If you have a soft spot for the outdoors then, Ohio is the perfect destination. With over 70 beautiful state parks offering a wide variety of hiking trails to explore, it’s hard to resist. Who wouldn’t want to swing by the home of the aviation pioneers; the Wright brothers?
A breathtaking landscape and undergrowth oozing with confidence symbolize the perfect marriage. They give birth to hiking trails that accommodate all ages and a never-ending celebration of this flawless matrimony. The following are my all-time favorite hiking trails in Ohio;
Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve-Lancaster
With acreage of 554 acres sitting pretty within Fairfield County, it’s much more than meets the eye. Its major attraction is Jacob’s ladder. This Sandstone formation, Black Hand, stands tall at 250 feet above the Arney Run Valley. Visitors can climb and get a bird’s view of the valley below. There are about 3-4 miles of hiking trails with moderate difficulty. It has become a favorite for bird lovers recently due to the habitat diversity.
Ash Cave-Hocking Hills State Park
Situated south of the Hocking Hills, without a doubt, it’s the most eye-catching feature across the park. To get there, you pass through a narrow gorge dotted with hemlocks and noticeable flora at its floor.
Ash cave is named after some large deposits seen under the shelter by its early inhabitants. Of late, it has been used for township meetings and camping. The plus feature for me is that the trail is equally accessible with wheelchairs.
Quail Hollow State Park Trail-Hartville
The 720-acre park features 14 miles of trails with most of them being named after natural habitats. The first five-mile trail offers runners a slick, spacious, and crisp running track. Riders, on the other hand, have a gentle, undulating path to provide them with the challenges they seek. And for the animal lovers, dogs are allowed with a leash.
Glen Helen Nature Preserve
The over 1000-acre preserve is located east of Yellow Springs. It was given to the Antioch college in 1929 and offers over 20-mile trails. The trails are well groomed and from my experience, you might get lost easily. But isn’t it that the fun and adventure we all want in a hike?
Visitors have the freedom to explore from dusk to dawn all year round. Attraction sites include overhangs, cataracts, and an Indian Mound. As a lone ranger, you can obtain a track map at Trailside Museum for a fee. And if you wish, you can also be offered a dedicated guide for the hike.
Mohican State Park
This is one of Ohio’s most natural locations. It sits on 1,100 acres. Its visitors are offered a limitless buffet of opportunities for exploration. The catchy clear fork gorge, Hemlock forest, and the tranquil Mohican River will put your adventure appetite to rest.
The trails are about 13 miles long, and each offers a unique experience with the Lyons fall trail offering a glimpse of two waterfalls. Difficulty in the other five paths ranges between easy and moderate.
Lamping homestead trail-Graysville
It is one of the most detached hikes in Ohio. Located in south-east Ohio, this 5-mile loop trail crosses hills and offers a breathtaking view of the Little Muskingum River. The pathway is rocky and full of roots. And at times can be wet and slippery. It is connected by two loops of 1.5 and 3.5 miles. For the mountain bikers, the north-south helix is always open.
Black Hand Gorge State Nature Reserves
Sitting on 150 acres in Licking County, this preserve boasts a rich Ohio history. Its main attraction is a gorge cut by the Licking River through the famed Black Hand Sandstone formation. The preserve was named after a hand-shaped petroglyph set up on a sandstone cliff in the park. With 6 miles of hiking trails, visitors are spoilt for choice. Pretty undergrowth lines up the paths to cheer you up during your hike.
Gorge Trail Metro Park-Cuyahoga Falls
Situated in a 155-acre county park, it beckons to the nature lovers with a hearty smile. The cave sounds, cliffs, and waterfalls make these trails a worthy experience. Gorge trail is a loop with moderate traffic. It is accessible throughout the year with the added advantage of using dog’s and other pets on-leash. If you are a geology lover, then look no further. Gorge trail will offer you a look at the different layers of rock formations.
What are you waiting for? Grab your backpack, and a buddy: Adventure is calling.
Image credit: Pexels
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