Ohio Department of Natural Reources’
Zaleski State Forest

Credit: Ohio Department of Natural Reources


State Route 278
Zaleski, OH 45698

Website  |  Get directions to this location

Site Overview

Located in southern Ohio’s Allegheny Plateau, the thriving and productive Zaleski State Forest is 28,000 acres that supports a number of diverse, threatened or endangered plants and animals. Visitors to Zaleski, Ohio’s second-largest state-owned forest, enjoy many outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, wildlife watching, hunting, fishing and horseback riding. Zaleski State Forest operates the only state-owned sawmill in Ohio, providing lumber for use by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and other government agencies.

In 1998 The Nature Conservancy purchased 103 acres in Athens County that ultimately were incorporated into Zaleski State Forest. 

Why It Matters

Zaleski State Forest provides habitat for a diversity of wildlife and a number of threatened and endangered plants and animals. The region’s natural attributes provide an ideal backdrop for a variety of recreational pursuits that help contribute to local tourism revenue.

In 2010, The Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Forestry received certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Forest certification systems indicate that all timber from State Forests come from a forest that is well-managed according to strict environmental, social and economic standards.  These efforts ensure that Zaleski State Forest will continue to provide over the long term for the people and nature that depend on it. 

Natural Treasures Landmark

Join hundreds of others who have chronicled their adventures! Take a picture of yourself at the Moonville Tunnel at Zaleski State Forest and upload it to our site.

Fun Things to Do and See

While on the hunt for the landmark, enjoy the abundant adventures this Ohio treasure has to offer. The thrill of nature can be experienced at any level!

Patio Dweller

  • Visit Waterloo State Forest, a 447-acre area with some of the largest white pine trees in Ohio. How tall do you think they are?
  • Brush up on your history and stop by the abandoned Moonville Tunnel. If you like a good ghost story, see if you can spot the legendary lantern of the rumored Moonville ghost.

Backyard Camper

  • Plan your day of adventure: visit the Atkinson Ridge Hunters camp, the shooting range or the horse camping area.  Be sure to tell us about the highlights of your outing and share pictures with us on our Facebook page.  

Frontier Explorer

  • Strap on your backpack and hit the Zaleski State Forest Backpack Trail. Be sure to bring drinking water and your camera, as the main trail is 23.5 miles.


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