If you’re a lifelong Ohioan, chances are you feel as if you’ve explored all there is to explore.
However, the Buckeye State is full of hidden gems many Ohio natives don’t even know about. The following are 11 underrated places in Ohio that most natives have never even heard of— and if you’ve heard of these 11 places before, then you can consider yourself a true Ohio explorer.
1. Ravenwood Castle (New Plymouth)
If you’ve ever longed for a Medieval experience (complete with many of the comforts of home,) you’ll definitely want to check out Ravenwood Castle. This lovely little Medieval structure is tucked away in the scenic Hocking Hills in New Plymouth. You can choose to stay in a castle room or a Medieval Village Cottage. You can even camp in a gypsy wagon or stay in a cabin in the Huntsman's Hollow out back. This unique getaway is located at located at 65666 Bethel Rd., New Plymouth, OH 45654.
2. Tranquility Salt Cave (Columbus)
A salt cave is a unique way to relax and recharge. The health benefits from Halotherapy are numerous. It improves several conditions, from anxiety to asthma. Fortunately, Columbus is home to a fairly new salt cave called Tranquility Salt Cave—and you’ll definitely want to visit. Just a 45-minute session in this unique cave will relax your mind and rejuvenate your sinuses. You'll find it at 30 Dillmont Dr., Columbus, Ohio 43235.
3. Olander Park System’s Fossil Park (Sylvania)
If you’re looking for something truly unique and adventurous to add to your 2018 bucket list, then consider hunting for fossils more than 300-million-years-old. Most people have no idea you can hunt for fossils right here in Ohio—let alone fossils that are millions of years old. This spring, release your inner paleontologist and fossil hunt at the Olander Park System’s Fossil Park in Sylvania, Ohio. You'll find it at 5675 Centennial Rd., Sylvania, OH 43560.
4. Fostoria Rail Park (Fostoria)
Open 24/7, this little-known park is a hidden gem train enthusiasts will absolutely love. Also known as the Iron Triangle, the park is laid out in the shape of a triangle, situated between three railways. Fostoria, "a city built on rails," saw several railroads and inter-urban lines pass through town in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Today, trains continue to pass through town. In fact, more than 120 trains pass through Fostoria each day. This unique park is located at 499 S Poplar St. in Fostoria, Ohio.
5. Dogwood Pass (Beaver)
Most people don’t know there’s an impressive replica of an Old West town tucked away in the hills of southern Ohio. Dogwood Pass near Beaver, Ohio was built to look and feel as authentic as possible, complete with bath houses, saloons and gun fights. Step back in time into the Old West at this unique town that’s anything but ordinary. It's located at 722 Adams Rd., Beaver, OH 45613.
6. Spangler Candy Company (Bryan)
Tucked away in northwest Ohio in the small town of Bryan, you’ll find the Spangler Candy Company. It’s a privately-owned candy store, museum and factory you can tour via trolley on select days of the week. (On average, the factory produces 12 million Dum Dums per day!) You'll find it at 400 N Portland St., Bryan, OH 43506.
7. Ghost Town (Findlay)
Created by the Galitza family, this unique roadside attraction in Findlay features a replica of an 1880s-era ghost town that was first open to the public in the 1950s. Today, the ghost town has been restored after a period of abandonment and even features arts and crafts vendors and antique and flea market vendors on select dates.
8. White Star Quarry (Gibsonburg)
Tucked away in the small town of Gibsonburg, Ohio, you’ll find White Star Quarry. It’s a little-known diving resort that Ohio explorers will fall in love with. (And if you’d rather not scuba dive, you can always check out the designated swimming area in the summer months or have a picnic by the quarry.) White Star Quarry is located at 901 S Main St., Gibsonburg, Ohio 43431.
9. The Chalet Toboggan Chutes (Strongsville)
Cleveland Metroparks features a truly spectacular toboggan chute you need to experience in the winter season. The Chalet in Strongsville’s Mill Stream Run Reservation is home to the tallest and fastest ice chutes in Ohio.You'll plunge down a 700-ft. ice chute at speeds up to 50 mph. It's quite the rush—and you'll likely want to do it more than once. The Chalet in Cleveland Metroparks Mill Stream Run Reservation is located at 16200 Valley Parkway, Strongsville, OH 44136.
10. Landoll's Mohican Castle (Loudonville)
Landoll’s Mohican Castle is one of those pleasantly unexpected places—and when you step foot onto its grounds, you feel like you’ve stumbled across an enchanted Ohio secret. Located in Loudonville, this lovely little getaway features gorgeous suites, murder mystery dinners and other amenities sure to make you feel like the king/queen of this whimsical castle in the middle of the forest. You'll find it at 561 Twp. Rd. 3352, Loudonville, OH 44842.
11. The Ohio Railway Museum (Worthington)
Ohio Railway Museum/Facebook
The Ohio Railway Museum is a great day trip destination for train enthusiasts and the whole family to enjoy. It’s a train station, museum and railroad that offers fun, round-trip demonstration rides on some of the streetcars and interurbans. The Ohio Railway Museum is located at 990 Proprietors Rd., Worthington, OH 43085.
How many of these places have you explored? Which ones will you add to your 2018 bucket list? Let us know!