Parks & Recreation
Aetna Park is located in the center of town next to the village municipal building. The Oak Hill Village Council held a contest to find a name for the park during its development. There were many entries but the majority thought Aetna was the most appropriate since the Aetna Fire Brick & Coal Company operated there until 1963.
The Chamber of Commerce led the fund drive to construct the memorial gazebo, relocate and rebuild the Comer Schoolhouse, relocate and refurbish the caboose, and construct the park’s fountain. Aetna Park is a wonderful educational resource for residents of the Oak Hill area. The caboose at the park reminds visitors of the importance that railroads played in the creation of the Oak Hill community. The one-room Comer schoolhouse (dating back to 1850) provides a glimpse of history to visitors and presents an example of the type of school that once educated students of the Oak Hill area.
And finally, the memorial gazebo houses the Bi-centennial Bell presented to Jackson County. The Jackson County Bicentennial Bell was made in the village and is now housed in the memorial gazebo in Aetna Park. The gazebo’s surrounding walk consists of many bricks memorializing past residents of the Oak Hill area.
Central Memorial Park
The Oak Hill Area Chamber of Commerce purchased the former Central School property from the Oak Hill Union Local Board of Education in 2005. The Central School property is a significant historical site since it was the site of the Central Elementary School until the late 1990’s.
The goal for Central Memorial Park was to create a relaxing, safe, central recreational area for residents of the Oak Hill area. The theme of Central Memorial Park is to memorialize the former Central School where many Oak Hill area residents spent their early years. Central Memorial Park has a 1/6-mile concrete walking path, perimeter fencing, shelter house, pavilion, playground, park benches, grill, and parking area. Central Park is a perfect place to host birthday parties, receptions, reunions, and other outdoor events.
Margaret Ann Pool and Park
The Margaret Ann Pool and Park has depths of 2-11 feet, a kiddy pool, playground area, tennis courts, shelter house, and basketball court. Contact the pool manager at (740) 682-3617.
Lake Jackson State Park
Rugged hills and mist-filled valleys provide a colorful backdrop for Jackson Lake State Park. Two miles west of the town of Oak Hill, Jackson Lake is situated in one of the most picturesque regions of the state. The Jackson Lake area, in addition to its outstanding natural features, is endowed with a rich cultural history that spans many centuries. The park includes 107-acres of land and a 242-acre lake, fishing, picnicking, 3 picnic shelter, 200 ft swimming beach, 3 boat launch ramps, 34 campsites and a dump station. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Jackson Lake State Park: Jackson Lake Campground, LLC, 921 Tommy Been Road, Oak Hill, OH 45656, firstname.lastname@example.org, 740-682-6197
Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area
The 5,421-acre wildlife area is 6 miles northeast of the Village of Oak Hill. The scenic rolling hills are dissected by Symmes Creek, a small, low-gradient stream, and several of its tributaries. More than half of the area is wooded. Originally the entire area was forested. During the 1800’s most of the forest on the wildlife area and Jackson County was clear-cut for agricultural purposes and to make charcoal for the local iron industry. Purchases for this wildlife area began in 1953. The area is a popular hunting spot for squirrel, grouse, deer, and wild turkeys. The historic Kanawha Trail, used by buffalo, Native Americans, colonial militias, and early settlers crosses the wildlife area. The remains of Madison Iron Furnace are located near the area headquarters. Several miles of interior roads and many parking areas provide good access to the entire area. Nearly twenty miles of walking trails are available. Further information may be obtained by contacting the area manager, Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area, 5403 CH&D Road, Oak Hill, Ohio 45656 (740) 682-7524, http://www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/pdf/pub020.pdf.
Wayne National Forest
One of the three units of the only National Forest in Ohio, the Ironton Ranger District of the Wayne National Forest, is located a few miles south of the Village of Oak Hill. The mix of open land and forest provides a wide variety of wildlife habitats. Common mammals include white-tailed deer, gray fox, woodchuck, opossum, and gray squirrel. Common birds are turkey, ruffed grouse, pileated woodpecker and wood duck. There are 300 miles of trails on the forest open to hiking, ATVs, mountain bikes, and horses. The forest is one of the most popular public hunting locations in Ohio. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Wayne National Forest, Ironton Ranger District, 6518 State Route 93, Pedro, OH 45659, (740) 534-6500, Fax (740) 534-6565, http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/wayne/.