“one of Ohio's first state forests”
Located in the unglaciated hill country of extreme south central Ohio, Dean, one of Ohio's first state forests, was established in June of 1916 The early history of the region centered around Dutch and Irish farmers who emigrated from Pennsylvania. From the early 1800s to about 1900, most of the timber in the area was cut for charcoal to supply blast furnaces for the smelting of locally mined iron ore. The area had also been burned over many times by fires started along the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad which ran through the forest. Thus, when the land was purchased in 1916 for Dean State Forest, it was largely denuded of trees and was used as an early reforestation experimental area to determine the best species and planting methods. Several of the planting, such as the white pine, red pine and tuliptree along State Route 373 in Texas Hollow, are visible resuolts of those experiments and efforts. In the early 1930s, a Civilian Conservation Camp was located on the forest. Supervised by the Division of Forestry, camp personnel constructed and improved access roads and did much timber stand improvement work. Today, Dean contains an unbroken block of 2,745 acres of forest land. A side variety of recreational opportunities exist at Dean State Forest. One popular activity is hunting. Deer, wild turkey, grouse, squirrel and rabbits are hunted in season at Dean. Several small ponds are located on the forest, and used by anglers. Mushroom and ginseng hunting are becoming increasingly popular activities. Approximately 20 miles of bridle trails run throughout the forest and offer users a scenic ride through the woods. Hiking is also permitted on the bridle trails.
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Dean State Forest
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