Description - 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.
Copyright: - Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Barkcamp State Park
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.
- Barkcamp State Park offers 150 electrified campsites in sunny and shaded areas. The campground features hot showers, tables, fire rings, 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.
Boats with electric motors only are permitted on Belmont Lake. Seasonal boat tie-ups are available. A launch ramp provides access to the lake. Anglers will enjoy good catches of bass, blue gill, crappie and trout. A wheelchair accessible area allows all persons to test their skill at fishing. Swimmers and sunbathers also enjoy the lake at the 700-foot beach.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas. Squirrel hunting is popular here. A valid Ohio fishing and hunting license are required for the sports.
Seven picnic areas are scenically located around the park. Each area provides tables, grills, water and latrines. A picnic shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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, bird watching and wildlife observation. 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. Solomon Bentley, an orchardman of renown, built the Antique Barn in the 1800's. 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.
Recreation - Specific activities include camping, hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, sunbathing, bird watching, hunting, and viewing historical sights. In winter, visitors can enjoy sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and ice boating.
Climate - This state has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.
Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.
Barkcamp State Park is located in eastern Ohio in Belmont County several miles west of St. Clairsville off Interstate 70.