Tag Archives: Maumee Bay State Park

Ohio State Parks You Won’t Want to Miss Out On

OhioStateParks_Old Man's Cave-Hocking Hills Region-BlogGraphic

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 Park

A grassy field with benches overlooking a lake.

Geneva State Park [Image: parks.ohiodnr.gov/geneva]

Bordering 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 Park

A waterfall coming over a save where there are carvings in rocks.

Mohican State Park [Image: www.flickr.com/photos/thart2009]

The 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 Park

A sailboat on a lake with trees surrounding it at an Ohio State Park.

Hueston Woods State Park [Image: www.flickr.com/photos/bontempscharly]

Whether 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 Park

A picture of park near Erie Lake with a pond, trees, green grass, and people walking along a trail; Maumee Bay State Park--part of Ohio State Parks

Maumee Bay State Park [Image: www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest]

Chock 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 Park

A photo of the tree leaves changing color around a lake at Shawnee State Park--part of Ohio State Parks.

Shawnee State Park [Image: parks.ohiodnr.gov/shawnee]

Nestled 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!

July’s Best State Park Events

park rangers, demos, festival, Eno River, state park, kids

Image: www.ncparks.gov

July is bursting with great events (and fireworks!) at state parks around the country. We’ve combed through the event calendars and uncovered the ones that you won’t want to miss:

Three Rivers Regatta
Point State Park, Pennsylvania
July 2 – 4, 2014

Three Rivers Regatta, Point State Park, Pennsylvania, crowd, boats, water, festival

Three Rivers Regatta [Image: www.brooklineconnection.com]

Point State Park is the place to be this summer! Just a few weeks after holding the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Point State Park gears up for another colossal event: the Three Rivers Regatta. Work on your summer tan while at Regatta Beach (one of only two makeshift inner city beaches in the world), then mosey on over to the larger-than-life replica of the Battle of Ft. McHenry made entirely of sand. Don’t blink or you could miss the powerboat races, where boats frequently top speeds of 125 mph!

Looking for more excitement? This year, the Regatta is hosting the XPogo World Championships in addition to BMX and agility dog stunt shows. A fan favorite is “Anything that Floats,” a parade of handmade, crazily decorated parade floats that bob down the river. This year’s headliners include American rock singer Steve Augeri, former lead vocalist for the rock group Journey, jazz musician Kenny Blake, and Beatlemania Magic. The Regatta culminates with Pittsburgh’s Official 4th of July Celebration fireworks, widely considered to be one of the Top 10 Fourth of July fireworks displays in the country. And did we mention that all of this fun is free? There is no admission fee and no charge for any of the Regatta’s concerts, acts, activities, or events!

 

Festival for the Eno
Durham City Park, North Carolina
July 4 – 5, 2014

Festival for the Eno, drums, band, live music, North Carolina, crowd, summer, tents

Festival for the Eno [Image: blog.fmrealty.com]

Looking for fantastic music this Independence Day weekend? Check out the 35th Annual Festival for the Eno in Durham, North Carolina. With over 65 acts on four stages, there’s sure to be something that strikes your fancy. All proceeds of ticket sales go towards funding important conservation of the Eno River Basin. An assortment of local food trucks will be serving up some great bites, and the Sweetwater Beer Garden at the heart of the festival will be happy to pour you a local brew. Be sure to rent a kayak or canoe so you can spend some quality time paddling around on the festival’s namesake! Need a place to crash for the night? Using Pocket Ranger®’s Official Guide for North Carolina State Parks, you can easily rent a campsite or vacation cabin at Eno River State Park.

 

World Championship of Catfishing & Independence Day Celebration
Pickwick Landing State Park, Tennessee
July 4 – 6, 2014

Catfish, World Championship, Tennessee, fishermen, summer

World Championship of Catfishing [Image: www.tnvacation.com]

Catfish, fireworks, bluegrass, golf. What better way to celebrate Independence Day? Pickwick Landing State Park will present an excellent fireworks display over Pickwick Lake on July 4th. Spend the night at Pickwick Landing’s inn, so you can tee up at the golf course or lounge at the beach bright and early the next day.

Nearby Savannah, Tennessee, also known as “Catfish Capital of the World,” is currently hosting the National Catfish Derby. Through July 5, any catfish caught in the Tennessee River is eligible to win. (Don’t forget to upload photos of your own monster catch onto Pocket Ranger Trophy Case®!) On July 6, the World Championship of Catfishing will have its final weigh-in at Pickwick Landing State Park with cash and prizes awarded to the winner. Not so interested in noodling for your own catfish? Then stick around for the after-party for free catfish and live music. Or grab a lawn chair and head to the 35th Annual Savannah Bluegrass Festival to listen to the best that Tennessee has to offer.

 

11th Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival
Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio
July 12 – 13, 2014

Toledo Lighthouse, girl, sunglasses, water, Lake Erie, lighthouse

Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival [Image: www.toledoblade.com]

Looking to tour the inside of a 100-year old lighthouse this summer? Head to the 11th Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival at Maumee Bay State Park! Since Toledo Lighthouse remains active, this festival is one of only two times annually that the lighthouse is open to visitors. Afterwards, visit the Nautical Village arts & crafts show to pick up some lighthouse-inspired souvenirs and try your luck at the silent auction. With over 200 items at the auction, you’re bound to win something! Help yourself to delicious food like brats, homemade fries, shrimp, and funnel cake while listening to Jimmy Buffet-style musical entertainment at the park’s amphitheatre. And while you can’t spend the night in the lighthouse, you can reserve a campsite (or a yurt!) at Maumee Bay State Park.

 

Bannack Days
Bannack State Park, Montana
July 19 – 20, 2014

Bannack Days, Montana, collage, pioneers, old, horses, gunfight

Bannack Days [Image: blog.rv.net]

A fun-filled weekend celebrating 152 years of history, Bannack Days at Bannack State Park is something you don’t want to miss! Learn how to shoot a black-powder rifle, pan for gold, and hand-dip a souvenir candle. Watch the local blacksmith forge incredible works of art and take a wagon ride along Bannack’s historic main street. Get ready for good eats like ice cream, kettle corn, fry bread, corn on the cob, and fresh lemonade. Throughout both days, there will be plenty of live bluegrass, gospel, and old-time fiddler music. And keep your eyes peeled for a few staged gunfights!

 

4th Annual Wakonda Indian Festival
Glen Elder State Park, Kansas
July 19 – 20, 2014

Wakonda Indian Festival, Native American, dance, feathers, tribal dress, haybale

Wakonda Indian Festival [Image: www.sparkpeople.com]

Dancing, drumming, storytelling: Learn all about Native American culture firsthand at the 4th Annual Wakonda Indian Festival at Glen Elder State Park. Waconda Lake was once a spring, believed to hold great healing powers. On the shores of this lake, there will be traditional and contemporary Native American drumming and dances, such as the Hoop Dance and Crow Hop Dance. Stories and legends will be told by master storyteller Ron Brave in the festival’s tipi. Help yourself to delicious Indian tacos, fry bread, and buffalo burgers, and browse the fine silverwork, leatherwork, jewelry, and dreamcatchers on display. Since it’s sure to be a bit warm that day, bring along a bathing suit so you can take a dip in Waconda Lake.