1. Conkle's Hollow (Hocking Hills State Park)
This rugged, rocky gorge is often considered one of the deepest in Ohio, according to the state park's website. The Rim Trail at the top of the 200 ft. cliffs features breathtaking views.
2. Magee Marsh Wildlife Refuge (Oak Harbor)
Arguably the state's top bird-wathcing spot—featuring more than 300 species of birds—you can find this peaceful refuge along western Lake Erie, between Toledo and Port Clinton.
3. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum (Hamilton)
The Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum 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.
4. John Bryan State Park and Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve (Yellow Springs)
The 5-mile Clifton Gorge Trail at this beautiful state park is a must-do. This local favorite day-hike features the calm waters of the Little Miami River and a deep limestone chasm.
5. Clifton Mill (Clifton)
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.
6. Wegerzyn Gardens (Dayton)
This beloved garden in Dayton is bordered by the Stillwater River and includes rose, federal, English and Victorian gardens. It is truly enchanting.
7. Mohican-Memorial State Forest (Ashland County)
This beautiful 4,525-acre forest features several hiking trails that lead to attractions such as Pine Run Creek, the Fire Tower and Clearfork Gorge. (Pictured: Big Lyons Falls, a 300-foot deep sandstone gorge with two beautiful waterfalls.)
8. Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens (Akron)
This elaborate country estate in Akron is one of the largest homes in the U.S. An accredited museum of the American Alliance of Museums, this estate is open to the public for tours and other events and features five historic buildings, eight gardens and 70 acres.
9. Shawnee State Forest (Scioto and Adams counties)
Ohio's largest state forest is known as "The Little Smokies of Ohio," and covers 63,747 acres. It features 60 miles of bridle and hiking trails, 60 miles of backpacking trails, 58 horse camp sites and an 8,000-acre wilderness.
10. Great Serpent Mound (Peebles)
This 1,348-foot-long and three-foot-high prehistoric effigy mound along Ohio Brush Creek in Adams County continues to marvel locals and visitors alike. It is one of the most impressive earthworks in North America, constructed in the shape of a snake. It was built around 1000 A.D. by the Fort Ancient culture and likely used as a place of ceremony.
11. Cleveland Botanical Garden (Cleveland)
The Cleveland Botanical Garden features 10 acres of outdoor gardens and an 18,000 square foot glasshouse garden. It’s an ever-changing urban escape of beauty, whimsy and wonder year-round.
12. Cleveland’s abandoned subway (The Detroit-Superior Bridge)
The Detroit-Superior Bridge, (also known as the Veterans Memorial Bridge), is a 3,112 ft. long arch bridge over the Cuyahoga River, linking Detroit Avenue and Superior Avenue. When cars pass over this bridge, they’re also passing over a lower streetcar level that hasn’t been in operation since 1954. Today, the streetcar level remains vacant and closed off. However, a few times a year the Cuyahoga County Engineer’s Office opens the system to the public—allowing urban explorers to venture through the lonely (and slightly eerie) tunnels.
13. Mount Jeez (Monroe Township)
Within the Mohican Hills in Monroe Township, you’ll find one of Ohio’s most stunning summits. At 1,310 ft. tall, Mount Jeez offers a wide open, beautiful view of Ohio’s countryside. (You can find the path for Mount Jeez Overlook off of Pleasant Valley Road.)
Have you explored any of these places before? What other places in Ohio should everyone explore at least once? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!