In the 88 counties of the 5 regions of the state, there are 83 Ohio State Parks. Those are pretty good numbers! This Ohio State Parks map is a great locator. "The Heart Of It All," Ohio offers travelers diverse choices. En route to many popular Midwest attractions, Ohio is host to great metropolitan areas, fun family amusement parks, a treasure trove of options off the beaten path, and even Ohio national parks. When it comes to Ohio State Parks, Clinton County in Southwest Ohio is an excellent playground, located within a day's drive of 60% of the US population. They refer to our location as the "Heart Of The Golden Triangle." Maybe because we host the beautiful Cowan Lake State Park, and we are just around the corner from Caesar Creek State Park, which includes the Caesar Creek Gorge Nature Preserve. If you're looking for Ohio State Parks near Cincinnati, we feel pretty qualified to offer suggestions on how to enjoy the buckeye state's outdoor wonders. In fact, we think you'll find it here...
Top 10 Ways To Enjoy Ohio State Parks
1. Make It An Adventure
Map out roadside attractions to see on your way so the entire trip is fun! This is a great opportunity to teach kids about maps, as well as geography and state history. For groups that have already mastered the map, Ohio is a goldmine of barn quilt trails - Some even connect and meander multiple counties.
The great thing about hiking is that if you wear layers and the right shoes, you can do it any time of year! Ohio's hiking trails include miles and miles colorful terrain - Many times near our lakes and rivers.
There are two state fish hatcheries. Most Ohio State Parks will provide some type of fishing opportunity from the shore or by boat. Only in the northern part of the state are you likely to do any ice fishing.
Take your pick - Sailing, canoeing, kayaking. For more casual sailors, pontoon boats are just fine. Each Ohio State Park will have different rules, hours, and rental opportunities. Or bring your own vessel! Tip: Our Cowan Lake State Park offers a sailing event each year. The colors are beautiful by boat during autumn.
5. Bird Watching
From hummingbirds to cardinals, to snowy owls and bald eagles, Ohio is like an open aviary. Bring your camera, binoculars and a picnic lunch, and take in Mother Nature with your favorite friends. Tip: Our Cowan Lake State Park hosts a bald eagle couple. Park rangers are very mindful of their surroundings, as they are hoping to create an atmosphere soon fit for a young eagle. When you can spot them flying above, these are Kodak moments to remember.
If you have your license, and keep track of the seasons, Ohio is a perfect hunting ground! Guidelines will be available at each park. Ohio State Parks cabins are comfortable and well appointed for groups of friends eager for a hunting weekend in the Midwest.
7. Make It A Family Weekend
When considering all that is available at Ohio State Parks, camping is always a favorite for families. Grab the kids and pitch a tent or rent a cabin. Be sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray. All of the options above await your family!
8. Cook Over An Open Fire
As long as you follow park rules, you can be as creative as you like. Keep it simple with hot dogs and burgers, fry up the daily catch, or kettle up some stew. No camping trip is complete without s'mores -- Don't forget the marshmallows!
9. Host A Special Event
As mentioned above, Clinton County, Ohio is a great meeting place for large families coming from multiple states. Consider a girlfriend getaway weekend or your family reunion. Ohio State Parks reservations: your first go-to source.
10. Gift Them
Know someone that is hard to buy for? Most everyone enjoys a day at the park! Ohio State Parks OH Gift Cards are a lovely option for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparents Day, or a birthday. The really terrific thing? The gift cards can be used at all state-operated Ohio State Park facilities for getaway reservations, golf, merchandise, and some concessions. They can be purchased in any dollar amount, and have no expiration date. How great is that?
Ready for your day, weekend, or week at an Ohio State Park? We're here to answer any of your questions, and we can't wait to see you!