With Ohio's largest unbroken expanse of forest, this old Shawnee Indian hunting ground north of the Ohio River is the most expansive State Forest at 59,603 acres. The gem of Shawnee State Forest is the 8,000 acre Wilderness Area. From the mid-1800’s to early 1900’s, stone was quarried from hollows within the Wilderness Area, much of which was used in the construction of downtown Cincinatti. Known as the little Smokies due to the gentle blue haze rising from the trees, the Shawnee State Forest has numerous ridges, ascending to over 1100’ from a base altitude of 600’, carved from the Appalachian Plateau due to the erosive power of many streams. This results in reasonably strenuous trails with good verticals. Overall, the forest contains over 75 miles of bridle trails.
Use parking area across from the Shawnee State Park Lodge on Turkey Creek Lake on Ohio route 125, six miles northwest of U.S. route 52.
To reach the Horsemans Camp trailhead from the intersection of US 52 and SR 73 south of West Portsmouth, go west on US 52 for 5.3 miles. Turn right on SR 125 and travel 7 miles. Take a right on FR 3 (Big Run Rd.) and go 3.6 miles, veering right after 1 mile. Turn right on Pond Creed/Bear Creek Rd. and go 1 mile to the Horsemans Camp.
Overall, Shawnee State Forest is the 5th most popular horse trail of all 32 horseback rides in Ohio.