Here in Ohio, there’s probably more to explore than you realize. From eerie caverns to abandoned subway systems, here are 10 once-in-a-lifetime adventures you can only have in Ohio:
1. The Wilds (Cumberland)
Although Ohio is full of several impressive zoos, The Wilds in Cumberland offer a unique way to observe exotic animals. Depending on the tour option you choose, you can get an up-close encounter with the animals or board a Safari Transport so you can observe them (from a safe distance) roam freely while learning all about the rare and endangered species the facility conserves.
2. Old Man's Cave (Hocking Hills State Park)
Hocking Hills State Park is arguably Ohio's most beloved state park, where waterfalls, caves and hiking trails abound. The Old Man's Cave hiking trails feature approximately 5.1 miles of sandstone gorges, breathtaking waterfalls, eerie caves and unique rock formations that will make you feel like you're living in a "Lord of the Rings" film.
3. Ohio Caverns (West Liberty)
"America's Most Colorful Caverns" can be found in West Liberty, Ohio.The caverns were formed thousands of years ago when an underground river cut through ancient limestone and created vast rooms and passageways. These passageways are now filled with crystal stalactites, stalagmites and many other formations.
4. Oak Openings (Swanton)
Close to Toledo you'll find what's considered to be Ohio's rarest ecosystem (and one of the world's rarest ecosystems) where rare plants and animals, oak forests, sand dunes, savannas, tall-grass prairies and swamp forests all thrive in harmony.
5. Cleveland’s abandoned subway (The Detroit-Superior Bridge)
The Detroit-Superior Bridge, (also known as the Veterans Memorial Bridge), is a 3,112 ft. long arch bridge over the Cuyahoga River, linking Detroit Avenue and Superior Avenue. When cars pass over this bridge, they’re also passing over a lower streetcar level that hasn’t been in operation since 1954. Today, the streetcar level remains vacant and closed off. However, a few times a year the Cuyahoga County Engineer’s Office opens the system to the public—allowing urban explorers to venture through the lonely (and slightly eerie) tunnels.
6. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Peninsula)
Ohio's very own national park features stunning waterfalls (pictured: Brandywine Falls), incredible views and rugged ledges to explore.
7. Ravenwood Castle (New Plymouth)
If you’ve ever longed for a mediaeval experience (complete with many of the comforts of home,) you’ll definitely want to check out Ravenwood Castle. Stay in a room at the castle, the Huntsman's Hollow, a cottage from the village or a gypsy wagon.
8. Mohican-Memorial State Forest (Ashland County)
This beautiful 4,525-acre forest features several hiking trails that lead to attractions such as Pine Run Creek, the Fire Tower and Clearfork Gorge. (Pictured: Big Lyons Falls, a 300-foot deep sandstone gorge with two beautiful waterfalls.)
9. Conkle’s Hollow (Hocking Hills State Park)
This rugged, rocky gorge is often considered one of the deepest in Ohio, according to the state park's website. The Rim Trail at the top of the 200 ft. cliffs features breathtaking views.
10. Cincinnati’s abandoned subway
Not many people are aware of the dark, lonely and long-forgotten subway beneath the streets of Cincinnati—the country’s longest abandoned subway system that never transported a single individual. Located under Central Parkway in downtown Cincinnati, (from Walnut Street to just south of Hopple Street,) sits the incomplete, eerie series of tunnels, which have been abandoned since 1928.
Have you explored any of these places? For even more places to explore in Ohio, click