Shawnee State Forest and Shawnee State Park’s 63,000 acres make up part of the former hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians. Much of the tribe’s trade was in silver which is fitting because “Shawnee” means “those who have silver."
During the 1700s, the Shawnee Indians were gradually displaced as settlers built cabins and cleared the land in this new and fertile country. The face of the region changed dramatically in the years to come as a result. Today, Shawnee State Forest has regained much of its original beauty through effective timber practices by the state’s Division of Forestry.
The hills of Shawnee have also been dubbed "Ohio's Little Smokies." From the highest points in the forest, ridge after ridge appear to roll away toward the horizon in a gentle blue haze. The hardwood forest is host to a variety of flora and fauna, and wildflowers are abundant—including several rare types of orchids, such as the tiny whorled pogonia and the showy orchis. Forest wildlife includes white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, raccoons, and various songbirds.