Get Back to Nature

BELMONT – There is a place in Belmont County where one can enjoy fishing in the morning, eat a picnic-style lunch and spend the rest of the day swimming, hiking or biking.

Encompassing more than 1,000 acres of land and water, Barkcamp State Park, just off Ohio 149 in Belmont, features 123 electric campsites, two wheelchair accessible sites, a miniature golf course, a playground and 27 electric equestrian sites.

Those hoping to hook a bass, blue gill, crappie or trout can test their skills fishing from the shore or from a boat on Belmont Lake. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

Boats with electric motors only are permitted on the lake. Seasonal boat tie-ups are available. One launch ramp provides access to the lake.

A 700-foot beach provides enjoyment for swimmers and sunbathers. Swimming is permitted during daylight hours only, and there is no lifeguard on duty.

Eight picnic areas are scenically located around the park. Each area provides tables, grills, water and latrines.

There are four hiking trails in the park: the 2-mile Lakeview Trail, the 1/2-mile Woodchuck Nature Trail, the 0.6-mile Hawthorn Trail, and the 1/2-mile Hawk Trail.

Volleyball and basketball courts, as well as horseshoe pits, can be found at the campground and in day-use areas of the park. An archery range is also open to the public.

For those with a valid Ohio sporting license, hunting is permitted in designated areas. Squirrel hunting, in particular, is popular at the park.

A change of seasons does not mean the outdoor fun stops at Barkcamp. Under proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and ice boating.

A bit of American history is preserved in the camp area. The Antique Barn was built in the 1800s by Solomon Bentley. One variety of apple that he marketed was the “Bentley Sweet.” The barn is now home to summer naturalist activities and historical displays.

Call 740-484-4064 for more information.