Here in Ohio, we have several trails that take you to some really beautiful places. There’s simply so much more to see in the Buckeye State than most people realize. From adventurous, rugged hikes to gorgeous waterfront trails, here are 15 incredible trails in Ohio that we think you should take before you die.
1. Old Man’s Cave Loop (Hocking Hills State Park)
April Dray/Only In Your State
What is arguably Ohio's most scenic hiking trail is approximately 1 mile long and can be completed in about one hour. In addition to Old Man's Cave, you'll encounter the Devil's Bathtub, Sphinx Head, A-Frame Bridge and the Upper and Lower Falls.
2. The Ledges Trail (Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
The Ledges Trail at this national park is a must-do. More than 400 million years ago, this area of the park was actually covered by an ancient sea. Melting glaciers helped to form what are now captivating ledges you can hike through.
3. Rockbridge State Nature Preserve Loop (Rockbridge)
April Dray/Only In Your State
The Rockbridge State Nature Preserve in the small town of Rockbridge features a looped trail that takes you to a natural bridge that stretches more than 100 ft. long – and it’s truly incredible. (After steady rainfall, the water trickling down into the ravine increases and forms what locals call “Rockbridge Falls” beneath the bridge.)
4. Charleston Falls Preserve Trails (Tipp City)
Best seen after a good rain, this waterfall can be found in Charleston Falls Preserve in Miami County. The trail system within the park loops around and consists of about 4 miles total.
5. Towpath Trail (Metroparks Toledo)
Part of the Buckeye Trail System, this 8.3-mile trail follows remains of the Miami and Erie Canal. Bikes are allowed on this trail. The Bend View Overlook to Providence Trailhead section of the trail is especially beautiful.
6. Cascade Falls Trail (Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park)
This short .5 mile trail leads to an impressive waterfall, complete with a short boardwalk and observation deck below the falls.
7. Wilderness Trail (The Edge of Appalachia Preserve)
The Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County is best known for its biological diversity, steep cliffs and the Wilderness Trail, a 2 1/2-mile loop that's perfect for a one-day hike.
8. 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.
9. Conkle’s Hollow Rim Trail (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. Brandywine Falls and Stanford Trail (Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
Start this 4.5 mile hike at Stanford House toward the breathtaking falls (from either direction) and loop back around the other way to the Stanford House.
11. Scioto Trail State Forest Loop (Scioto Trail State Forest)
Trace an old Shawnee trail along this 11.2 mile loop of wooded hollows, quiet foothills and peaceful streams.
12. Hemlock Gorge to Lyons Falls (Mohican State Park)
Go chasing waterfalls along this 9 mile out-and-back trail, which features a 300-foot deep sandstone gorge and two beautiful waterfalls.
13. North and South Zaleski Loop (Zaleski State Forest)
For the advanced hiker who can backpack through the woods overnight, Zaleski State Forest trails are a must-do. Along the way, the trails feature vacant farms, abandoned mines, beautiful views, Indian ceremonial grounds and an old mining town. The North Loop is approximately 18.4 miles, and the South Loop is approximately 11.7 miles.
14. The Rock House Trail (Hocking Hills State Park)
Also located in the Hocking Hills State Park, the .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.
15. Clifton Gorge Trail (John Bryan State Park)
Coming in at just about 5 miles, this local favorite day-hike features the calm waters of the Little Miami River and a deep limestone chasm.