“Escape the Hocking Hills crowds and explore this rare gem in southern Ohio.
— AB CD
The Zaleski Trail is a great run or short overnight trip. You'll spend your time navigating the forests of southern Ohio. It can get humid in the summer and water can be found along the route - but pack accordingly! Traffic is low to medium, depending on the time of year.
Water is available at hydrants at the campsites. Most of the surface water is considered contaminated by old mine runoff.
The south loop of the Zaleski Backpacking trail is the shorter of the two loops. It can easily be knocked out in a day or extended to an overnight trip... especially great for families with young backpackers!
Parking for the South Loop of the Zaleski Trail is roughly 50 yards from the trailhead, across from Hope Furnace. If you're spending the night on the trail, parking is now at the Hope Schoolhouse on Wheelabout Road. This adds about one and half miles of out-and-back to the trail each way. Entering the trail, you'll turn left and head into the woods. The Zaleski trail winds through the forest and you'll be under the canopy for a majority of your trip. The trail itself is packed dirt and rock - generally very easy with little to no technical ability required. There are some steeper sections - but they're short and quickly level out. A number of historical markers or areas of geological interest can be found by using the accompanying Zaleski Backpacking Brochure
Be aware of poisonous snakes in the area.