65330 Barkcamp Park Rd, Belmont, Ohio 43718-9733
Belmont County's rugged hills provide the backdrop for picturesque Barkcamp State Park. In addition to fine recreational facilities, visitors will enjoy the mature woodlands, open meadows, scenic lake and abundant wildlife of this secluded 1,005-acre park.
You can find more information about each of the following activities below.
The sandstone hills of the Barkcamp region are part of the Appalachian highlands which envelop the southeastern part of Ohio. In the sandstone bedrock can be found layers of coal which were formed by decaying swamp vegetation millions of years
ago during the Pennsylvanian geologic period. Barkcamp State Park lies in the heart of the coal-mining region of Ohio.
The hills and valleys of the area are clothed with a second-growth forest. Today, southeastern Ohio is one of the most extensively forested in Ohio, and only a few areas remain which suggest the magnificence of these original forests.
The woodlands of Barkcamp support a variety of plant and animal life. The observant visitor may find a wealth of woodland wildflowers including wild geranium, hepatica, bloodroot and spring beauties. The woodlands explode with flowering dogwood and redbud blossoms in spring.
Songbirds, squirrels, skunk, opossum, raccoon, white-tailed deer and the wild turkey take up residence in the park's varying habitats.
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Barkcamp offers 150 electrified campsites in sunny and shaded areas. The campground features hot showers, tables, firerings, two wheelchair accessible sites and a dump station. A group camp that accommodates 15 sites is available for organized groups by reservation. In addition, a horseman's camp with 25 sites is available. Five Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining canopy, cooler, cookstove and other equipment can be rented during the summer months by reservation. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites.Campground Map
Swimming: A 700-foot beach provides enjoyment for swimmers and sunbathers.
Boating: Boats with electric motors only are permitted on Belmont Lake. Seasonal boat tie-ups are available. A launch ramp provides access to the lake.
The narrow coves and quiet inlets offer fine catches of bass, bluegill, crappie, walleye and saugeye. A valid Ohio fishing license is required. You can purchase a valid fishing license online at https://oh-web.s3licensing.com/Home/Info or at various locations across Ohio.
The northern half of the park is best for the squirrel and deer hunter, while the southern half offers better opportunities for rabbit and other upland game. A valid Ohio hunting license is required. You can find out more information about getting a valid Ohio hunting and trapping license on Ohio's division of wildlife website: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/hunting-trapping-and-shooting-sports/hunting-trapping-regulations/licenses-and-permits. Pursuant to Ohio Administrative Code, no person shall at any time hunt, trap, kill, pursue, or shoot at any wildlife and/or wild animals by any means within 400 feet of any nature trail, picnic area, service area, residence, barn, parking lot, cabin, or other structure.Barkcamp State Park Hunting Map
Miles of hiking trails invite visitors to enjoy the solitude of the forest. The Lakeview Trail, Woodchuck Nature Trail, Hawthorn Trail and Hawk Trail lead to natural treasures and provide opportunities for nature study, birdwatching and wildlife
observation. A 6-mile mountain bike trail loops through rugged woodlands and skirts the lakeshore, offering challenges for intermediate and advanced cyclists.
Barkcamp's bridle trail meanders along the entire lakeshore affording a pleasant day's ride. A special paved trail winds through the pioneer village, enters the adjoining mature woodlands and provides access to the Antique Barn. Interpretive signs are placed along the route explaining the cultural and natural history of the park.
In the camp area, a bit of American history is preserved. The Antique Barn was built in the 1800s by Solomon Bentley, an orchardman of renown. One variety of apple that he marketed was the "Bentley Sweet." The barn is now home to summer naturalist activities and historical displays.
A resurrected log cabin and other pioneer structures near the barn take visitors back to an even earlier era.
Seven picnic areas are scenically located around the park. Each area provides tables, grills, water and latrines. A picnic shelterhouse is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
This area was first inhabited by the Moundbuilders, then later by Wyandots, Delaware and Shawnee. Belmont County was one of the earliest areas settled in Ohio, and the scene of several bloody conflicts between settlers and Indians. Prior to
the Treaty of Greenville of 1795, the nearby Ohio River was the accepted boundary between Indians to the north and settlers to the south of the river. Conflicts arose as land-hungry settlers began encroaching on Indian lands. The celebrated
Indian fighter, Lewis Wetzel, was often through this region. Wetzel instigated many of the conflicts as Indians were the object of his mortal hate. A large boulder near the park's Antique Barn bears an inscription carved by Wetzel.
The Society of Friends (Quakers) established the first church in the area. Benjamin Lundy, a Quaker who lived in St. Clairsville, became known as the "Father of Abolitionism." He formed an anti-slavery society here in 1815 called the Union Humane Society. At one point, there were 120 miles of the Underground Railroad in Belmont County. Lundy helped produce the abolitionist paper, The Philanthropist at nearby Mt. Pleasant.
As years passed, coal was discovered and became the foundation of the area's economy. Belmont County is now the state's leading producer of coal with an estimated 5,668 million tons of coal available below the earth's surface.
Land acquisition began for the park in 1955, and a dam was completed in 1963 resulting in the 117-acre Belmont Lake. The park derives its unusual name from Barkcamp Creek, the former site of a logging camp where logs were stripped of their bark in preparation for delivery to the mill.
The rich history of the Barkcamp area can be experienced at the Belmont County Museum on State Route 800 in Barnesville. This spectacular Romanesque-style mansion was built in 1888 and has 26 rooms. The museum houses a quilt collection, a collection of antique farm implements and many other interesting relics of the "Gay 90's" period. The museum is open May through October. The Friends Meeting House, operated by the Ohio Historical Society and located in Mount Pleasant, is a restored meeting place of early Quakers. Built in 1914, it was one of the largest in the United States. Dysart Woods, an outdoor land laboratory managed by Ohio University, preserves a 50-acre tract of old-growth forest. Dysart Woods is south of the park off State Route 147.