By now, you’ve probably learned that Ohio is home to some pretty incredible state parks. But what you might not have learned yet is that Ohio is also home to several small, lesser-known parks that are truly unique. From seriously epic playgrounds to some of the most creative gardens you’ve ever seen, here are 12 of our favorite unique parks in Ohio.
1. Topiary Park (Columbus)
Few people know about the quaint, seven-acre park in Columbus that features one of Ohio’s most unique gardens, where art and plant life blend. It is a “landscape of a painting of a landscape,” according to the park’s website. Specifically, the topiary garden depicts Georges Seurat’s famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte—and it is the only known topiary representation of a painting. Topiary Park is located at 480 E Town St., Columbus, OH 43215.
2. Glenwood Gardens (Cincinnati)
Glenwood Gardens in Cincinnati is another one of Ohio’s hidden gems just waiting to be explored. It features a Discovery Garden, a motorized train display and a pretty epic treehouse to play in. Glenwood Gardens is located at 10397 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45215.
3. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park (Hamilton)
The Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum in Hamilton is every art enthusiast's dream come true. The park features a 10,000 square foot Ancient Sculpture Museum, which displays Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Etruscan sculptures that are thousands of years old. It is located at 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd., Hamilton, OH 45013.
4. Hartman's Rock Garden (Springfield)
Observe a mixture of history, religion, and Depression-era pop culture via this unique garden, built by Harry "Ben" Hartman between1932 through 1939. This garden is located at 1905 Russell Ave., Springfield, OH 45506.
5. 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. It is located at 10630 County Road 40
Findlay, OH 45840.
6. Preston's H.O.P.E Playground Park (Beachwood)
Deemed "the largest fully accessible playground park in Northeast Ohio," this family favorite park is accessible to children of all needs and abilities, and features several designated age group areas, a play theater, an "Imagination Village" and a sand area. (This park is practically the King of Ohio Playgrounds.) It is located at 26001 S Woodland Rd., Beachwood, OH 44122.
7. African Safari Wildlife Park (Port Clinton)
April Dray/Only In Your State
Port Clinton is home to a unique park that’s perfect for a family day trip. The African Safari Wildlife Park is a walk and drive-thru park that features exotic animals―many of which you can feed yourself. It is located at 267 S Lightner Road, Port Clinton, OH 43452.
8. Dinosaurs Alive! (Mason and Sandusky)
Ohio is home to one of America’s top dinosaur parks―and it can be found in both Cedar Point and Kings Island Amusement Parks. Featuring more than 50 life-sized dinosaurs, this unique park gives you an idea of what it was like when dinosaurs roamed the earth. This hands-on park also features interactive exhibits, including a dig site, which allows you to be your own paleontologist.
9. Lake Erie Bluffs Metropark (Perry)
This stunning beachfront metropark features 600 acres, including 40-foot-high beach bluffs, 9,000 feet of shoreline and perfectly picturesque beaches. The park just opened a 50-ft. coastal observation tower that features 360-degree breathtaking views of the lake and bluffs. It is located at 2901 Clark Rd., Perry, OH 44081.
10. Olentangy Indian Caverns (Delaware)
A trip to Olentangy Indian Caverns in Delaware, Ohio is an adventure the whole family will love. Mine for gems, explore ancient caverns and more at this little-known destination. On site, you'll also find a petting zoo, a miniature golf course and a Frontier Town. It is located at 1779 Home Rd., Delaware, OH 43015.
11. The Wilds (Cumberland)
The Wilds in Cumberland offer a unique way to observe exotic animals. Depending on the tour option you choose, you can get an up-close encounter with the animals or board a Safari Transport so you can observe them (from a safe distance) roam freely while learning all about the rare and endangered species the facility conserves. It is located at 14000 International Rd., Cumberland, OH 43732.
12. Wegerzyn Gardens Metropark(Dayton)
This beloved garden in Dayton is bordered by the Stillwater River and includes rose, federal, English and Victorian gardens. It is truly enchanting. Wegerzyn Gardens Metropark is located at 1301 E Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton, OH 45414.
Did you know about all of these parks? What other unique parks are there in Ohio? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!