Jefferson County’s natural beauty is something to be witnessed, regardless of the season. Its 411 square miles include wooded hills, over 900 miles of streams, rolling farmlands and, of course, the beautiful Ohio River which is fed by three main tributaries: Short Creek in the southern part of the county, Cross Creek in the center, and Yellow Creek in the northern section. The county is home to various other natural resource areas that provide excellent opportunities for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Fernwood State Forest boasts over 3,000 acres with camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, a shooting range, and bird watching. The Brush Creek Wildlife Area is over 4,000 acres and, in addition to the amenities available at Fernwood, also has ATV trails. Jefferson State Lake Park’s 962 acres includes horseback riding trails in addition to hiking, camping, boating, hunting, fishing and bird watching. And the county-owned Friendship Park, host site for the annual Jefferson County Fair, sits on 1300 acres, providing a beautiful setting for boating, mountain biking, camping, and fishing.
The Steubenville Parks and Recreation Department maintains 13 parks throughout the city in addition to the Belleview Municipal Pool and the Martin Luther King Recreation Center. The staff also offers a variety of recreational activities and programs free to the community throughout the year. From baseball fields and playgrounds to walking trails and shelter houses, the Steubenville park system has just what you’re looking for when a little fresh air is in order.
Austin Lakes & Campgrounds, a local business icon, opened in 1946 and was named one of the “top urban campgrounds in the United States” by USA Today. Imagine stepping back in time but with all of the modern conveniences and updated amenities that make a day, weekend, or week away comfortable and convenient. Picnic shelters, RV, and camping sites, cabins, hayrides, swimming, pontoon boat rentals, paddle boarding, and more make Austin Lake a favorite among locals as well as haven enjoyed by guests from across the country and beyond.