Let’s Go Outside: Outdoor Recreation in Belmont County
You have probably heard it before. Going outside can be beneficial to both the mind and body. It is proven to have positive health effects like lowering blood pressure and reduces stress hormones. Not to mention, it enhances creativity and boosts your immune system. This is especially imperative in today’s world. While there are many places one could choose to spend time in the great outdoors and enjoy themselves, Belmont County offers visitors unique and beautiful destinations where they can explore, relax, and take pleasure in the safety of nature.
In Belmont County, you will see some of the most spectacular oaks over 400 years old at Dysart Woods Park. This park is a 50-acre tract of old-growth forest and is the largest known remaining tract of old growth forest in southeastern Ohio. Here, people come to simply take in the scenery and get some exercise while hiking in the un-touched, deciduous forest. It has been recognized as a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior and is also a part of the Captina Creek Birding Trail, where enthusiasts can discover a variety of bird species along the Captina Creek Watershed. Other stops included in this Trail are the Powhatan Point Marina, Captina Creek Mainstem at Alledonia, Raven Rocks, and South Fork of Captina Creek at Rainbow’s End. Wildlife seekers may also enjoy the Aquatic Trail at Captina Creek. Captina Creek flows into the Ohio River and is home to both big river and stream fishes and macroinvertebrates.
Another great place to find wildlife is Egypt Valley Wildlife Area. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has administered this 14,300-acre former mining area to be dedicated to nature and outdoor enthusiasts who can enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, and exploring high walls, backwaters, and historic landmarks. Nearby, only 8 miles away, Barkcamp State Park welcomes visitors to the rich sandstone hills of the Appalachian Plateau where they can enjoy camping, boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking, archery, and horseback riding. Located here is also a Mail Pouch Tobacco barn, painted by famous barn painter, Harley Warrick who painted or retouched over 20,000 Mail Pouch signs for 55 years across 13 states in the Midwest region. If you look close to the barn, you will also notice the Lewis Wetzel Rock, a historical artifact from Lewis Wetzel himself who had carved an inscription in it.
Looking for a great outdoor weekend getaway? Zion Retreat & RV Park is in Flushing, Ohio and is ideal for family vacations, staycations, parties, receptions, retreats, picnics and so much more. Reconnect with your loved ones by unplugging and becoming immersed in nature with over 1,000 acres of rolling hills, fields, and ponds. Here you can fish for only $10 a day with no license required. Also offered are boat rentals, aqua ziplining, sand volleyball, a beach area, and luxury or rustic cabin rentals. Youth camps take place in the summer where students of all ages learn about wildlife and conservation through hands-on activities.
There are also many other opportunities to go fishing or boating in Belmont County. Tour the famous longhorn cattle at Dickinson Cattle Co. and do not forget to bring your fishing poles. They offer a family fishing program, good for an entire year of fishing for the price of $100 with eight ponds to choose from. Visitors are able to take all bass, blue gill and catfish that they catch and no out of state license is required on private property. Find your favorite spot and bring a blanket for a fun picnic.
Our communities have many beautiful local parks in which people can spend the day getting exercise on hiking and biking trails, as well as swimming pools. Epworth Park allows guests to take a step back in time as they stroll through the historic cottages and along a paved trail which surrounds the perimeter of the pond. The Barnesville Memorial Park, Bellaire City Park, Lynn-Hunkler Memorial Park, Martins Ferry Park District, Saint Clairsville Memorial Park, Schuler Park, and Powhatan Point Park District are other great places to visit for outdoor recreation. Each park includes shelters, walking areas, and play areas.
Cycling enthusiasts are often in awe after riding along the National Road Bikeway in St.Clairsville. This 2.5-mile bike/walking trail was constructed in 1998 and features a large gazebo, tunnels, nature trail, bridge, water stations, and benches. The Ohio Valley Trail Association has recently begun installing signs to mark the first Back Road Biking Loop in Belmont County. The route will start in Barnesville and extend to Hendrysburg and other biking routes remain in progress. If you are looking for a more off-roading experience, take your bike to Egypt Valley Wildlife Area and mountain bike on the rugged back roads and fields of this large nature preserve.
Belmont County has plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities available to those traveling into the area or for those who live nearby and looking to discover what treasures await them in their own back yards. Whether enjoying a round of golf at one of our three golf courses, to exploring our beautiful parks, or hiking or biking along our scenic trails, you are sure to find something unique that will satisfy your itch for adventure. Don’t forget to bring the kids along and embark on our Explore More GeoTour– a journey that will take you across the beautiful and scenic landscapes of Belmont County, where unique treasures and historic landmarks await to be found.
We have plenty of room to play and stay! Check out our many lodging facilities on our website at www.visitbelmontcounty.com and step outside to Belmont County.