Tar Hollow State Forest (Ross Co.)

About this Location

Tar Hollow Road and North Ridge Road intersect in the State Forest and are in Ross County.

About Tar Hollow State Park and State Forest

See all hotspots at Tar Hollow State Park and State Forest

The county lines of Ross, Hocking, and Vinton counties intersect in Tar Hollow. If you carefully keep your bird records by county, be aware of the location of the county lines and use the appropriate eBird hotspots when you submit checklists. (See the state park and forest maps for the location of the county lines.) The  State Park Campgrounds and Pine Lake are in Ross County. The campground office and the Homestead Trail are in Hocking County. Clark Hollow Road is in the Vinton County section of the state forest. The Logan Trail is mostly in Ross County but sections of this trail cross into Hocking and Vinton counties.

Twisting park and forest roads pass through 604 acres of deep ravines and dense woodlands. Scattered shortleaf and pitch pines growing on the ridges were once a source of pine tar for early settlers, hence the name Tar Hollow. Dogwoods, redbuds, and a variety of wildflowers color the hillsides in the springtime. Fall’s pageant of color is spectacular.

Tar Hollow State Forest originated from the Ross-Hocking Land Utilization project of the 1930s. The purpose of the program was to locate families on more productive land, thereby enabling them to better sustain a living. Following the termination of the project, the land was leased to the Division of Forestry and finally transferred to the State in 1958. Tar Hollow is Ohio’s third largest state forest, containing 16,120 acres.

A wealth of recreational activities are available at Tar Hollow State Forest. A 46-site primitive horse camp is located at the south end of the forest on Poe Run Road. Latrines are provided at the camp, but electricity and drinking water are not available. Radiating from the horse camp are 26 miles of bridle trails. All bridle trails are south of the fire tower.

A 22-mile network of hiking trails is located in the northern half of the forest.

Seventeen miles of paved forest roads and 14 miles of gravel forest roads provide a great opportunity for a scenic drive and allow good access to all areas of the forest.

Notable Trails

Tar Hollow State Forest and the Buckeye Trail
Tar Hollow State Forest offers 22 miles of hiking trails through the wilds of Ohio’s third largest state forest. The best hike here is the Logan Trail, perfect for those intermediate hikers looking for something a bit more rugged. Set up to be a figure eight with double loops roughly eight miles each in length, this path stays largely in the beautiful forests and meets up with the Buckeye Trail.

Content from Tar Hollow State Park and State Forest Official Website, Tar Hollow State Forest website, 6 Amazing Day Hikes on the Buckeye Trail, and Ohio Ornithological Society

Tar Hollow State Park
Tar Hollow State Forest