It’s no secret that Ohio’s nature scene is beautifully impressive—but what might be a secret to you are the following serene outdoor spots. While many of these might be well known to locals, the following nature getaways are not nearly as well known across Ohio such as the state’s beloved Hocking Hills State Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park and other well known nature spots are. Here are 10 (semi-)secret spots in nature where serenity and seclusion reign:
1) Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park
Portage County is home to to perhaps the most well known and enjoyed nature spot on the list. This 160-acre park features rugged cliffs, unique hiking trails (complete with a "Dwarf's Pass") and diverse plant life.
Pictured: Dwarf's Pass
2) The Edge of Appalachia
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.
3) Highland's Nature Sanctuary
Once a sacred spot to the Shawnee and Iroquois tribes, this 2,200-acre tract in Highland County is one of only a few privately owned state nature preserves in Ohio.
4) Dysart Woods
In Belmont County within the Dysart Woods, you will find some of Ohio's oldest and largest trees. Though the woods stretches for 455 acres, only about 50 of the 140 ft. tall, 4 ft. in diameter and 300-400 year-old trees are still there.
5) Fort Hill State Memorial
Also in Highland County, you will find one of the best-preserved Indian hilltop enclosures in North America—but the only way to get to the earthworks is to hike the red-blazed Fort Trail.
6) Charleston Falls.
Best seen after a good rain, this secluded lesser known waterfall can be found in Charleston Falls Preserve in Miami County.
7) 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.
Pictured: Rose-breasted Grosbeak
8) Lake Hope
This serene lake in Vinton County is the perfect place to relax when all you really need is the tranquility that only a quiet lake can bring.
9) Oak Openings
Close to Toledo you'll find what's considered to be Ohio's rarest ecosystem where rare plants and animals, oak forests, sand dunes, savannas, tall-grass prairies and swamp forests all thrive in harmony. The Oak Openings Preserve Metropark is located in Swanton and operated by Metroparks of the Toledo Area.
Pictured: Brown Hooded Owlet Caterpillar
10) Sunfish Creek
Looking for a small, quiet nature getaway that's private enough for a swim? You can find this serene swimming spot just off of Wynn Road in Pike County.
Have you been to any of these places? What other lesser known or secret spots in nature do you think should have made the list?