The Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest has been the site of forest research for more than 50 years. It has the largest population of bobcats in Ohio and is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the country. The area is primarily dedicated to restoring hardwood oak forests in Ohio, but its unique ecosystem provides information on a number of topics relating to ecology, forestry, and wildlife.
The Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest has been an ongoing area of research since 1952. Mead Corporation and the USDA Forest Service agreed in 1965 that the land would be used for sustainability research. Combined with the Raccoon Ecological Management Area, this land is the largest remaining intact block of forest in Ohio still available for permanent protection. Data collected at the forest has been cited in nearly 200 academic articles since 2000.
The forest is open to public hunting in season. The Ball Diamond Hunter’s camp is named for the nearby diamond-shaped road fork where children played baseball in the early 1900s. This campground is the only location visitors are allowed to camp within the forest and features a latrine and information kiosk.