Wayne National Forest
Wayne National Forest Welcome Entrance Sign.jpg
Welcome Sign for Wayne National Forest
Oh forests.png
Location of Wayne National Forest
LocationOhio, United States
Coordinates39°30′0″N 82°0′0″W / 39.50000°N 82.00000°W / 39.50000; -82.00000Coordinates: 39°30′0″N 82°0′0″W / 39.50000°N 82.00000°W / 39.50000; -82.00000
Area240,101 acres (971.65 km2)[1]
EstablishedDecember 1992[2]
Named forAnthony Wayne
WebsiteWayne National Forest

The Wayne National Forest is located in the south-eastern part of the US state of Ohio, in the Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. It is the only national forest in Ohio. Forest headquarters are located between The Plains and Nelsonville, Ohio, on US Route 33, overlooking the Hocking River.

The originally forested land was cleared for agricultural and lumbering use in the late 18th and 19th century, but years of poor timbering and agricultural practices led to severe erosion and poor soil composition. The Wayne National Forest was started as part of a reforestation program.[3]

The forest comprises three administrative and purchase units: Athens, Marietta, and Ironton. The Athens and Marietta Units are managed together as the Athens Ranger District, while the Ironton Unit is managed as the Ironton Ranger District. Many of the lands included in the national forest are former coal-mining lands, and much of this land is owned by the federal government without the mineral rights, those having been retained by former owners.

As of September 2018, the national forest has 244,265 acres (989 km2) in federal ownership within a proclamation boundary of 832,147 acres (3,368 km2).[1]

The area of Ohio included within the national forest is based on late Paleozoic geology, heavy in sandstones and shales, including redbeds, with many coal beds. The topography is typically very rugged, with elevation changes typically in the 200–400-foot range.

The North Country Trail passes through several areas of the Wayne, in which it is coincident with the Buckeye Trail and the American Discovery Trail.


  1. ^ a b "Land Areas of the National Forest System" (PDF). U.S. Forest Service. January 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  2. ^ "History". Wayne National Forest. Archived from the original on November 21, 2001. Retrieved January 19, 2009.
  3. ^ Mangus, Michael; Herman, Jennifer L. (2008). Ohio Encyclopedia. North American Book Dist LLC. p. 570. ISBN 978-1-878592-68-2.