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 the spring season that’s just a few short weeks away.
This year, make it a point to get out in nature as much as you can and explore your home state. Ohio has an abundance of beautiful hiking trails that are a quick trip away—and you need to take advantage of them. With wildflowers in blow and waterfalls flowing, spring is one of the best times to hike in Ohio. The following are 12 fairly easy-to-hike trails in Ohio, many of which are less than 3 miles. 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. 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.
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 easy hike to the Dustin Huffman Memorial Overlook. You'll find this state park at 12021 Echo Dell Rd., East Liverpool, OH 43920.
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.
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.
5. Horseshoe Falls (Caesar Creek State Park)
April Dray/Only In Your State
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.
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
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.
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. Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve is located at 2200 Gratiot Rd. SE, Heath, OH 43056.
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. 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.
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.
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, as well as a 0.5-mile-long Rim Trail. Hocking Hills State Park is located at 19852 OH 664, Logan, OH 43138.
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.
How many of these trails have you explored? What other trails would you add to this list? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!