11 Under-Appreciated State Parks In Ohio You’re Sure To Love

With more than 70 state parks in Ohio, we’ve got plenty of beautiful places to visit and explore here in the Buckeye State. From mossy gorges and state forests to hidden waterfalls 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.

Have you paid a visit to any of these state parks in Ohio before? What is your favorite state park to visit in Ohio? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!

Ohio just isn’t home to numerous superlative state parks… we also have one of the most beautiful, underrated national parks in the country, and it’s one you’ll definitely want to visit!

Address: Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, 12440 OH-282, Garrettsville, OH 44231, USA
Address: Indian Lake State Park Campground, 13156 OH-235, Lakeview, OH 43331, USA
Address: Alum Creek State Park Campground, 3305 S Old State Rd, Delaware, OH 43015, USA
Address: Mohican State Park, 3116 OH-3, Loudonville, OH 44842, USA
Address: Lake Hope State Park, 27331 OH-278, McArthur, OH 45651, USA
Address: Quail Hollow Park, 13480 Congress Lake Ave NE, Hartville, OH 44632, USA
Address: Salt Fork State Park, 14755 Cadiz Rd, Lore City, OH 43755, USA
Address: Deer Creek State Park, 20635 State Park Road 20, Mt Sterling, OH 43143, USA
Address: Kelleys Island State Park, 920 Division St, Kelleys Island, OH 43438, USA
Address: John Bryan State Park, 3790 OH-370, Yellow Springs, OH 45387, USA
Address: Paint Creek State Park, 280 Taylor Rd, Bainbridge, OH 45612, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

state parks to visit in Ohio

January 23, 2022

What’s the oldest state park in Ohio?

Are you wanting to visit the oldest state park in Ohio? If so, you’ll want to venture over to Buckeye Lake State Park. This Buckeye Lake, constructed as a canal feeder lake in 1826, is Ohio’s oldest state park, and it has long been a popular vacation spot and outdoor recreation destination. Once upon a time, this spot near Columbus was covered in glacial waters; today, this lake-covered oasis offers endless water-related recreational opportunities including swimming, skiing, boating, and fishing. While Buckeye Lake does not have its own campground, you can reserve a shelter house to serve as your base while you enjoy a day on the water.  Buckeye Lake State Park is located at 2905 Leibs Island Rd. NE, Millersport, OH, 43046.

What’s Ohio’s national park like?

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio’s one and only national park, is a stunner; it’s 33,000 acres of pristine beauty that rivals any of its big-name national park brethren. Lauded for its amazing trails, waterfalls, and fall foliage, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a lush landscape offering near-endless opportunities for year-round recreation in the Midwest. The park lies along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, and it’s a wildly popular destination. Cuyahoga Valley was originally designated as a National Recreation Area in 1974, only to be redesignated as a national park 26 years later in 2000. In fact, this national park encompasses an entire town, too! Whatever outdoor recreation you enjoy — amazing hiking, wildlife watching, waterfall chasing, nature photography — you’ll find it at Cuyahoga Valley National Park!

What state parks in Ohio have the best hiking trails?

While all of Ohio’s state parks offer excellent hiking, Hocking Hills State Park certainly stands out. A trip to Hocking Hills State Park is all about exploring fascinating rock formations and waterfalls, caverns and knobs, you’ll discover a world of wonder when you hike in this beautiful Ohio state park! And the Cedar Falls, Buckeye, and Gorge Overlook Trail features a little bit of everything. Measuring just 0.5 miles, this out-and-back trail is a real crowd-pleaser. Despite being on the shorter side, the trail packs in an impressive amount of scenery at every turn!

Address: Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, 12440 OH-282, Garrettsville, OH 44231, USA
Address: Indian Lake State Park Campground, 13156 OH-235, Lakeview, OH 43331, USA
Address: Alum Creek State Park Campground, 3305 S Old State Rd, Delaware, OH 43015, USA
Address: Mohican State Park, 3116 OH-3, Loudonville, OH 44842, USA
Address: Lake Hope State Park, 27331 OH-278, McArthur, OH 45651, USA
Address: Quail Hollow Park, 13480 Congress Lake Ave NE, Hartville, OH 44632, USA
Address: Salt Fork State Park, 14755 Cadiz Rd, Lore City, OH 43755, USA
Address: Deer Creek State Park, 20635 State Park Road 20, Mt Sterling, OH 43143, USA
Address: Kelleys Island State Park, 920 Division St, Kelleys Island, OH 43438, USA
Address: John Bryan State Park, 3790 OH-370, Yellow Springs, OH 45387, USA
Address: Paint Creek State Park, 280 Taylor Rd, Bainbridge, OH 45612, USA