Located in southeastern Ohio, the 2,983-acre Lake Hope State Park is a natural paradise. The entire park lies within the 28,614-acre Zaleski State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. It is a rugged, heavily forested region traversed by steep gorges and narrow ridges with remnants of abandoned mining and iron producing industries. This eye-catching scenery offers many opportunities for photographers, hikers and historians to enjoy.Lake Hope State Park is truly a nature lover’s dream. In the forest-draped hills, the observant visitor can discover the abundant natural resources of this wild and scenic park.Although most of the forest was cut to fuel the iron smelting industry that once flourished here, the land has recovered and supports a magnificent, second-growth forest. Oak and hickory are the dominant trees while the woodland floor harbors a fascinating assemblage of shrubs and wildflowers. The yellow lady’s slipper, one of the rarest and most showy orchids, blooms in secluded hollows in the park. Other spring wildflowers such as blue-eyed mary, bloodroot and wild geranium can be found in abundance.Deer and wild turkeys are often seen in a number of park locations. Of the many animals inhabiting the park, none is as popular as the beaver. As nature’s dam builders, the beavers are found in numbers and can be observed near the quiet inlets of the lake.