Birding at Tar Hollow State Forest

Laurelville, Ohio

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Tar Hollow State Forest

General Information


Laurelville, OH 43135


Hocking, Ross, Vinton

DeLorme Page Number and Coordinates

(7th Edition and earlier) p. 78 B4

Nearest Town or City

5 miles east of Chillicothe, Ohio.

About Tar Hollow State Park

Tar Hollow State Forest is Ohio’s third largest state forest, at 16,120 acres. Although active logging operations are usually ongoing, the vast majority of the forest is wooded with a variety of forest communities. There is a network of 22 miles of hiking trails, primarily in the northern half of the forest. A total of 31 miles of forest roads – 17 paved and 14 gravel – make for easy access via automobile. Maps of roads and trails should be available from the headquarters, located on State Route 327.

Visiting Information

Closed hours/season

Open year round, 6 am to 11 pm daily.

Parking Areas

Parking generally not a problem anywhere, forest roads are lightly traveled and there is normally ample room to pull off.



Restroom Facilities

Available at camping areas.

Harmful Insects, Poisonous Plants, or Animals

Poison Ivy.

Restaurants in the Area

Many options in nearby Chillicothe.

Other Birding Spots in the Area

Hocking Hills region, Scioto Trail State Forest.

Birds of Interest by Season


All of our common winter woodland species, including good chances for half-hardy species like Eastern Phoebe and Hermit Thrush. Wild Turkey and Ruffed Grouse can often be found. Native stands of Virginia and Pitch pines often harbor winter irruptives such as Red-breasted Nuthatch and Pine Siskins, and Evening Grosbeaks and crossbills are sometimes recorded.


Good numbers and diversity of neotropical migrants.


A great diversity of woodland species, many of which require larger unfragmented forests, including Cerulean, Hooded, Kentucky, Black-and-white and Worm-eating warblers, Scarlet and Summer Tanagers, Wood Thrushes, and Broad-winged Hawks. Riparian areas harbor Northern Parulas, Yellow-throated Warblers, and Louisiana Waterthrushes. Pine stands often have Pine Warblers, and in 1973, Ohio’s only confirmed nesting record of Red Crossbill occurred here. All in all, summer birding for breeders can be fantastic.


Good numbers and diversity of neotropical migrants.

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