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Top 10 State Parks in Ohio

  1. Hopewell Culture National Historic Park
Hopewell Culture National Historic Park
Hopewell Culture National Historic Park

The Hopewell Culture National Historic Park is located 45 miles south of the Ohio capital Columbus. It comprises 6 sites in the Ross County which have a number of burial mounds and earthworks. These belonged to the Hopewell culture of indigenous people who are believed to have flourished here sometime between BC 200 and AD 500. The park area spreads over 1170 acres. Tours are available from the neighboring cities, but you can also explore the park on your own. Try to get an aerial map of the park, which will help you have a better orientation of the burial mounds.

 

  1. Malabar Farm State Park
Malabar Farm State Park
Malabar Farm State Park

The Malabar Farm State Park is located 70 miles northeast of Columbus. It is a unique state park, as it is primarily made up of a historic mansion and several outhouses within an area of 580 acres. Malabar Farm was built in 1939 by Louis Bromfield, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Hollywood addicts will have an added incentive to visit this park as the mansion was where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall had their wedding and honeymoon. While the farm looks exceptionally beautifully in the fall colors, you can also visit during the months of spring when the farm gets lively with the Maple Sugaring Festival.

 

  1. Wayne National Forest
Wayne National Forest
Wayne National Forest

Wayne National Forest is located 40 miles north of Ravenswood. It is the only national forest in the state. Wayne National Forest offers the perfect setting for those looking for outdoor hikes and opportunities for primitive styled camping. Trails within the forest area clock over 300 miles and pass through a great deal of scenic terrain. However, since the forest covers over a quarter million acres, it is recommended to research the trail before heading out. Details of the terrain and the trails can be obtained from the forest headquarters, located on US Route 33 between the towns of Nelsonville and The Plains.

 

  1. Salt Fork State Park
Salt Fork State Park
Salt Fork State Park

Salt Fork State Park is the largest state park in Ohio. It is located about 100 miles east of Columbus. The park has over 17,200 acres in land area and almost 3000 acres in water. Salt Fork State Park offers an abundance of outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, horseback riding, fishing, boating, golfing, and camping. It also has a 12-station walk-through archery range. The park can be visited even during the winter months, when it offers snow-mobiling, ice skating, ice fishing, ice boating, cross country skiing, and sledding. Salt Fork State Park has 14 scenic hiking trails, all of which are within the easy to moderate range.

 

  1. Kelleys Island State Park
Kelleys Island State Park
Kelleys Island State Park

Kelleys Island State Park is located near the south bank of Lake Erie. It is about 86 miles west of Cleveland and is only accessible by ferries. The island and the park give you an opportunity not only to enjoy the beauty of nature, but also to relax and escape from the daily grind of urban life. The park has 6 miles of hiking trails, campgrounds, and a sand beach. If you are looking for a unique experience, then you can rent a yurt – traditional round tent – when camping at the park.

 

  1. Maumee Bay State Park
Maumee Bay State Park
Maumee Bay State Park

The Maumee Bay State Park is located in northwestern Ohio, on the south bank of Lake Erie. The park was established in 1975 and is spread over 1336 acres. Maumee Bay State Park offers a wide array of outdoor activities amidst a picture-postcard natural setting. Some of the most popular activities are hiking, boating, swimming, fishing, geocaching, golfing, and hunting. With plenty of gateway rentals, camps, and resort lodges for the visitors, the park area is also popular for picnicking.  Bird watching is also increasingly becoming popular with the park visitors, especially during spring when thousands of birds visit the area.

 

  1. John Bryan State Park
John Bryan State Park
John Bryan State Park

The John Bryan State Park is located about 22 miles east of the city of Dayton. It is considered to be one of the most scenic natural spots in the state of Ohio. The highlight of the park is the 100+ feet deep gorge created by the Little Miami River. Several hiking trails allow you to take a look through the carved limestone bedrock. The best way to get to the gorge is by entering the park through Clifton at it east end. The 752-acre park is dotted with several hiking and biking trails. There are campgrounds for those who want to rest overnight. Several trails in the John Bryan State Park is also suited for winter hiking.

 

  1. Geneva State Park
Geneva State Park
Geneva State Park

The Geneva State Park is located about 50 miles east of Cleveland, on the south shore of Lake Erie. It is the northernmost park in the state of Ohio. The park covers 698 acres and is very popular with the neighboring population for its wide array of outdoor activities. Other than the usual ones like hiking, cycling, boating, and fishing in the summer months, the park is open in the winter months to offer snow mobiling, ice fishing, and ice boating. The park is set in an area of Ohio which has many of the top wineries in the state, so wine tour is also an option. Ashtabula County, where the park is located, is the largest in Ohio, and is known to be a photographer’s delight for its 16 covered bridges.

 

  1. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located in northeastern Ohio, 25 miles south of Cleveland. It is the only national park in the state. The park was established in 2000 and currently spans over 32,572 acres. The park offers the perfect nature escape for those living in the nearby cities like Akron and Cleveland. Annually, more than 2.4 million visit the park to enjoy its scenic beauty and also to spot wild animals like red foxes, minks, bald eagles, coyotes, and white tailed deer. The park has a number of hiking and cycling trails, most notably the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Want to take it easy? Then take a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway and soak in the beauty.

 

  1. Hocking Hills State Park
Hocking Hills State Park
Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park is one of the most popular nature attractions in the state of Ohio. It is located about 55 miles south east of the capital Columbus. Hocking Hills State Park is most famous for its unique rock formations. There are many activities that are popular within the park, including hiking, fishing, rock climbing, caving, bird watching, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boating, archery, and horseback riding. There are around 200 campsites inside the park area. Hocking Hills State Park has several beautiful waterfalls and gorges which are well-marked with trails. The 5 sections in the park are Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Rock House, Cantwell Cliffs, and Cedar Falls.

Originally posted 2017-09-11 10:39:05.

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