Scenic USA - Ohio

Roosevelt Lake

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Roosevelt Lake - Shawnee State Park, Ohio

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Ohio's Route 125 cuts through the center of the Shawnee State Forest, the largest in the state covering 63,000 acres. Located just west of Portsmouth, this large area of dense forest spreads northward from the Ohio River Valley, along the state's southern border, and protects 8000 acres designated as wilderness. The forestland dates back to 1922 when it began as the Theodore Roosevelt State Game Preserve. The Roosevelt name suggests the preserve was established along with America's initial steps of conservation, influenced by the Roosevelt era. Although these hills are part of the Appalachian Plateau, there are no mountains in this section of southern Ohio. That fact hasn't deterred those who refer to the area as "Ohio's Little Smokies." The blue haze is said to rise up and hang above the dense forest, giving the impression of blue smoke.
   The Shawnee State Park appears almost centered in the state forest, and is set up to take full advantage of these scenic hills. The lodge, cabins, and large campground and RV hook-ups provide overnight accommodations for varied tastes. This view looks toward Roosevelt Lake, where boating and fishing are just a sample of all the outdoor activities available. Facilities include areas for golf, tennis, basketball, archery, and picnicking, plus the park's marina on the Ohio River.

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