With more than 70 state parks, we’ve got plenty of beautiful places to explore here in the Buckeye State. From stunning overlooks and state forests to hidden wetlands and stunning lakeshores, there’s always something photo-worthy you’ll find in an Ohio state park. The following are 11 of our favorite state parks (listed in no particular order) that we think just don’t get enough attention.
1. Lake Hope State Park (McArthur)
Surrounded by the Zaleski State Forest and centered on Lake Hope is this gorgeous 2,983-acre state park. (Legend has it, its historic Hope Furnace is haunted.) You'll find this serene state park at 27331 OH-278, McArthur, OH 45651.
2. Salt Fork State Park (Lore City)
A gorgeous place to camp, this stunning state park features 14 hiking trails, fishing, swimming, miniature golf and more. There's so much to do here. Salt Fork State Park is located at 14755 Cadiz Rd., Lore City, OH 43755.
3. Indian Lake State Park (Lakeview)
In addition to lake access for boating, swimming and fishing, several picnic spots, hiking trails, and playgrounds abound at this 800-acre state park. You'll find it at 12774 OH-235, Lakeview, OH 43331.
4. Tinkers Creek State Park (Steetsboro)
With a stunning gorge overlook, peaceful swamps and unexpected wetlands, this northeast Ohio park is well worth a visit. You'll find it at 10303 Aurora Hudson Rd.,
Streetsboro, OH 44241.
5. Quail Hollow State Park (Hartville)
In addition to multiple hiking trails, this beautiful state park features herb gardens and the Carriage House Nature Preserve. Quail Hollow State Park is located at 13480 Congress Lake Avenue, Hartville, OH 44632.
6. Shawnee State Park (West Portsmouth)
Nestled near the banks of the Ohio River you'll find six hiking trails that simply don't get enough attention. (This park is especially stunning in the fall.) You'll find it at 4404 OH-125, West Portsmouth, OH 45663.
7. Deer Creek State Park (Mt. Sterling)
In addition to an impressive lodge and conference center, you'll find gorgeous scenery and boating opportunities at Deer Creek State Park. It's located at 22300 State Park RD., 20, Mt Sterling, OH 43143.
8. Beaver Creek State Park (East Liverpool)
Tucked away in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, you'll find this scenic Ohio park that's an ideal camping and hiking destination. Aside from its natural beauty, the park is special for its history. A portion of the park was once part of a canal system from the early 1800s and some locks remain in the park to this day. Beaver Creek State Park is located at 12021 Echo Dell Rd., East Liverpool, OH 43920.
9. Dillon State Park (Nashport)
Ideal for camping, hiking and kayaking, this little-known state park is must-visit when you're looking for a new place to explore. Dillon State Park is located at 5265 Dillon Hills Dr., Nashport, OH 43830.
10. Paint Creek State Park (Bainbridge)
In addition to the usual outdoor activities, this 5,652-acre park features an amphitheater and even mini golf. Paint Creek State Park is located at 280 Taylor Rd., Bainbridge, OH 45612
11. Mosquito Lake State Park (Cortland)
You'll find more than 2,000 acres to explore, a stunning lake and peaceful marshes here. (Trust us; this park doesn't feature more mosquitoes than the average park, in spite of its name.) Mosquito Lake State Park is located at 1439 Wilson Sharpsville Rd., Cortland, OH 44410.
Have you been to any of these state parks before? What is your favorite state park to explore in Ohio? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!