Summer Activities guide

Go Ohio Valley: Strouds Run State Park

John Schwartz - Athens Messenger contributor

Updated Thu, Jun 5, 2014 4:21 am
Photo Credit: 
Athens Messenger file photo
Sebastian takes his dog Max for his first swim at Strouds Run Beach.

Go Ohio Valley is a free app produced by Adams Publishing Group of Ohio and presents an avenue to explore numerous categories and activities in the region. This week’s feature listing is Strouds Run State Park.

Among the many beautiful and wonderful things to do in Southeast Ohio, visiting Strouds Run State Park is one of its local treasures and a pleasure in which to partake, especially on those hot summer days.

The park contains 2,606 acres of uninterrupted hardwood forest, as well as some beachfront, camping grounds, and numerous hiking trails. It’s simply bliss to be able to take in the wondrous sights just a few miles down the road.

On a recent Friday afternoon, signs of life were visible in the park — by the beach, a young man had dragged a picnic bench near the water and was tanning himself. Closer to the entrance of the park, proud geese watched as their newborn goslings frolicked in the water, splashing each other with their soft downy wings.

Just a few yards up the shore, the woods open up into a shaded clearing decorated with disorganized picnic benches, the entrance to the Chestnut Trail.

The Chestnut Trail is a mild hike complete with the opportunity to scramble up rocks and gain your footing on tree roots as it winds up the hill. It peaks and continues to lead you deeper and deeper into the park, ending at a minuscule waterfall concealed inside a cave.

The massive overhanging rock face is etched with the markings of previous visitors; Scott, Caroline, Keith and Wade all have scratched their names into the orange rock. The Chestnut Trail spits you back out where you came from, and you are free to go back to enjoying the water, or explore one of the other lovely trails that inhabit the area.

Whatever the weather outside, any opportunity to visit Strouds Run is a great one. In addition to hiking and enjoying swimming in the lake, the park offers mountain biking trails, canoeing, fishing, and more.

Strouds Run State Park is located at 11661 State Park Road in Athens. For camping and boat rental information, call (740) 594-2628. Other questions can be directed to the Burr Oak Park Office, at (740) 767-3570. For information online, visit