


  • Restrooms on site

Content from Vinton Furnace State Forest website, Ohio Ornithological Society, and Robert Royse