Here in Ohio, hiking is one of the best ways to spend your summer. The little-known trails, boardwalks and swinging bridges lead to some really interesting places. (You might even stumble upon an
abandoned castle or two.) The following are 11 of our favorite trails to hike in the Buckeye State. Consider this list an Ohio hiking guide for the summertime. (And if you’re really adventurous, consider hiking The Buckeye Trail this summer, which spans the entire state.) Make a commitment to get outdoors, explore your home state and find out what’s hiding in your own backyard.
1. The Boardwalk Trail (Maumee Bay State Park)
The Boardwalk Trail is arguably the best trail to hike at Maumee Bay State Park. It's a 2.2-mile loop, so it's perfect for a short day hike when you only have a few hours to explore. What makes this trail especially unique is the fact that it traverses swamp and marsh wetlands. Address: 1400 State Park Road, Oregon, OH, 43616
2. Worden's Ledges Loop Trail (Hinckley Reservation)
Worden's Ledges Loop Trail in Hinckley Reservation is a true hidden gem to Ohio explorers and hiking enthusiasts. It's a 0.7-mile loop trail that features one-of-a-kind carvings from the 1940s. Stumbling upon this in the middle of the woods feels like you've uncovered a secret. Address: 908-856 County Highway 135, Hinckley, OH, 44233
3. Horsehoe 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. The Flat Fork Ridge Recreation Area, (where you'll find the trailhead), is located on Clarksville Road, close to the Caesar Creek Visitor’s Center. Address: 4020 North Clarksville Road, Waynesville, OH 45068
4. Charleston Falls Preserve Loop (Tipp City)
The preserve is home to more than 3 miles of trails, and the trek to the falls is a fairly easy hike. (There's also a small cave that's fun to find.) Because Charleston Falls' rock strata is the same as Niagara Falls, it's often called a "Miniature Niagara." Like any waterfall, it's best viewed after heavy rainfall. Address: 2535 Ross Road, Tipp City, OH, 45371
5. 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. The Ledges Shelter and Trailhead is located at Truxell Road / Kendall Park Road, 1 mile west of Akron Cleveland Road, Peninsula 44264.
6. 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. Address: 2200 Gratiot Road Southeast, Heath, OH, 43056
7. Hemlock Bridge and Whispering Cave Trail (Hocking Hills State Park)
April Dray/Only In Your State
With massive sandstone cliffs, a cave, a towering waterfall and a swinging bridge, the new Hemlock Bridge Trail to Whispering Cave at Hocking Hills State Park is an Ohio adventure you simply have to take. The Hemlock Bridge Trail is a 1.5-mile trail that leads to Whispering Cave, a 300 ft.-wide cavern many past visitors have yet to explore. Address: 20160 Sate Route 664 South, Logan, OH, 43138
8. Long Loop (Johnson Woods State Nature Preserve)
Tucked away in Wayne County, you'll find more than 200 acres of some of Ohio's oldest trees at Johnson Woods State Nature Preserve. According to the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, some of the trees have grown to be 120 ft. tall with a diameter of 4 - 5 ft. Most of them are 400-years-old. The all boardwalk trail system makes the preserve easy to explore. You can either take the Short Loop or Long Loop. Address: 13240 Fox Lake Road, Marshallville, OH, 44645
9. Natural Bridge Loop Trail (Rockbridge)
April Dray/Only In Your State
The Rockbridge State Nature Preserve in the small town of Rockbridge features a natural bridge that stretches more than 100 ft. long – and it’s truly incredible. The Natural Bridge Loop Trail is less than two miles long, so it's perfect for a short day hike. Once you finally stumble upon the natural bridge, you'll feel like you've just discovered a beautiful secret. Address: 11475 Dalton Road, Rockbridge, OH, 43149
10. North Shore Loop Trail (Kelleys Island State Park)
The North Shore Loop Trail within Kelleys Island State Park weaves through much of the the island's quarry history and ruins. It's a 1-mile trail with so much to see along the way. You'll find the trailhead near the boat ramp parking lot. Address: 920 Division Street, Kelleys Island, OH, 43438
11. Cedar Bog Nature Preserve Boardwalk (Urbana)
Within this beautiful nature preserve, you'll find some of the most unique plants, animals, insects and landscapes in Ohio. The newly renovated boardwalk makes exploring the preserve almost effortless. Please note: There is a $5 per person entry fee to visit Cedar Bog Nature Preserve. The preserve is operated by the non-profit Cedar Bog Association and is owned by the Ohio History Connection. Address: 980 Woodburn Road, Urbana, OH, 43078
Have you ever hiked any of these trails before? What others would you add to the list? Share your thoughts, photos and experiences with us!
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.