With the weather warming up and the flowers in full bloom, it’s time to get out and embrace the beauty of our state. Hiking is one great way to explore some of Ohio’s most beautiful scenery—but you don’t have to be an experienced backpacker who’s always ready to take on the unpredictable elements of nature to do so. All throughout the state of Ohio, there are several hiking trails that take you to incredible sights. And the best part? Many of them are less than 5 miles. Take a look at the following 14 hiking trails in Ohio, which are less than (or just at) 5 miles:
1. Wilderness Trail (The Edge of Appalachia Preserve)
The Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County is best known for its biological diversity, steep cliffs and the Wilderness Trail; a 2 1/2-mile loop that's perfect for a one-day hike.
2. Stone House Loop Trail (Salt Fork State Park)
This 1.8 mile-long moderate trail takes you to the Kennedy Stone House, which is a hidden gem listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
3. Charleston Falls Preserve (Tipp City)
Best seen after a good rain, this waterfall can be found in Charleston Falls Preserve in Miami County. The trail system within the park loops around and consists of about 4 miles total.
4. Overlook Trail (Highbanks Metro Park)
This 2.3 mile trail features a moderately strenuous hike that takes you to an observation deck 100 feet above Olentangy River.
5. Ridge-Creekside Loop (Clear Creek Metro Park)
Enjoy 5 miles of rugged cliffs, peaceful creeks and beautiful wildlife along this trail at Clear Creek Metro Park.
6. Brandywine Falls and Stanford Trail (Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
Start this 4.5 mile hike at Stanford House toward the breathtaking falls (from either direction) and loop back around the other way to the Stanford House.
7. Ledges and Pine Grove Loops (Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
This 4.1 mile figure-eight trail features breathtaking views along the way that you simply have to see to believe.
8. Rowe Woods Trails (Rowe Woods)
Within the Cincinnati Nature Center, you can find this easy to hike loop trail in Rowe Woods, which features an abundance of wildlife and beautiful plants along the way. It is approximately 1.8 miles long.
9. Clifton Gorge Trail (John Bryan State Park)
Coming in at just about 5 miles, this local favorite day-hike features the calm waters of the Little Miami River and a deep limestone chasm.
10. Hebron Trail (Ohio Canal Greenway)
This recreational trail in Licking County is located on the old Penn Central Railroad right-of-way, just south of the village of Hebron. It is approximately 2.7 miles long, and features farmland scenery and a charming covered bridge along the way
11. Old Man’s Cave Loop (Hocking Hills State Park)
April Dray/Only in Your State
What is arguably Ohio's most scenic hiking trail is approximately 1 mile long and can be completed in about one hour. In addition to Old Man's Cave, you'll encounter the Devil's Bathtub, Sphinx Head, A-Frame Bridge and the Upper and Lower Falls.
12. The Rock House Trail (Hocking Hills State Park)
Also located in the Hocking Hills State Park, the .5 mile Rock House Trail is a fairly strenuous hike that takes you to an incredible cave with a 25 ft. high ceiling and window-like openings.
13. Ottawa-Magee Partnership Trail (Magee Marsh Wildlife Refuge)
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. The Ottawa-Magee Partnership Trail is approximately 1 mile long.
14. Cascade Falls Trail (Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park)
This short .5 mile trail leads to an impressive waterfall, complete with a short boardwalk and observation deck below the falls.
Have you hiked any of these trails before? What other trails would you recommend in Ohio that are less than 5 miles? Share your suggestions, experiences and photos with us via our