If you’re looking for nice riding in Southwestern Ohio, the Pike State Forest All-Purpose Vehicle area is worth a look.
There may not be many miles of trails—10 to be exact—but the trails are designed to be ridden two-way so riding the trails from the opposite direction changes the experience and increases the fun. The trails wind through the hollows and ridge tops, offering the visitor a challenging ride as well as some beautiful scenery and breathtaking views.
Officials say that these trails are for experienced riders only. But there’s also a novice area that’s a large field with trails that weave between trees. Parents can relax and keep a watchful eye on their children while they ride.
Ohio law requires helmets and eye protection, forbids riders under 12, and those between 12 and 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Riders over 16 must have a valid motor vehicle operator’s license. No passengers are allowed unless the vehicle is designed to carry a passenger.
APVs must be registered in Ohio or your home state. If your vehicle isn’t registered, you will need to get a 15-day temporary Ohio sticker, which will require proof of registration. You can get these from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
The Pike State APV area is open a half hour before sunrise and closes a half hour after sunset. It’s closed during the winter, but is open for riding April 1 through Nov. 30.
Here are some rules related to APVs:
The APVs allowed are off-road and dual-purpose motorcycles and ATVs. Each vehicle must display a valid APV license or highway license.
The APV must be 50 inches wide or narrower.
APVs shall be operated only on designated trails marked with a white painted blaze, and within the novice area. All trails permit two-way travel.
All vehicles must have adequate brakes, mufflers and spark arresters.
No person shall operate an APV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. No person shall overtly or publicly consume or display the presence of any beer or intoxicating liquor in any state forest.
No person shall operate an APV in such a manner as to willfully damage or destroy vegetation and trails or for the purpose of chasing or killing wildlife.
No APV shall carry more passengers than it was designed to carry.
Land acquisition for Pike State Forest began in 1924, with the objective of returning abused hill farms and fire-damaged timber lands to productive forests. The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Division of Forestry completed most reforestation work in the 1930s.
Pike State Forest now covers 12,084 acres in western Pike County and eastern Highland County.
Pike State Forest is open to public hunting and fishing in season. Fishing is available at several ponds located in the forest. Anderson Lake off of Dry Bone Road is a popular spot that offers quiet seclusion among the hills and trees.
Pike State Forest is open to visitors between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily. Legal campers, hunters and anglers may be present during other hours.
Fires are not permitted except in grills or fire rings provided or in portable stoves. Fires must be attended at all times. Camping is permitted only in areas designated for such use.
The Pike State Forest APV area is off of state Route 124 at 334 Lapparell Rd. in Latham. To get there from Chillicothe, take U.S. 50 west toward Bainbridge about 21 miles, go south on state Route 41 about 14 miles, go east on state Route 124 about 3 miles and then turn left on the dirt road at the state forest building.
For additional info on Pike State Forest APV area, call (740) 493-2441 or visit forestry at www.forestry.ohiodnr.gov.