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Roads

Established Camping

Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area

About

USDA Forest Service

Wayne National Forest

Overview

Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area, named for the old Vesuvius iron furnace, is the Wayne National Forest's premier developed recreation site. The 143-acre lake and 1,200-acre complex provides the perfect spot for a getaway.

Recreation

Lake Vesuvius is a popular location for swimming and fishing. Anglers may catch bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill. A boat ramp is located on-site. A swimming beach is located at Big Bend. A large playing field and multiple hiking trails are available within the recreation area. The accessible 1/3-mile boardwalk along the southwest edge of the lake provides an opportunity for a leisurely stroll through the area, and the slightly longer 1/2-mile Longbow Archery Trail, accesses at least 25 field targets for shooting practice. The area boasts more than 25 miles of hiking trails and more than 45 miles of horseback riding trails.

Facilities

Lake Vesuvius is a popular location for swimming and fishing. Anglers may catch bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill. A boat ramp is located on-site. A swimming beach is located at Big Bend. A large playing field and multiple hiking trails are available within the recreation area. The accessible 1/3-mile boardwalk along the southwest edge of the lake provides an opportunity for a leisurely stroll through the area, and the slightly longer 1/2-mile Longbow Archery Trail, accesses at least 25 field targets for shooting practice. The area boasts more than 25 miles of hiking trails and more than 45 miles of horseback riding trails.

Natural Features

The lake sits on Storms Creek, which was dammed in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The rugged hills and rock outcroppings offer a scenic backdrop for this beautiful recreation area. The historic Vesuvius iron furnace is located at the base of the dam.

Nearby Attractions

The closest town is Ironton, Ohio, less than 10 miles from the campground.

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Location

Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area is located in Ohio

Detail location of campground

Directions

From U.S. Highway 52 at Ironton, take State Route 93 north for less than 10 miles to Lake Vesuvius Road (County Road 29). Turn east toward Lake Vesuvius and travel 1 mile to the recreation area.

Address

IRONTON RANGER DISTRICT 6518 STATE ROUTE 93
Pedro, OH 45659

Coordinates

38.605288 N
82.630433 W

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Hike-In
    Backcountry sites.
  • Boat-In
    Sites accessible by watercraft.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Good
  • Verizon
    Good
  • AT&T
    Good
  • T-Mobile
    Unknown

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)
  • Group
  • Equestrian

Features

For Campers

  • Trash
  • Phone Service
  • Drinking Water
  • Electric Hookups
  • Toilets

For Vehicles

  • Sanitary Dump

Reviews

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4.5

out of 5

6 Reviews

L
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2023

Quiet, relaxing

Stayed here for 2 nights. Scarlet Oak campground. Drove and checked out the other two campgrounds which were also nice. Some sites are really small and some are right along the road. Not crowded at all during our visit. Some sites are sloped from slight to more severe. We did have to take our camper off our truck (truck camper) in order to get level. Our site had a large “yard” and trees. All great for our two big dogs. Site had w/e.

Site023
Month of VisitSeptember
Ruby W.
Reviewed Jun. 24, 2019

Awesome Backpacking

Great location to earn some backpacking miles. Feels quite remote, but along the trails there are shelters, bathrooms, trash reciprocals, and other useful hookups. When camping and hiking here, you feel space and distance from other campers, with the perks of established facilities.

  • Review photo of Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area by Ruby W., June 24, 2019
  • Review photo of Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area by Ruby W., June 24, 2019
Lisa S.
Reviewed Apr. 7, 2019

Perfect Family Destination

This Recreation Area offers hiking trails, picnic opportunities, along with shelter house rentals for those family get togethers. The damn provides an excellent place for photos, while the lake is excellent for fishing and birdwatching. Year-round Campground with Electric, tent sites are also available. Perfect quiet area for a family day trip or spending a few days.

  • Review photo of Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area by Lisa S., April 7, 2019
  • Review photo of Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area by Lisa S., April 7, 2019
Neal C.
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2018

awesome

great place to camp and kayak. must camp 150ft from the trail. no cell service.beautiful park

  • Review photo of Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area by Neal C., September 1, 2018
Brew W.
Reviewed Aug. 15, 2017

Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area, Wayne National Forest, Ironton District, Iron Ridge Campground (Pedro, OH)

The Iron Ridge Campground sites are relatively close together; however, the Iron Ridge campground boasts a handful of sites that sit below the road, and, thus, offer more privacy. I didn't camp at Oak Hill, but I have explored it a few times. Even during the week, that campground was packed with campers. If you're a tent person using Vesuvius as a home base for trail hiking, stick with Iron Ridge. The fishing isn't bad at Vesuvius, but the shore access can be crowded, which has resulted in a limited number of keeper fish. The Lakeshore Trail is well-marked and generally nice, but, at times, a bit unkempt in the summer. The lake views are somewhat limited by brush and trail/lakeside growth, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get a good view of the lake. We also hiked the Whiskey Run Trail, which was short and hilly, but conveniently located right off the campground. The Whiskey Run also offers just enough lake access to let your dogs swim or to put a pole in the water. It also passes an impressive rock shelter. The very short (but rewarding) Rockhouse Trail is a right on top of the major lake action (near the boat ramps and beach area). The benefit is a nice rock house at the end, as well as interpretive signage that sheds light on Ohio's iron industry and history.

Site32/33 Iron Ridge
  • Review photo of Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area by Brew W., August 15, 2017
  • Review photo of Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area by Brew W., August 15, 2017
  • Review photo of Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area by Brew W., August 15, 2017
  • (5) View All
J
Reviewed Sep. 29, 2016

Small wooded sites

This is a relatively simple little site with fishing, swimming, and a boardwalk. We were there in early November for the leaves and it wasn’t too crowded then. There aren’t many campsites so summer could be an issue without reservations. The camp sites were nicely spread out within the forest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area have wifi?

No, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area does not have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area?

According to campers on TheDyrt.com, Verizon signal is good, AT&T is good, and T-Mobile is unknown.

How hard is it to get a campsite at Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area?

Some campers book as far as 6 months in advance, so on high-demand weekends it can be very difficult to get a campsite at Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area. If you want to get a last-minute campsite at Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area, try setting up a text message Alert at TheDyrt.com/alerts

Why is it so hard to get a campsite at Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area?

There are 3 campsites at Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area and over 80 million Americans who camp! Try snagging a cancellation by setting up a text message Alert at TheDyrt.com/alerts