In my opinion, the beauty of Ohio is unmatched. Since much of the state is covered with dense, lush forests, Ohio is the perfect place for hikers to lose themselves in the pathless woods of rural America.
Many people spend years hiking the different trails that the Buckeye State has to offer and yet, it is rare to find someone that has explored them all.
For this post, I want to take you through the silent woods, sheer canyons, and muddy bogs as we discover some of the greatest trails Ohio has to offer.
Hocking Hills State Park
Let's start with the best. If you are looking for the greatest place to hike in Ohio, there is one spot that you simply cannot miss.
Hocking Hills State Park is divided into four sections: Old Man's Cave, the Rock House, Cantwell Cliffs, and Cedar Falls.
The highlights of the park are many. Old Man's Cave, which draws thousands of hikers year round, and the surrounding landforms are simply spectacular. Trails range from easy to very rigorous.
On many of the hikes, you will traverse rocks, wander through caves, ascend cliffs, and feel surrounded by waterfalls as you hike the many layers of this area.
Personally, I have been to Old Man's Cave dozens of times, and still haven't seen it all. It is one place I go every time I am back home in Ohio.
Prairie Oaks Metro Park/ Big Darby Creek
The area around Big Darby Creek and Prairie Oaks has a lot to offer travelers looking for a family vacation.
Darby Creeks offers kayaking and winding hiking trails that lead to a landscape full of diversity such as forest, wetlands and meadows making it a wonderful area to stroll, hike, bird watch, and more.
Hiking in Prairie Oaks Metro Park is a lot less crowded than places like Old Man's Cave, which lets you enjoy being in nature without large crowds. Hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and picnicking are just a few of the popular activities.
There are also two big ponds to cool off in after a long day of hiking as well as many family-friendly adventures, so everyone is sure to have a wonderful time.
Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve/ John Bryan State Park
Clifton Gorge and John Bryan State Park come together to form 14 miles of epic trails.
The hike includes walking through narrow gorges and rapid waters in the first 3 miles. For the next 11 miles, hikers are treated to seasonal waterfalls and deep caves.
Throughout the hike are lookouts for enjoying spectacular, tranquil views. Stop and dwell in awe of the beauty that surrounds us, a rightful reward after such an adventurous trek.
Jackson Bog State Nature Preserve
A bog probably is not the first thing that comes to mind when discussing the greatest hiking trails in Ohio.
Yet, the trek through Jackson's Bog is something worth seeing. When visiting this muddy bog, you find a rare ecosystem unlike anything else throughout the rest of Ohio.
The trail is marked with plaques to inform us about the bog and its wildlife so that we might discover all its secrets.
Jackson Bog is a unique experience for avid hikers making it one of the greatest hiking trails in Ohio.
Gorge Trail Metro Park
Gorge Trails will please both new and seasoned hikers. The trails are anywhere from 1 - 3 miles long and are well-known in Ohio for their scenic landscape, towering cliffs, and deep canyons.
In recent years, Gorge Trails has become a hiker hotspot thanks to the beautiful and changing views throughout the year.
Chances are you will find yourself coming back again and again to explore more of the trails in this area.
A looming 12 miles of scenic trails await you at Clear Creek. However, a word of caution - these trails are for advanced hikers only.
The paths are steep and challenging, and many a hiker has had to turn back because they weren't prepared and found it rather challenging.
During the winter, the trails have a cold, raw beauty to them that makes the hike worth every step, but make sure you have the proper gear, as it can be dangerous. If you are up to the contest, the delightful beauty and still nature of Clear Creek is well worth the test.
Ohio has many great trails for people who love the outdoors and are looking to spend a family vacation away from the grind.
The greatest trails in Ohio will lead you into silent woods, across bogs, and over snowy fields.
Where are your favorite places to hike?
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