FAMILY DAY in the WOODS scheduled for August 18 at the Vinton Furnace State Forest

Belgium Coke Ovens near the Vinton Furnace

Belgium Coke Ovens on the Vinton Furnace State Forest near the Iron Furnace

Would you enjoy a DAY in the WOODS exploring and learning with your family?

Are you looking for a way to get your kids outdoors and away from their electronic devices?

Have you ever wondered what goes on at the Vinton Furnace State (Experimental) Forest?


Join us at the Vinton Furnace State Forest near McArthur on Saturday, August 18 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) for a fun and educational FAMILY DAY in the WOODS.  The day will include wagon rides and nature walks through the forest, a visit to the iron furnace and Belgium coke ovens, wildfire prevention activities with Smokey Bear and a portable sawmill demonstration.  Additionally, many natural resources professionals (foresters, wildlife biologists, ecologists, archaeologists, and research scientists) will be on hand to lead the activities designed to give kids (grades K-6) the opportunity to explore:


  • A variety of wildlife that live in the woods from cerulean warblers to golden eagles and from wood frogs to timber rattlers.
  • People from the past from the native American mound builders to the European settlers who farmed and worked the Vinton Furnace that produced iron in the late 1800’s
  • Insects including prairie and forest pollinators
  • A wide assortment of trees and their contribution to the ecology and economy of the region

The program starts at 9:00 AM and ends at 3:00 PM.   The program is free of charge. However,  to facilitate planning and food preparation we are asking you to please RSVP by calling the OSU Extension office in  Vinton County at 740-596-5212, or emailing Dave Apsley at by August 15.

Lunch, snacks and other refreshments will be available for purchase from a local Vinton County 4-H club, or if you choose feel free to pack a lunch and bring your own drinks.

Note: The Vinton Furnace State Forest training center is well off of the beaten path.  There is no reliable mailing address to use with your GPS so be sure to follow these directions (Directions – Experimental Forest).  Have no fear we will have green and yellow signs posted along the 5 or so miles of gravel roads that lead you to a fun filled, educational day.


“A DAY in the WOODS” is sponsored by the Education and Demonstration Subcommittee of the Vinton Furnace State Forest.  The principal partners in this effort include Ohio State University Extension, ODNR-Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, Vinton County Soil and Water Conservation District, National Wild Turkey Federation, Glatfelter, Ohio Tree Farm Committee, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hocking College, The Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, the Ruffed Grouse Society, and Ohio’s SFI Implementation Committee.

Since 2012, “A DAY in the WOODS” has offered 54 programs with more than 2,000 participants attending. More than 100 natural resources professionals have presented these programs to woodland owners and enthusiast just like you.  Be sure to mark your 2018 calendar so you are sure not to miss any of these great opportunities to spend A DAY in the WOODS (A DAY in THE WOODS 2018 Brochure – Low Res-wyeaef)

  • Woodland Stewardship Opportunities, August 10-Vinton Furnace State Forest
  • Timber Harvesting Things to Consider, September 14, Zaleski State Forest – CCC Camp
  • Fall Treasures in Your Woodland-Fungi, Lichens and More, October 12 – Vinton Furnace State Forest
  • Woodland Wildlife habit, November 9 – Vinton Furnace State Forest

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