I went out a couple of weeks ago to Lake Hope State Park. It was getting dark, so I didn't have much time to explore, but the whole area is really pretty and worth a day or weekend trip. Just about an hour away from the Hocking Hills area, this state park is filled with gorges and ridges as well as human history. This is the Hope Iron Furnace, used over 100 years ago to extract iron ore from the local bedrock. This process stripped all of the trees from the area, as they had to monitor the furnace and keep it burning 24 hours a day. The trees have long since started to take over, giving this place an eerie feel once the sun starts going down. This is the sole evidence in the area that Ohio used to be one of the leading iron producing states. Smalls towns popped up around furnaces like this all over the state.
There are biking and hiking trails, camping, cabins, swimming, boating, and hunting activities in the summer, as well as sledding and cross country skiing areas in the winter. You can also go bird-watching or find local wildlife in the forest, which has recovered as a decent second growth forest since mining activities declined in the area. There are ruins scattered throughout the woods, but you'll have to really look to find many of them.
There are many ghost stories surrounding the furnace. Some say the night watchman of the furnace patrols the area, and you may see him while you're driving on 278 or walking around the lake later in the evening. Mostly though, it's a gorgeous and peaceful place to spend a couple of hours or a couple of days - Definitely a place to be proud of.