We’ve visited Burr Oak several times over the years. On our first trip to Burr Oak we had scheduled a week of camping. In our family, this became known as the “Rain Drenched Burr Oak Camping Trip”. On the plus side, I learned to cook meals over a camp stove in the rain. (Hint: use flint and steel to ignite the burner. Works better than rain-soaked matches).
Our next trip, we stayed at the Burr Oak Lodge and then went hiking at Wildcat Hollow in Wayne National Forest. The Wildcat Hollow hike involved hiking seven miles, four miles of which were through ankle-deep mud. (Hint: don’t hike at Wildcat Hollow during in the spring after a long rainy period). As for the lodge, the staff was friendly, but the facilities were in real need of TLC. The carpeting and furnishing for our room and wing were old, worn and dingy.
Bookings fell off at Burr Oak Lodge and the state of Ohio considered closing the lodge. Finally it came down to a decision to spend $2 million to close and demolish the facility or $2 million to completely refurbish it. The state decided to refurbish. The lodge was closed while restoration was in progress, and re-opened this past July. We visited last month to see what the restored lodge was like.
The Lodge and its Surroundings
In addition to restoring the lodge, some of the rooms were combined into two room family suites. The lodge now has 16 standard rooms and 22 suites. (There are also 30 cottages for rent adjacent to the lodge). We stayed in a standard room with a lakeside view. We enjoyed our stay there – the staff was still friendly, but now the refurbished rooms were attractive and comfortable.
Hiking the Trails
The next day we literally hit the trail. The weather was glorious – sunny and cool. Burr Oak has 30 miles of trails including an 18 mile backpack trail. We decided to hike a portion of the backpack trail. The trail-head is located near the Park Office which is where we parked.
Starting at the trail-head, the trail is marked with yellow blazes for the backpack trail. Also, blue blazes for the Buckeye trail. It’s the North Country Trail and one other trail as well. We referred to that portion as the “everything trail”. We followed the yellow backpack trail to the Buckeye Loop trail (white blazes) which looped back towards the trail head for an overall trip of about 4.5 miles.
The initial trail followed a ridge line and then descended into a valley with a stream. The trail was wide, well-marked, with wooden bridges crossing the streams. The trail continues through heavy forest pass up and down ridges, through hollows and past rock outcroppings and cliffs. We almost missed our turn-off for the Buckeye Loop trail but checked our map and turned off on the white blazed trail.
We climbed another ridge and proceeded through a long series of meadows filled with bird song. Then down a heavily forested slope past a hollow and back to the initial part of the trail which lead to the trail-head.
We had a great time at Burr Oak Lodge and hiking on the trails, and we look forward to returning and exploring more of the park.
- Burr Oak State Park is primarily in Morgan County, but also extends into Athens County. For official links to the park and to nearby parks and preserves (including trail maps), see our pages on both counties below:
- Burr Oak Lodge — This is where we stayed this trip; in our prior post on Burr Oak State Park, we include photos of the lodge.
- Lodge address
- Address: 10660 Burr Oak Lodge Road, Glouster, Ohio 45732
- GPS Coordinates: 39.5308132, -82.0372993
- Google Maps: View on map or get directions
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