The Lake Hope State Park in Vinton County in has quite a few events planned for the summer of 2021.

Located at 27331 State Route 278 near Zaleski, the 2,983-acre park rests amid the 26,824-acre Zaleski State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. The heavily wooded forest is characterized by steep gorges, narrow ridges, and resplendent natural beauty. This summer, the park intends to take advantage of its resources and the newly lightened coronavirus precautions to offer a wide variety of attractions to the public.

On Thursday, June 10, the “Gone Creekin’” event will be offered, beginning at 10 a.m. below the dam. A four-hour venture, the lives and environmental impact of the park’s insects and amphibious life will be explained in depth by a naturalist. Creatures in the waters of Lake Hope and Raccoon Creek can be caught with provided nets and buckets, at the discretion of the event coordinator.

A lively game of bingo, titled “Watercraft Safety Bingo,” will take place on Thursday, June 10 at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Players will learn the “dos” and “don’ts” of staying safe on the water and will have a chance to win prizes.

“Cold-Blooded Creatures” will take place on Saturday, June 12 at the Nature Center, beginning at 2 p.m. Attendees will learn about the reptiles of Lake Hope and what it means to be a cold-blooded animal.

A park-wide Litter Cleanup will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 19 at Lake Alma and Saturday, June 26 at Lake Hope. Volunteers are asked to come and help keep these natural state parks clean and free of trash. Trash bags and grabbers will be provided, and for those willing to get wet, paddle boards and kayaks are available to help clean trash on the lakes themselves.

At 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 1 the public can enjoy “Hungry Hummers,” where visitors are given small tubes of special sugar water and encouraged to sit around the hummingbird nectar feeders to draw the little birds closer. The feeders themselves are always out for the enjoyment of anyone who wishes to watch the hummingbirds of Lake Hope eat.

Archery Lessons will be provided on Saturday, July 3 at 9 a.m. Anyone who wishes to properly learn how to shoot a bow and arrow should meet the coordinating naturalist on the Archery Range just past the Beach House. All the necessary equipment will be provided.

The park’s “Red, White, and Bluebirds” event will take place on Sunday, July 4, in recognition of Independence Day. After learning about the different types of birds that reside in Lake Hope State Park, visitors will join a naturalist to check around the Nature Center for cavity-nesting birds.

“Float the Lake” will be held on Friday, July 9 at 9 a.m. Experience with watercraft is necessary, as attendees will use provided kayaks and paddle boards to traverse the lake in search of wildlife. The event is available to attendees ages 12 and up and will require pre-registration for attendance. All should prepare to get wet and bring their own water.

Finally, on Saturday, July 24 at 10 a.m., “Animal Olympics” will be held. Visitors will compete in tests of agility and skill comparable to various examples of wildlife found in the State Park. Attendees will also learn about these various animal athletes and how humans stack up against their prowess.

All the events offered by Lake Hope State Park are free, but the naturalists wish to remind the public that some recreation programs and activities can be inherently dangerous. Participants accept and acknowledge that any injury or property damage that occurs during a program or activity is not the responsibility of ODNR or its naturalist educators.

For further information or to register for an event, call 740-596-3030.