COLUMBUS, OH - Crews from Shawnee and Dean state forests in Adams, Lawrence and Scioto counties continue efforts to reopen the forests for public use following last weeks ice storm, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Downed trees blocked nearly 100 miles of roads throughout the forests.
State forest officials are urging the public to avoid unnecessary use of forest and park roads until obstructions are removed.
The downed and damaged trees pose a danger to the public and emergency crews working to clear public roads, said John Dorka, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. We expect forest roads north of State Route 125 to reopen within two weeks. The more heavily affected portion of the forest, south of State Route 125, may take six to eight weeks to open. Logging crews have been contracted to help clear the trees blocking the roads and facilities, Dorka said.
As a safety precaution, state officials have temporarily closed trails at Shawnee and Dean state forests. As soon as we are confident they are safe for public-use we will reopen the trails, said Dorka. Anyone planning future visits to either forest should call ahead or check for updates on ohiodnr.com for road and trail accessibility.
After experiencing power loss from the storms, Shawnee State Park Lodge and cabins are expected to reopen on Friday, February 28.
Shawnee State Forest comprises more than 65,000 acres in Adams and Scioto counties with more than 70 miles of internal roads and 142 miles of trails. Dean State Forest includes more than 2,800 acres in Lawrence County and contains more than 15 miles of roads and trails.
For additional news online, check out the ODNR Press Room at Ohiodnr.com
For Further Information Contact:
Andy Ware, ODNR Media Relations