Harrison State Forest–Bells Hill Road Grassland
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Ohio Birding Day Hike
Harrison State Forest Trails
Tips for birding Harrison State Forest
1,344 acres. This forest is reclaimed strip mine lands. The hilltops and ridges are the areas that have been reclaimed. The stripped lands have been planted in grass and are gradually being overgrown by shrubs and trees. The valleys between the roads are the original woods, with a few artificial ponds that now have beavers living in them and creating a few of their own ponds.
Take OH-9 north from Cadiz. Turn right on Upper Clearfork Road, then left on either of the next three township roads (Bell, Sportsmen’s, and Toot Roads) will take you into the forest lands. If you continue north on OH-9 you can turn right on Camp Road to get into the forest.
Open all year during daylight hours.
There is parking at the trailheads and in the campgrounds.
This forest gets heavy use during deer season.
From Ohio Ornithological Society
About Harrison State Forest
Harrison State Forest was purchased in 1961. A substantial portion of the land has been strip-mined for coal. However, the production of acid mine water is minimal because of the neutralizing effect of limestone deposits. The majority of unstripped lands are located on ridges or in valleys and are in forest cover. Subsequent reforestation and installation of recreation facilities, funded through the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 and the Ohio Capital Improvements program, have restored the area to a condition suitable for public use. Two areas were reforested in 1992 and 1993. Over 100,000 trees were planted on 186 acres.
Harrison State Forest is located in Harrison County, approximately three miles north of Cadiz, east of OH-9. The primary area lies north of County Road 13, while two smaller tracts are located south of County Road 13.
Two campgrounds equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, and vault latrines are available. Campers must provide their own water. Seven family campsites are located at Ronsheim Campground while 20 sites accommodating family and/or horse campers are available at the Trailriders Campground. Campers must select a site; a forest officer will issue permits and familiarize visitors with camping regulations.
Twenty miles of combined bridle and hiking trails are located throughout the state forest. Parking areas are strategically located at trail intersections.
A 100-yard shooting range is provided for the shooting enthusiast to practice or sight-in firearms for accuracy. The area is available on a first come, first served basis. Persons under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a person of legal age while discharging firearms. Exercise extreme caution and observe all rules of gun safety when using this area.
From Harrison State Forest webpage
Restrooms at campgrounds identified on Harrison State Forest map.