Ohio boasts a range of diverse natural landscapes, from the forested foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the south to the Lake Erie shores in the north. Whether you seek outdoor recreation, scenic views, or historical sites, Ohio’s national and state parks offer numerous options. Discover five remarkable parks worth visiting in the Buckeye State.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
As the sole national park in Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley National Park presents a striking blend of urban and rural environments. Encompassing the Cuyahoga River valley, the park features hills, forests, waterfalls, and wetlands. Explore the park by hiking, biking, or taking a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway, a 20-mile journey through picturesque landscapes. Highlights include Brandywine Falls, the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, and the Ledges Overlook.
Hocking Hills State Park
Renowned as one of Ohio’s most popular state parks, Hocking Hills State Park is home to breathtaking rock formations, caves, and gorges. Hike along trails leading to Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, and the Rock House. Additionally, indulge in activities like zip-lining, canoeing, fishing, and camping within the park.
Maumee Bay State Park
Ideal for lake enthusiasts, Maumee Bay State Park is situated along the shores of Lake Erie. The park features a sandy beach, a boardwalk, and a nature center offering educational programs. Enjoy activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, or golfing. Wildlife enthusiasts can explore the nearby Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, a habitat for migratory birds and other animals.
Malabar Farm State Park
Preserving the legacy of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and conservationist Louis Bromfield, Malabar Farm State Park showcases the Big House, Bromfield’s residence, and the venue for the wedding of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Tour the house to learn about Bromfield’s life and work. Explore the operational farm producing organic crops and livestock, and engage in activities like hiking, horseback riding, and picnicking.
Kelleys Island State Park
Situated on the largest island in Lake Erie, Kelleys Island State Park is a haven for nature lovers. The park encompasses diverse habitats, including forests, wetlands, cliffs, and beaches. Hike or bike along trails offering scenic views of the lake and island. Explore the world’s largest and most accessible glacial grooves, the Glacial Grooves. Engage in activities like swimming, kayaking, fishing, or camping amidst this natural wonder.