Here in Ohio, there’s so much more than cornfields and Bicentennial Barns. (Although, those can be really beautiful too.) All throughout the state you’ll find enchanting places that make you stop and take in the beauty surrounding you. Although we don’t have majestic mountains or gorgeous canyons, there’s plenty of beauty just waiting to be found here in the Buckeye State.
1. Oak Openings Metro Park (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—and it will truly make you feel like you’re not in Ohio anymore.
2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ledges (Peninsula)
The Ledges Trail at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Peninsula, Ohio is one of those enchanting trails — and it’s a must-do. More than 300 million years ago, this trail’s 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. Old Man's Cave (Logan)
April Dray/Only In Your State
If you’ve yet to hike the Old Man’s Cave trail at Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, you’re truly missing out. It’s arguably the most beautiful hiking trail in Ohio—and it will make you feel like you’re temporarily living in a "Lord of the Rings" film. At approximately one mile in length, this gorgeous trail takes about an hour to complete, so it’s perfect for a day hike you can take your time exploring.
4. Lake Erie Bluffs (Perry)
This stunning beachfront metropark features 600 acres, including 40-foot-high beach bluffs, 9,000 feet of shoreline and perfectly picturesque beaches. You'll also find a 50-ft. coastal observation tower that features breathtaking views of the lake and bluffs.
5. Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens (Akron)
This elaborate country estate in Akron is one of the largest homes in the U.S. An accredited museum of the American Alliance of Museums, this estate is open to the public for tours and other events and features five historic buildings, eight gardens and 70 acres.
6. Clifton Gorge (Yellow Springs)
If the lush, green trails at Clifton Gorge won't enchant you, the waterfalls at Clifton Mill surely will. After you've hiked the gorge, explore the mill and stop for lunch.
7. Brandywine Falls (Sagamore Hills Township)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeast Ohio is also home to a breathtaking 65-foot waterfall that flows from Brandywine Creek. Known as Brandywine Falls, these easily accessible, beautiful falls are a must-see highlight within the park.
8. 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.Within the Ohio Caverns is one of the world's largest and most perfectly formed stalactites.
9. The Chateau Laroche (Loveland)
Mike Dray/Only In Your State
Also known as the Loveland Castle, this lovely little medieval structure was built by hand—brick by brick—by one man, Sir Harry Andrews. Today it is open for the public to view for $5 a person, and is operated by modern day knights.
10. Ohio Amish Country (various counties)
Nothing can warm your heart the way the rolling hills of Ohio Amish Country can. Take a drive through your favorite part and let the countryside scenery soothe your soul. (Pictured is Yoder's Amish Home in Millersburg.)
11. Whispering Cave (Logan)
April Dray/Only In Your State
With massive sandstone cliffs, a new cave, a towering waterfall and a swinging bridge, the brand 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.
Have you explored any of these places before? What other beautiful destinations would you add to this list? Let us know!