Don’t spend any more time than you need to inside this spring and summer. Ohio is a state for exploring—and you don’t always have to hike overnight or be a nature expert to do so. Here are 12 simple, yet exciting ways to get outdoors in Ohio:
1. Find (and hide your own) geocaches.
For the adventurous type, geocaching is the perfect way to spend a sunny day—and Ohio is actually one of the best states to get your geocache on. If you are not sure what it is, geocaching is define as “the recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website.”
With a little sleuthing and GPS technology, you can locate many of the world’s 2.6 million geocaches right here in Ohio.
2. Walk the Scioto Mile.
This beloved riverfront park in Columbus features miles of recreational trails, a cultural arts center, water fountains, local food vendors and complimentary Wi-Fi.
3. Chase waterfalls.
Contrary to what many people may think, Ohio is actually home to several hidden waterfalls, with some hiding in plain sight and others hiding off the beaten path. (Pictured is West Falls at Cascade Park in Elyria.)
4. Explore the ghost town of Moonville.
The abandoned coal mining town of Moonville in southeastern Ohio near McArthur (Vinton County) was founded in 1856, when the Marietta and Cincinnati railroad ran through the area's woods. One structure of the town that remains today is the Moonville Tunnel; a haunted tunnel where legend has it the ghost of a man who was killed instantly by a train passing through the tunnel wanders along the track bed near the old tunnel at night.
5. Take a safari.
Although Ohio is full of several impressive zoos, The Wilds offer you a unique way to observe exotic animals. Cumberland is home to Ohio's very own safari-like experience. Though you won't get an up-close encounter with the animals here, you will board a Safari Transport so you can observe them (from a safe distance) roam freely while learning all about the giraffes, rhinos and many other rare and endangered species the facility conserves.
6. Go glamping.
All throughout Ohio there are unique camping experiences you can have in conjunction with some of the comforts of home. From impressive yurts to unbelievable tree houses, there’s something for everyone who wants a getaway close to nature—but not too close. If a renting a cabin or pitching a tent isn’t your preference for a nature getaway, then try glamping. (Pictured is a canvas cabin at Clay's Park Resort in Lawrence.)
7. Check out the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum.
This outdoor museum and sculpture park in Hamilton is every art enthusiast's dream come true. The park features a 10,000 square foot Ancient Sculpture Museum, which displays Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Etruscan sculptures that are thousands of years old.
8. Stroll through an enchanted garden.
Whether botanical, metro-park or mansion ground gardens are you favorite, now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the vibrant plant life and colorful flowers. (Pictured is Wegerzyn Gardens in Dayton.)
9. Discover the earthworks of Ohio.
In case you hadn't already noticed, mounds abound in Ohio. Learn about ancient Ohio and the cultures that came before us while you enjoy a sunny day. (Pictured is the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County.)
10. Take a hike. (Literally.)
Ohio's state parks are severely underrated, and many of the state's hiking trails are less than 5 miles. Take your pick of any of the parks and spend the day leisurely hiking and connecting with nature. (Pictured is Hocking Hills State Park.)
11. Explore the town of Yellow Springs and Clifton Mill.
Yellow Springs features the epitome of small town charm. Home to Antioch College and a colorful downtown, this artsy little town offers unique shops, local eateries and small town life at its finest Just five minutes from Yellow Springs you'll find the historic site of Clifton Mill, which features a vintage mill, a covered bridge, a 1940s-era gas station and a quaint American restaurant. (John Bryan State Park is close to the mill and the town and offers beautiful hiking trails if you're searching for something more adventurous.)
12. Escape to your favorite lake.
Ohio is FULL of beautiful, tranquil lakes that will give you the serenity you seek or the fun in the sun you're longing for. Swim, kayak, canoe, fish or sit back and enjoy the scenery at your favorite lake destination. (Pictured is Lake Hope in Vinton County.)