Ohio
223

TAR HOLLOW STATE PARK

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Tar Hollow State Park © Gene Shirk
Tar Hollow State Park © Gene Shirk
Tar Hollow State Park © Gene Shirk
Cardinal © stateparks.com
Cardinal
Picnic Table © stateparks.com
It is always a great day for a picnic in the park.
Keep On Leash © stateparks.com
Oh Yell © stateparks.com
Spring Hike © stateparks.com
Small Boy Fishing © stateparks.com
Gone fishin.
Cool Swim © stateparks.com
Afternoon Hike © stateparks.com
TAR HOLLOW STATE PARK
TAR HOLLOW STATE PARK
16396 Tar Hollow Rd
Laurelville, Ohio   43135
(lat:39.3835 lon:-82.7464)

Phone: (740) 887-4818
Reservations: 866-644-6727
Twisting park and forest roads pass through deep ravines and dense woodlands. Scattered shortleaf and pitch pines growing on the ridges were once a source of pine tar for early settlers, hence the name Tar Hollow. Dogwoods, redbuds and a variety of wildflowers color the hillsides in the springtime. Fall's pageant of color is spectacular.
Nature of the Area
At one time, Ohio was covered by a warm, shallow sea. As land rose to the east, sand and gravel were washed westward into Ohio's waters. Southeastern Ohio's sandstone was formed from this sediment. These sandstone hills are covered with a rich, diverse forest. Oak and hickory prefer the dry ridge tops of the area, while sycamore, black willow, buckeye and silver maple line the stream valleys. The forest not only supports a variety of hardwoods but also contains a vast array of ferns, mosses, mushrooms and wildflowers. Bloodroot, wild geranium, cardinal flower and Solomon's seal are typical wildflowers found in the forest.

Surrounded by the rugged foothills of the Appalachian Plateau, Tar Hollow State Park and surrounding state forest are characteristic of the wilderness that blanketed Ohio in the days of early settlers. It is a stronghold for many exciting species of wildlife. Numerous reptiles and amphibians, colorful game birds, songbirds and secretive mammals can be found here. The timber rattlesnake, dwindling in Ohio due to deforestation, holds on in Tar Hollow's forest. The five-lined skink, distinguished by its brilliant blue tail, is found in the area along with the elusive fence lizard. Painted turtles can be seen along the shores of Pine Lake while the lumbering box turtle inhabits the dry land. Salamanders such as the red-backed, dusky, long-tailed and northern two-lined thrive on the cool, moist forest floor. In spring, the wooded hollows echo with the gobbling of wild turkey and the drumming of the ruffed grouse. Rare sightings of bobcat have been reported in this unique, wild region.
History of the Area
This region was wilderness to early man. Indians and settlers both found the land, especially in the valleys, to be rich and fertile. Many different Indian tribes contributed to its history. From about 200 B.C. to 500 A.D., the Hopewell inhabited the area. This culture left burial mounds that can still be seen. Later both the Shawnee and Mingo claimed the area as hunting grounds.

In 1796, Nathaniel Massie platted a town on the Scioto River just north of the mouth of Paint Creek which he named Chillicothe. One hundred of the first lots were offered free to the first settlers. Farm lots in the area were sold for one or two dollars an acre, in 100- to 200-acre tracts. The area attracted many Kentuckians and Virginians. In 1803, Chillicothe became the state capital.

For a time, the ridges to the east of Chillicothe remained wilderness because the hills were too steep to farm. But as the pressure for land and lumber increased, the hills of Tar Hollow were gradually cleared and inhabited by marginal farms. Life was difficult and settlers took advantage of every resource available. The region derives its name from pine tar, an essential commodity in early Ohio households. It was taken from the knots and heartwood of the native Pitch Pine tree to be used in the home manufacture of balms, animal liniments, and lubricants for pioneer wagons and equipment.

In the 1930s, the Tar Hollow region was purchased for conservation purposes under a New Deal program, the Ross-Hocking Land Utilization Project. People were given a new financial start in life and were encouraged to move to the cities. Most, however, bought more poor ground outside the park and continued to live as they always had.

During the Depression years, recreation facilities including the 15-acre Pine Lake and group camp were built by the WPA and NYA programs. In 1939, the Ohio Division of Forestry accepted operational control of the land which was then known as Tar Hollow Forest-Park.

When the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was created in 1949, the Division of Parks and Recreation accepted land of several state agencies including the old Division of Forestry. Tar Hollow State Park was developed from the earlier forest. The park, today, is bordered by Tar Hollow State Forest -- Ohio's third largest state forest.



Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 27 Old camper by Patty(crouch) Montgomery
Tar Hallow is full of memories for me. Went there every summer when in high school. It was a week of church camp for kids from all over Ohio. We had the best times.
July 26 The best park in Ohio
My family and I have been going to Tar Hollow as long as I can remember it is the most beautiful place around. I am now taking my own family there every chance I get!
June 11 Our Favorite State Park hands down!!! by The Alford Family
Great family park the natruliast is wonderful with kids> we have been to several state parks and our kids always wants to go see Amy she is wonderful!!!:}
Private Area Campgrounds
Hocking Hills KOA
29150 Pattor Rd
Logan, OH
740-3854295
Forest Haven
2344 Walnut Creek Rd
Chillicothe, OH
740-774-1203
Sun Valley Campground
10105 C.R. 550, Box 27
Chillicothe, OH
740-775-3490
Top O' The Caves
2265 Lancaster Thornville Road
South Bloomingville, OH
740-385-6566
Palmerosa Horse Camp
19217 Keifel Rd.
Laurelville, OH
740-385-3799
Area Fishing Related Businesses
D & K Bait & Tackle Dealers
288 W Hydell Rd
Chillicothe, OH
(740) 772-1836
Area Accommodations
Cottages and Cabins
Rustic beauty in a peaceful, clean atmosphere is the secret to this Family Retreat. The serene splendor of Mother Nature is your reward for visiting Walnut Creek. We offer cabin rentals for those who want the convenience with less effort.
11.9 miles from park*
Cottages and Cabins
A lakeside retreat in the beautiful Hocking Hills on scenic Lake Logan. Full kitchen, Hot Tub, Satellite HD TV, sitting room, breakfast nook, and electric AC/Heat.
18.3 miles from park*
Cottages and Cabins
Great for a private relaxing get away. Whether you are looking for rest and relaxation with that special someone, or the best cook-out for family and friends Haven Inn The Hills is the answer for you.
11.7 miles from park*
Our Life Lodge - New Plymouth, OH
Cottages and Cabins
5 Bedroom, Newly Furnished, Hot Tub. Located on 330 private acres. Wayne National and Zaleski State Forest Both within one mile of property. Over 20 miles of established horse, atv, hiking trails on property.
18.7 miles from park*
Reservations
Arrival Date
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Area Resources
Tourism
Offical Guide to Southeastern Ohio's Scenic Wonderland, the Hocking Hills. The 9 State Parks and State Forests. How to get there, things to do, interesting local merchants, what to see, places to stay. Reserve your cabin or campsite online
10.5 miles from park*
Directions
16396 Tar Hollow Road, Laurelville, Ohio 43135
Ohio
223

TAR HOLLOW STATE PARK

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