Lake Hope State Park–Iron Furnace

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Vinton County

Lake Hope SP–Iron Furnace
Coordinates: 39.331758, -82.34065
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Ohio Birding Day Hike
Lake Hope State Park Trails

About Hope Iron Furnace
Hope Iron Furnace is the charcoal iron furnace most seen as it is located on the Lake Hope State Park at the head of Lake Hope at the side of OH-278. This is the trail head for popular hiking trails on the Zaleski State Forest.

The stone stack had a pear shaped interior into which the ingredients were dropped from a charging floor above through a trap door according to the foundryman’s judgment. Production was 15 tons of cast iron per day and in 1870 the furnace produced 2,827 tons of foundry iron. The raw materials were iron ore, roasted to remove some the impurities, 1,150 to 1,225 pounds; 70 pounds of limestone; and 35 bushels of charcoal. The charcoal was produced from trees on the nearby forest. Ore from the vicinity was unsatisfactory, so they brought ore from the Vinton Furnace Tract via the Big Sand Railroad — the roadbed which is now under the waters of Lake Hope. Added was 70 pounds of limestone to complete the chemical reaction when heated to 950 degrees by the blast. The primitive stone furnaces were built against a bluff the height of the stack so that a bridge could be used to wheel the various components from the large storage shed to the trap door.
From Hope Iron Furnace webpage

About Lake Hope State Park
Lake Hope State Park is truly a nature lover’s dream. In the forest-draped hills, the observant visitor can discover the abundant natural resources of this wild and scenic park.

Although most of the forest was cut to fuel the iron smelting industry that once flourished here, the land has recovered and supports a magnificent, second-growth forest. Oak and hickory are the dominant trees while the woodland floor harbors a fascinating assemblage of shrubs and wildflowers. The yellow lady’s slipper, one of the rarest and most showy orchids, blooms in secluded hollows. Other spring wildflowers such as blue-eyed mary, bloodroot, and wild geranium can be found in abundance.

Deer and wild turkeys are often seen in a number of park locations. Of the many animals inhabiting the park, none is as popular as the beaver. As nature’s dam builders, the beavers are found in numbers and can be observed near the quiet inlets of the lake.
From Lake Hope State Park webpage

Restrooms at locations identified on Lake Hope State Park map.