Tucked away in the Appalachian foothills, Shawnee State Forest, known as “Ohio’s Little Smokies,” makes one of the best last minute getaways in Ohio. Spend time exploring Shawnee Lodge for a weekend full of adventure and relaxation along with incredible scenic views.
The small city of Portsmouth, Ohio, is a quick twenty-minute drive from Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center. Stroll the famous Floodwall Murals, go antiquing or visit ancient burial mounds to add to your Shawnee experience.
We want to thank Great Ohio Lodges for hosting our visit to Shawnee Lodge. As always, opinions are my own. This article does contain affiliate links.
Where is Shawnee Lodge and Shawnee State Forest
Shawnee State Park is nestled in the 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest in the south-central portion of Ohio. The Shawnee Lodge is located in West Portsmouth in the Shawnee State Park.
This area was once hunting grounds for the Native American Shawnee tribes. Hence, how the park and lodge received their name. A beautiful time to visit is in the spring to enjoy the blooming trees and wildflowers.
Meeting rooms are available for celebrations, conferences, and weddings.
Address of Shawnee Lodge: 4404 OH-125, West Portsmouth, OH 45663
On the hunt for another great Ohio Lodge? Check out, Hueston Woods!
Types of Lodging at Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center
Cabins Rentals In Ohio
Shawnee offers a variety of cabin rentals perfect for families or couples. Even seven pet-friendly cabins! Each family cabin can sleep six people, has a bathroom with flush toilets, a full kitchen, dining area, screened-in porch, fire ring, and charcoal grill.
Standard guest rooms are available with double beds, queen, and king bed options. However, for a unique feature, Shawnee Lodge offers family rooms with bunk beds. Each room has a private balcony, refrigerator, and a flat-screen TV. We love the rustic lodge feel of the wooden furniture throughout the room.
Each lodge room does have a bathtub. The bathrooms are a bit dated and in need an upgrade, but they are clean.
There is free wifi access throughout the lodge. Common areas offer a great gathering space, a work area, and the perfect place for a family game night.
Tip: Request a guest room with a wooded view. Nothing quite beats a peaceful balcony with a forest view.
Why Shawnee Lodge is One of the Best Last Minute Getaways In Ohio
A highlight of any stay at Shawnee Lodge is their amazing pools. The indoor pool area currently requires reservations but can accommodate 25 people per hour time slot. A pool attendant is available for you to make your reservation. The hot tub is temporarily closed during the pandemic.
The indoor pool has a 2ft 6-inch area which is perfect for little ones. There are stairs to get in and out of the pool, along with a handicap lift.
Shawnee Lodge Pool Hours and Rules
The indoor pool is open from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm. As always, please check the current rules and hours as things can change.
The outdoors pools include a larger pool with a diving area and a toddler splash pool. There is a seasonal tiki hut near the outdoor pool that will serve beverages and light snacks.
Tip: Don’t forget to bring goggles, floaties, and pool toys for the little ones. Large pool floats are not permitted.
The Game Room
A visit isn’t complete without a stop in the game room. There are various games for all ages—even a quarter ride-on pony, which was my daughter’s personal favorite. The game room is also home to an air hockey table.
After spending time in the game room cozy up next to the gas log fireplace to play a few games.
Pro Tip: The front desk has various board/card games that guests can check out for free! The lodge is full of great gathering areas perfect for game night.
Have S’mores By The Fire Pit
Sit back and relax around one of the fire pits throughout the lodge. Stare up at the sky for a brilliant star show, then roast your marshmallows to perfection. Supplies for s’mores and the items needed to start a fire are available at the gift shop.
Dine At The Smokehouse Restaurant
The Smokehouse Restaurant is found inside Shawnee Lodge. They offer great options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Whether it is starting your morning off with a delightful stack of pancakes or indulging in the all-you-can-eat Fried Catfish on Friday, the Smokehouse has the perfect meal for you. Check out their Menu Online.
Fun theme nights are scattered throughout the month in the dining room. During our visit, it was a Disco theme with fun custom cocktails, appetizers, and entrees! I splurged on the cocktail, Disco Inferno, which had edible glitter in it to make it have a disco ball appearance!
The Council Room is right next to the Smokehouse Restaurant, which is a full-service bar!
The Smokehouse Restaurant also offers carry-out! We carried out lunch to enjoy on the balcony, but it is also a wonderful place to take on a picnic or enjoy at one of the lodge’s many scenic outdoor areas.
Explore Shawnee State Park
There is a wide array of activities available in the state forests. Tackle the scenic hiking trails through the acres of Shawnee state forest. Splash in the creeks, and explore Roosevelt Lake for an afternoon full of adventure. Shawnee State Park is one of Ohio’s natural treasures with wooded hills, a hardwood forest, and tons of forest wildlife it is easy to spend a whole weekend in the park alone.
They also offer a range of vacation attractions such as mountain biking trails, archery, horseback riding, fishing, boating, and more. Shawnee Lodge even offers a disc golf course!
Tip: Pay a visit to the nature center and the cultural center.
Turkey Creek Lake
Visibile from the Shawnee State Park Lodge, Turkey Creek Lake, offers visitors a variety of outdoor activities. Take a peaceful paddle out in a kayak, go fishing, swim, or relax on one of the public beaches.
Public beaches can be found along Turkey Creek Lake giving guests an opportunity to cool off from the summer heat. Shower houses, restrooms, and picnic areas are located near the public beaches.
The beaches are maintained by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
See The Floodwall Murals In Portsmouth
A twenty-minute drive from Shawnee Lodge will get you to downtown Portsmouth. This small Ohio city is famous for its beautifully ornate floodwall murals built along the banks of the Ohio River. The murals depict the history of Portsmouth for over 2,000 years. Artist Robert Dafford painted all the murals.
Take a self-guided tour of the floodwall murals by grabbing a free brochure or following the informative panels recounting each mural’s history.
Other notable stops in Portsmouth include a visit to the Antique Warehouse near the floodwall murals. This massive antique mall is full of treasures and worth the stop! Then grab a coffee at Lofts to enjoy while you stroll the murals or take to Riverfront Park.
Other Fun Things To Do Near Shawnee Lodge
- Mound Park
- Serpent Mound is roughly an hour away.
- Boneyfiddle Military Museum
- Raven Rock State Nature Preserve
- Buckeye Dairy Bar and Miniature Golf
- Doug Coleman Memorial Splashpad and Park
Did you enjoy our article on Shawnee Lodge? Take a look at these additional last minute getaway ideas in Ohio.