Everything You Need to Know About Lake Hope State Park

Lake Hope State Park is situated at the heart of Ohio’s Hanging Rock iron region in Vinton County. The landscape reflects the rich history of much of southeastern Ohio with its gentle streams and lush forestry. Its picturesque views provide the ideal setting for a wide range of outdoor activities from hiking to fishing to geocaching. Wherever your outdoor interests lie, Lake Hope is sure to deliver. View all of our state park recommendations in our complimentary Vacation Guide!

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About the Park

Lake Hope State Park is located within the 18,200-acre Zaleski State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. Abandoned mines, ancient mounds, and beautiful scenery are of interest to our guests. The park also provides a sandy beach, for swimmers of all ages, a small playground, dining options at Lake Hope Lodge, renowned fishing, and a number of trails for hikers and bikers. Located about half an hour from the Inn & Spa At Cedar Falls, this is a great day trip after ordering a brown bag lunch to take with you.

What to Do at Lake Hope State Park

Boating at Lake Hope

The 120-acre lake allows electric-powered boats for recreational use on the water. There is one boat ramp on site boaters are able to access free of charge. The calm waters cater to canoers, kayakers, and stand up paddleboarders. You’ll want to check the water quality advisories prior to planning any water activities.

Hiking and Biking at the Park

The state park provides seven hiking trails and eight thrilling biking trails. Explore the Buzzard Cave Trail for a leisurely introduction to the park or get your sweat on while hoofing the three-mile Peninsula Trail. Bikers from across the state travel to Lake Hope to experience their top-rated mountain trails. Bobcat and Wildcat trails introduce you to the park’s wooded terrain while the over seven mile Copperhead Trail fully immerses you in it. All of the trails circle a 30-mile radius and offer the option of primitive camping along the way.

Fishing at Lake Hope

Fishermen of the vast lake are likely to reel in bluegill, catfish, crappie, and largemouth bass. If you have a jon boat take advantage of the secluded fishing holes that are difficult to reach on foot. Make sure to have a valid Ohio fishing license before you head out.  

The Seasons of Southeastern Ohio

Summertime at Lake Hope has become famous for the “feeding of the hummingbirds”. Visit between July and September, and the Nature Center will provide everything you need to hand-feed these fluttering friends. The event is fun for the whole family.

Fall is, arguably, the most beautiful time at Lake Hope. The changing of colors allows for a reflection of browns, reds, and oranges over the lake. The nature center also hosts horse-drawn wagon rides through the park and the Annual Fall Hike.  

Come Back to the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls

Inn at Cedar Falls CottageWhen you’re finished exploring all that Lake Hope State Park has to offer let us indulge you at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls! Stay with Mother Nature at our Tree House Cabin. The cabin includes a covered porch for rocking and a two-person whirlpool bathtub. Dine in comfort at Kindred Spirits’ log cabin restaurant. Relax with a local brew and delight in one of many five-star menu options. Start planning your wooded retreat today!