Although we aren’t quite sure if winter is fully done and over with, we can say without a doubt that we’re looking forward to getting back outside! The snow is melting, the cabin fever is real and if you’re ready to stretch your legs, come hit the trails!
This year, make it a point to get out in nature as much as you can and explore your home state. Ohio has some of the best hiking trails that are only a quick trip away—and you need to take advantage of them. With wildflowers in bloom and birds migrating back as the days get longer, spring is an extra special time to hike scenic trails in Ohio. Be aware of high water flow areas and spots that might be extra slippery if you choose one of the waterfall or creek destinations. Make sure to bring good shoes and plenty of water.
The following are 12 fairly easy-to-hike trails in Ohio, many of which are less than 3 miles. Plus, they connect to larger systems so you can scope out any other trails you might want to try! See which ones you’ve yet to explore:
1. Confluence Trail (Three Creeks Metro Park)
This 1-mile dirt trail will lead you where the Blacklick, Big Walnut and Alum Creeks merge into one. If you want to scope out some longer hikes for the future, this one is perfect. You'll enjoy the scenery along the way and at the end. Three Creeks Metro Park is located at 3860 Bixby Rd., Groveport, OH 43125. Here is the
2. Overlook Trail (Beaver Creek State Park)
You don't always have to hike very far (or very strenuously) to get to a gorgeous view.
The Overlook Trail at Beaver Creek State Park is just .3 miles long and it's a fairly quick hike to the Dustin Huffman Memorial Overlook. It does start out a little steep though, so be prepared! You'll find this state park at 12021 Echo Dell Rd., East Liverpool, OH 43920. If this one sounds up your alley, here is a great
of Overlook and the surrounding trails.
3. Ghost Hedge Trail (Sycamore State Park)
With nearly 3 miles of gorgeous scenery and wildlife along this southwest Ohio trail, you'll have a picture perfect day in nature. Sycamore State Park is located at 4675 N. Diamond Mill Rd., Trotwood, OH 45426. Here is the
. Make sure to refer to it as the trails are easy to follow, but not as well marked. You might even get to see trail riding from the intersecting horse-friendly trails.
4. Brandywine Falls (Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
Walk down the wooden pathways and stairs to see the beautiful, easily accessible Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park at 8176 Brandywine Road in Sagamore Hills Township. Near the falls, the 1.5-mile Brandywine Gorge Trail allows you to explore beyond the waterfall and see other views of the creek. Here is all the
5. Horseshoe Falls (Caesar Creek State Park)
One of the state’s most underrated hikes is hiding in Caesar Creek State Park in Waynesville, Ohio. Part of a larger trail, the trek to Horseshoe Falls is an easy, eventful journey that’s perfect for a short day hike. Along this 1.2-mile portion of the trail, you'll encounter gorgeous views, a swinging bridge and a waterfall.
You'll start your adventure at the Flat Fork Ridge Recreation Area on Clarksville Rd., just down the road from the Caesar Creek Visitor's Center, located at 4020 N Clarksville Rd., Waynesville, OH 45068. This is the
. You can
check out even more information about this trail
right here from Only In Your State.
6. 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. Plus, the trail is bordered by farm fields to the west.
Along the trail is the Hebron State Fish Hatchery with over 60 ponds and 25 acres of wetlands. This gorgeous trail is
7. Piatt Park Gorge Trail (Woodsfield)
This small county park is hiding a nature lover's secret. The hiking trail at Piatt Park features a stunning natural gorge, rock shelter and several small waterfalls. You'll find this hidden gem of a park at 105 West Court St., Woodsfield, Ohio 43793. This is all the
8. The Blackhand Gorge Trail (Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve)
The Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve features a 4-mile-long sandstone formation that the Licking River flows through. It's truly incredible to see.
The trail is the only paved bike path in the Ohio nature preserve system, making it an easy hike for those who prefer to walk and explore. With wildflowers and geological wonders, this is one you'll wan to come back to. There's also some nearby biking trails if you'd like to take the area at speed! Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve is located at 2200 Gratiot Rd. SE, Heath, OH 43056. Would you like to
find out more about this trail
9. Cascade Falls (Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park)
The .5-mile trek to Cascade Falls in Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park is one of those short, sweet and special trails. It's particularly kid-friendly. The next time you’re in the northeast Ohio area and you need a quick break in nature, this quaint trail is one you’ll want to check out. You'll find it at 12440 OH-282, Garrettsville, OH 44231. You can find this trail
with these directions
10. Jane Coates Wildflower Trail (Put-In-Bay)
The Jane Coates Wildflower Trail on South Bass Island in Put-In-Bay, Ohio is a hidden gem most people don’t know about. This half-mile loop trail features a gorgeous variety of wildflowers and even some migratory songbirds. You'll find the trail at 1962 Put-In-Bay Rd., Put-In-Bay, OH 43456.
Learn all about the trail and its flora
11. Ash Cave Trails (Hocking Hills State Park)
The Ash Cave Trails within Hocking Hills State Park feature a 0.25-mile-long Gorge Trail that is wheelchair accessible, making it family-friendly and perfect to enjoy with older relatives. Nearby is also the 0.5-mile-long Rim Trail.
Hocking Hills State Park is located at 19852 OH 664, Logan, OH 43138. You can find this trail
with these directions
12. Rowe Woods Trails (Cincinnati Nature Center)
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. The Cincinnati Nature Center is located at 6926 Gaynor Rd., Goshen, OH 45122. There’s a great
map of the area
We sure are lucky to live in such a gorgeous state. There’s no bad way to get out and explore Ohio!
How many of these trails have you explored? What other trails would you add to this list? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!
For more short hikes in Ohio, check out our previous article:
14 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles Everyone In Ohio Should Take.
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