Salt Fork State Park

14755 Cadiz Road
740-439-3521

The landscape of rural Guernsey County appears as a patchwork of forested hills, open meadows and misty valleys threaded by numerous streams. At the heart of this region is Salt Fork State Park, encompassing the woodlands and fields flanking Salt Fork Reservoir. As Ohio's largest state park, Salt Fork boasts 17,229-acres of recreational facilities to suit nearly every taste.

History:

Historically, this part of southeastern Ohio was one of the first areas of the state to be settled by the pioneers emigrating westward from the crowded eastern seaboard. Some of these settlers may have followed Zane's Trace into the Ohio wilderness - a route that led a few families into the Guernsey County area. From Zanesville east to the Ohio River, the Trace became part of the National Road, a major east-west transportation route constructed in 1811. Today, the old National Road is known as U.S. Route 40 and passes near Salt Fork State Park.

One of the early residents of Guernsey County, David B. Kennedy, constructed a beautiful stone house overlooking Sugar Tree Fork in 1837. Built from locally-quarried stone cut into 3' x 1' x 1' blocks, the Kennedy Stone House is a sturdy reminder of bygone days. Because of its unique and enduring construction, the house is listed in the National Register of Historic places and can be visited throughout the year.

While the southeastern U.S. was the most important staging area for many Civil War battles, southeastern Ohio saw a few skirmishes, too. Morgan's Raiders, a small group of Confederate soldiers, made excursions into the Salt Fork area under constant pursuit from Union Troops led by General Shakelford.

As the 19th Century progressed, industry continued to develop in Ohio, and many of the southeastern Ohio counties came into prominence as coal-producing areas. Responding to the demand for this important fuel source, Guernsey County became one of Ohio's leading coal producers. Abundant reserves of clay allowed the development of a thriving pottery industry in the county as well. The present impoundment at Salt Fork dates back to 1956 when planning for the lake was begun. The reservoir was originally slated to become a water source for the city of Cambridge, but the potential for the area to become a major recreation area in the state was so great that, in 1960, land acquisition was begun to create a state park. The earthen dam was completed in 1967, and construction of recreational facilities began in mid 1968. The spacious Salt Fork Lodge was opened in May 1972.


Reviews

Mary Biers

Rating:
Saturday, July 1, 2017

Stayed at the cabins. Love the view, the cabins were clean, and the lodge was great for swimming indoors and outdoors (both heated and very warm). Some of the appliances were dated and the poison ivy was overgrown in many areas close to the path. The bedspreads looked a little stained, but the sheets and towels were clean and white. Overall had a great time and love this park. Everything may not be perfect but it felt like a home away from home. Maintenance team came out quickly for any calls we made. Lodge staff were extremely knowledgeable and hospitable. Loved taking my family here.

Tom Webb

Rating:
Monday, Sep. 4, 2017

I've stayed in a wide variety of hotels, from bed and breakfasts in Cornwall, to historic hotels in Oslo as well as hotels up and down the East coast of the US. I have never before stayed in a hotel where the walls are quite so thin. I can hear *every* word of the neighbouring rooms conversation - I too would be annoyed if my child had torn their clothing on the days adventure. The "delight" of hearing their TV, however, is starting to wear rather thin, although I might join in with the audience's applause. The rooms are tired, the bathroom is small and the coffee facilities in the room are less than the bare minimum - frankly this is not worth the money that we spent on it and I would encourage anyone thinking to stay here to simply not. The only reason this has a 2 star, rather than a 1 is that it has a king size bed. **Edit** After voicing our concerns we were offered a new, and comparable, room. This room, you'll be pleased to note, was much quieter - still as sparse and tired, but quieter. Less welcome was the collection of dead flies in the bathroom, I can only assume that the room has either not been used for a while or not been cleaned for a while. Interestingly, it appears the room was a wheelchair accessible one with a stool in the shower & ultra low profile access to the shower. Less commendable was the access from the bathroom to the bed area, which appears to be the bare minimum width for a self propelled wheelchair to fit. While the chair might fit, the hands of the user on the outside of the wheels certainly won't, without contortion. While I'm on this subject, the front entrance has a ramp, the hotel has lift access to all floors and there is disabled parking close to the front door. This is all negated as the front entrance has no dropped kerb for wheelchair users to access the ramp once they've parked their car - it appears the hotel has not thought this through adequately, which rather sums up my entire experience.

Maria Bennett

Rating:
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

This place is definitely not worth the money. The cabin felt very dirty, had a bad smell and just all around needs to be nicer

william brown

Rating:
Monday, May 29, 2017

We stayed over memorial day weekend. The room was a shockingly great deal (very large, and clean, with a balcony and a kitchenette) for the price. We enjoyed the amenities and the hiking trails nearby. Also, I was very pleased with the restaurant offerings. Overall it was a great value and we are planning our return.

Damian Gabriel

Rating:
Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017

Amazing place! Has many activities and is always an adventure. And just maybe Bigfoot will make an appearance!