West Branch State Park Hiking Trails Pictures and Movie
West Branch State Park is located
in Portage County Ohio.
More than twelve miles of hiking trails provide access to the natural world. A portion of the state's Buckeye Trail
passes through the park and is linked to the campground by a two-mile spur trail.
The park offers extensive snowmobile trails when conditions permit.Trail starts at the west boat ramp.
Mountain biking is permitted on trails in the snowmobile area. After leaving the parking area and riding up to cable line road there are 6 loops (some connected, some not) that provide approximately 8 miles of single and double-track. Read more about biking on the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association web site.
Twenty miles of bridle trails traverse woodlands and meadows. Riders must provide their own horses. A horse camp is open by permit only.
The newly renovated family campground offers 29 full service sites, 155 sites with 50-amp electric hook-ups, and 14 non-electric sites. The campground also features heated showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities and a trailer dump station. Some lakeside sites offer boating access. A group camp is available for organizations of up to 50 people.
History of the Area:
West Branch State Park is located on the west branch of the Mahoning River in Portage County. The river was named for the Delaware Indian word mahonink meaning "at the salt lick." In early days, a salt works was located southeast of present-day Warren along the river. The salt, which attracted a variety of wildlife, was harvested by Indians and early settlers.
At the west end of the park is a crossroads known as Campbellsport, named for Captain John Campbell who mustered militia for the War of 1812 at the site and then marched them on Cleveland. Captain Campbell originally came to the area in 1805 as a surveyor and land agent for proprietor Samuel Hinckley. Captain Campbell also served as Portage County sheriff from 1810 to 1813. He constructed what is said to be the oldest brick land-office building in Ohio (circa 1810). Prior to the flooding of the reservoir, this building was moved to a site at the Portage County Historical Society where it has been preserved and restored.
In 1965, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of the Michael J. Kirwan Reservoir. The reservoir was developed for flood control, water supply, recreation and fish and wildlife management. West Branch State Park was formally opened in 1966.
Tinker's Creek State Park and adjacent state nature preserve, located northwest of Streetsboro, offer additional recreational opportunities. Visitors may enjoy a variety of day-use activities including swimming, picnicking, fishing and hiking. During the spring and fall migration periods, the marsh provides food and shelter for thousands of waterfowl.
Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, northeast of Ravenna, also offers picnicking and hiking. Winding foot trails meander around, under and between the spectacular rock formations that have become the trademarks of this state park.
Other state parks in the area include Lake Milton, Quail Hollow, Punderson and Mosquito Lake.
Six Flags of Ohio (Aurora) and Blossom Music Center (Cuyahoga Falls) appeal to visitors as well. For additional information on area attractions, call the Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism at 1-800-BUCKEYE.
Visit website hikingohioparks.com for more information about West Branch State Park and many other Ohio park hiking trails.
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