Nature Lover’s Paradise: The Most Breathtaking Parks and Trails in Ohio

Ohio’s history is full of rich culture and icons who have made significant impacts in America, and the state actively builds industrial and urban centers to stay competitive with the rest of the country.

However, even with its more lenient stance on controversial issues like marijuana (currently, medicinal weed is legal with a license from a legitimate provider like Veriheal, and recreational weed is up for vote with Ohio Issue 2), the state’s population continues at a slow and steady rise.

Ohio’s fame comes partly from birthing seven US presidents and hosting the Football Hall of Fame, but the Buckeye State is also famous for its scenic parks and trails. Here, we’ll break down the most breathtaking parks and trails in Ohio.

1. Ash Cave at Hocking Hills State Park

While November through March tends to see a few inches of snow here and there, the average climate in Ohio is temperate — not too hot, not too cold. In other words, it’s the ideal temperature for hiking and picnicking. 

With so many state parks and nature preserves to choose from, it’s easy to see why the geography attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. One of the most popular trails is located at Ash Cave, situated in Hocking Hills State Park, where fourteen miles of rugged terrain takes you to a beautiful waterfall.

There are multiple trails to choose from, and some are handicap-accessible. Others are rated difficult for their incline and rough terrain.

2. Two Mile Loop at Mill Creek Park

Looking for a rural getaway within an urban setting? Youngstown houses Mill Creek Park, a large Metropark with fourteen hiking trails. Two of the most popular are West Gorge Trail and East Gorge Walk, which, when hiked together, create a two-mile loop that passes the scenic Mill Creek.

A short portion of the trail is handicap-accessible as a boardwalk, but the rest are full of rugged and rocky terrain.

3. Caldwell Nature Preserve

Off the beaten track is the Caldwell Nature Preserve in Cincinnati. Famous for its 2.7-mile loop trail that takes hikers past bridges and gorges and along Mill Creek, the preserve also is one of only five in the state with a Nature Center. Visitors can explore Ohio’s ecosystem, including its bright and colorful flora and unique reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Part of the trails and most of the Nature Center are handicap-accessible, while the rest of the hiking is easy to moderate.

4. Lamping Homestead Trail 

Graysville, Ohio, has a secluded trail with its “roots” set in history. The loop trail begins at the Lamping Pond, stretches through a plantation of white pines, and takes the trekker through a forest full of beech maples. 

Not for the beginning hiker, the loop includes a 300’ vertical rise through caves and crevasses. Along the way, explanations of the trail’s history, such as the Lamping Family Cemetery dating back to the 1800s, dot the route.

5. Lake Trail at Clear Creek Metropark

The next Metropark to visit in Ohio is Clear Creek in Rockbridge.  There, you’ll get to explore your choice of twelve miles of challenging hiking trails that take you to the scenic overlook of Lake Ramona.

If you’re looking for the best views, visit Clear Creek in the fall. The changing foliage and crisp air ensure every minute of this moderate-to-difficult hiking trail is worth the trip!

6. Quail Hollow State Park Trail 

If your goal is to find a trail ideal for little ones, Quail Hollow State Park in Hartville is your answer. The 3-mile loop trail can be divided into different levels, from beginner to advanced. Along the way, you’ll see plenty of places to stop and play or enjoy a picnic. Bring a frisbee and spend the day hiking the horse trails and the paths throughout the forest.


A trip to Ohio isn’t complete without spending a few hours exploring one of the many parks and trails. No matter where your stay takes you, there’s a place to hike that will lead you to some of the scenic paths, caves, and waterfalls that make the state a popular place to visit!

Nature Lover’s Paradise: The Most Breathtaking Parks and Trails in Ohio