14755 Cadiz Road Lore City, Ohio 43755
Salt Lake Fork Lake State Park is located in southeast Ohio near the city of Cambridge. It is relatively close to the West Virginian and Pennsylvania. There is a vast amount of wildlife in the park including birds, wild turkeys, and deer. While we at our campsite, we even spotted a bobcat, which is an animal known to be in these parts of Ohio. Legend has it that Bigfoot has made an appearance in Salt Fork Lake. We, fortunately, did not see him. there is also a nice variety of wildflowers, mushrooms, and vegetation to enjoy.
The campground consists of 192 sites with electricity. Each site has a 50-amp electric hookup as well as 30 and 20 amp. In addition, there are 20 full-service campsites that offer sewer and water hookups. There are 18 sites that are wheelchair accessible. Salt Fork also includes group camp and horsemen’s camp. For non-campers, Salt Fork has 37 two-bedroom vacation cottages in hillside and lakeside locations which have fully furnished living and dining areas, kitchen equipped with cooking and eating utensils, bath with shower, and screened porch. In addition, there are 17 chalet cottages which feature gas log fireplaces and hot tubs. All cottages are available year-round.
There is a camp store located at the camp registration office. The offer basic RV supplies and limited food supplies as well as Salt Fork souvenirs. They sell ice for $1.50 bag and firewood for $4/bundle. However, most of the firewood was slab wood, which is very difficult to burn. We have run into this issue with other Ohio State Parks. We hope that after enough complaints, Ohio State Parks will begin offering high quality wood that is seasoned. Outside of the park, there are convenience stores, like Mr. G’s, and locals who offer firewood that actually burns. One resident told us there was a local off the highway who offers a wheel barrow of firewood for $5. That would be worth checking out.
Generally speaking, Salt Fork Lake is well-maintained, yet nothing flashy. There were not major flower beds or other “extras” to spice up the atmosphere. However, the park consists of mature trees that offer a “in the wilderness” feel. Some sites were full sun. We stayed at site F8, which was mostly shaded. The full sun sites were grassy sites. Salt Fork mowed these consistently. We know this as maintenance crews were out mowing at 7:30 a.m., which we feel is a bit early for the sounds of mowers and weed-whackers.
Rating: (one to five lanterns with five being the highest)
If you are camping at Salt Fork Lake, the main attraction is the park and lake themselves. Although there are nearby towns, local shops, and restaurants, nothing stood out to us as places of tourism. If you are at Salt Fork, you are there to immerse yourself in the beauty of the forest and lake. There are some area attractions, however, worth noting:
Boyd’s Crystal Art Glass, Deerassic Park, Hopalong Cassidy Museum, The Wilds – descriptions, location, hours at the link below:
Salt Fork Lake campground has basic playgrounds scattered throughout the various sections. With paved roads, kids can bike throughout the vast park. Salt Fork Lake is a very large park so there are great opportunities not only for biking, but for walking, running, etc. Salt Fork is 2,952-acre lake offering unlimited horsepower boating. There are local marinas nearby with fueling stations, snack bars, etc. The lake is great for skiing, tubing, jet skis, canoeing, and kayaking. Other activities within the park include an archery station, hunting (during season), fishing, an 18-hole golf course, basketball courts, swimming beach, miniature golf at the beach, nature center, and nine different picnic areas. Salt Fork Lake also provides visitors with a 1 acre dog park that opens up to the lake. Our dogs loved swimming in it!
There are miles and miles of trails within the park, some within the campground itself. Some trails are designated for horseback only. We noticed at the trailhead of many of these trails, it was well blazed. However, as you got further into the forest, the trails became overridden with vegetation. I am not sure why Salt Fork Lake does not take the time to maintain their trails. On one trail, we walked through almost a 100 yard section of 5 foot tall weeds (including thorns) with a narrow (2 feet at best) trail. That being said, the trails are all very well-marked and easy to navigate.
The restrooms and shower houses were typical of Ohio State Parks; They were generally clean but could use some improvement. The shower houses were much cleaner than the individual restroom buildings. The showers offered a nice ledge for soap and shampoo. The water pressure and water temperature were good. There was only one hook for your cosmetic bag, towel, and clothing. Each shower house had a washer and dryer for use at $2.00 per machine.