Scenic USA - Ohio

Shawnee State Park

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Turkey Creek Lake - Shawnee State Park, Ohio

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Ohio's Shawnee Hills lie on the edge of the Appalachian Plateau and snuggle up to the Ohio River Valley. This heavily forested land was home to the Shawnee Tribe, a name that comes from the Algonquin word "shawun, meaning southerner. Eventually, the Shawnee were displaced by a western movement of pioneers and settlers as they spread across the land and established farms.
   Since the early 1900s this land was reclaimed by the forest service and has since regained its natural look. The distinctive land of ridges and valleys, Lake Paddler once uplifted, folded and buckled by tectonic forces, has smoothed over time and been dubbed "Ohio's Little Smokies." This rippled earth, blanketed with thick cover of trees, gives off a distinctive haze, reminiscent of the Great Smoky Mountains.
   This view looks over Turkey Creek Lake, one of the main features of Shawnee State Park. It's hard not to look skyward as the lake view is covered by a layer of ominous clouds. Both park lakes are regulated, allowing only electric boat motors and muscle power. For those who traveled to the park without watercraft, you're in luck, rowboats, canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and pedal boats are available for rent at the camp store. Public beaches are offered at both Roosevelt Lake and Turkey Creek Lake during daylight hours. For hiking enthusiasts and family hikes, eight moderate nature trails wind through the park. Following blue blazes, the Shawnee Forest Day Hike Trail offers more of a challenge, totaling 4.6 miles. The Shawnee Division of Forestry oversees a 50 mile backpack trail, marked with orange blazes, taking in a section of the 63,000 acre Shawnee State Forest.

   Area Map
   Park Map

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