We wanted to focus a bit of extra attention on Ohio parks and our fantastic Ohio Pocket Ranger® app. The app provides updates on all things to do with Ohio parks—from upcoming events to news about various parks, it’s easy to find any sort of park-related information you need. Find out which parks have tennis courts or check the weather at your favorite park before packing up the car. No matter how you use it, the app will become an essential part of your outdoor activity planning! Below are just five parks in the state that you’ll want to put on your itinerary for the upcoming year.
Geneva State ParkBordering Lake Erie’s northeastern shoreline, Geneva State Park is a picturesque park that’s great for a relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city. From the comfortable lodge and conference center, you’ll be able to see gorgeous views of the sparkling lake. If you’d rather rough it and take in the great outdoors, there are plenty of camping opportunities as well as hiking, hunting, and fishing. Take a dip in the calming Lake Erie waters, soak up the sun at the beach, or try your hand at archery. Winter sports enthusiasts will be happy to hear that the park is open year round with tons of cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling to enjoy as well.
Mohican State ParkThe beauty and distinctness of Mohican State Park has been shaped by the Wisconsinan, the last glacier to enter Ohio more than 12,000 years ago. Diverse in plant and animal life, Mohican State Park is home to raccoons, skunks, red foxes, American toads, gray tree frogs, wild turkeys, and much more. Bikers, hikers, and runners will love the winding trails to be found here—especially the acclaimed 24.5-mile loop. The Mohican River yields an abundance of smallmouth bass and has plenty of opportunities for canoeing. You’re not going to want to leave, and luckily you don’t have to! There are a multitude of camping options that are just begging to be taken advantage of.
Hueston Woods State ParkWhether you’re looking for a great place to kick back and relax or an exciting outdoor adventure, Hueston Woods State Park is great for either. The Hueston Woods State Nature Preserve is a gorgeous preserved old-growth forest that beckons visitors to explore its many acres. Miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails wind through the park. Visitors can unwind with a fun game of mini golf, horseshoes, or frisbee golf. A paintball field and target range also entice many visitors into getting a bit adventurous and trying something completely new. The park is stocked with fascinating fossilized remains of ancient marine animals, bringing people worldwide to this mesmerizing park.
Maumee Bay State ParkChock full of natural wonders, Maumee Bay State Park mirrors the unrivaled charm of Ohio and Lake Erie. Its wetland environments are brimming with diverse wildlife species, and there have been over 300 different bird species spotted throughout the park. The two beaches at the park are great for swimmers of any age to splash around at. Anglers will enjoy some of the best fishing available in the Midwest, and boaters can just cruise along the crystalline lake. Visitors are encouraged to extend their stay by camping for a few days at the park, which can be done at any time of year.
Shawnee State ParkNestled among the expansive Shawnee State Forest, this picture perfect Ohio state park is one of the most astounding areas throughout the state. There are plenty of activities for water enthusiasts and land lovers alike. Explore the Roosevelt and Turkey Creek Lakes via pedal boat, kayak or canoe then stop off at one of the beaches for a refreshing swim. If you’re looking for a more laid-back afternoon, shuffleboard and tennis courts can be found at the lodge. Traverse through the park on any of its six hiking trails, or challenge yourself on the 60-mile Shawnee backpack trail instead. No matter what you do, keep an eye out for wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, raccoons, various songbirds, and elusive bobcats and black bears. Come visit “Ohio’s Little Smokies,” which is the endearing nickname given to the hilly area that peeks out over the Ohio River, and see for yourself why people keep coming back!
Spring is right around the corner, and now is the perfect time to start planning your warm weather adventures. This list is just a taste of the great things to experience in Ohio. Check out the Ohio State Parks Pocket Ranger® app today so you can get started!