Here in Ohio, you don’t have to be an advanced hiker to go on a real adventure.
All throughout the state you’ll find gorgeous loop trails and short overlook trails that don’t take more than a couple of hours to complete—and they’re just as stunning as the five-mile + hikes. Here are 12 amazing Ohio hiking trails less than three miles long we know you’ll love:
1. 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.
2. The Valley Trail (Ault Park)
There’s something magical about stumbling upon a railroad from years past in the middle of a forest—and that’s exactly what you can experience along one beautiful hiking trail in Ohio. The Valley Trail at Ault Park in Cincinnati features an abandoned railroad bridge from the late 1800s. The trail is a little more than half a mile, so getting there doesn’t take long. To take this hike, visit Ault Park at 3600 Observatory Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208.
3. 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.
4. Ghost Hedge Trail (Sycamore State Park)
With nearly three 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.
5. Indian Mound Reserve Trails (Cedarville)
The 166-acre Indian Mound Reserve in Cedarville features several hiking trails less than a mile, managed by the Greene County Park District. We recommend taking the 0.6-mile Upper Rim Trail to Cedar Cliff Falls (pictured).
6. The Rock House Trail (Hocking Hills State Park)
Also located in the Hocking Hills State Park, the 0.5-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.
7. Wetland Trails (East Harbor State Park)
With gorgeous beaches nearby and two miles of easy, cleared trails to explore, you'll love exploring the Wetland Trails at this gem of a state park. East Harbor State Park is located at 1169 N Buck Rd., Lakeside Marblehead, OH 43440.
8. 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 the Olentangy River. It's a great day hike to take with a group of friends.
9. Hemlock Loop Trail (Bedford Reservation)
The Hemlock Loop Trail at Bedford Reservation within Cleveland Metroparks is a short, easy hike that's particularly beautiful. The 0.8-mile trail features a flat, woodland area along the Tinker's Creek floodplain.
10. 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.
11. 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 0.3 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.
12. Cantwell Cliffs Loop Trail (Rockbridge)
Cantwell Cliffs in Rockbridge, Ohio features a deep valley, steep cliffs and even a rock shelter that visitors can explore. Although the trail is only a one-mile loop, it isn’t for the faint of heart―but the scenery you’ll encounter along the way makes the journey more than worth while. You'll find this gorgeous canyon at OH-374, Rockbridge, OH 43149.
Have you hiked any of these trails before? What other gorgeous hikes are there in Ohio that are less than three miles? Share your experiences and suggestions with us!