COLUMBUS, OH – Don’t miss the beautiful scenery on display at all of Ohio’s 74 state parks throughout the winter. This year, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) provides a number of opportunities for scenic hikes and exciting excursions at many parks across Ohio.
“I want to encourage Ohioans to visit state parks and witness the beauty the winter season can create,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “It is amazing how winter weather enhances landscapes and makes our favorite parks look brand new.”
Hikers are encouraged to dress not only for the hike, but for the weather. This would include wearing layers and the appropriate footwear.
49th Annual Winter Hike at Hocking Hills State Park – Saturday, Jan. 18, with continuous starts from 9-11 a.m. This rugged hike offers a 3-mile or 6-mile trek, allowing hikers to see noteworthy sights such as Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave. This remains the most popular winter hike in the Ohio State Parks system, and millions of hikers visit this nationally recognized park throughout the year.
34th Annual Winter Hike at Findley State Park – Saturday, Feb. 1, at 10 a.m. This event offers 5K and 10K options along with interpretive hikes and boasts to have “the best bean soup” in Ohio available for all of its hikers.
Winter Bird Hike at Hueston Woods State Park – Saturday, Feb. 8, at 10 a.m. The hike begins at the nature center, and hikers have the opportunity to walk the trails while learning the art of birding from an expert.
Third Annual Winter Hike at Burr Oak State Park – Saturday, Feb. 8, at 10 a.m. Hikers will depart from the Burr Oak State Park Lodge and Conference Center. Three hikes of varying distances are offered so everyone has an opportunity to visit the wonders that this beautiful park offers each winter.
Sweethearts Hike at Hocking Hills State Park – Saturday, Feb. 15, from 5-7 p.m. Hikers meet at the Ash Cave parking lot before embarking on a romantic stroll to Ash Cave where they can enjoy a cozy fire and refreshments.
Winter Hike at Hueston Woods State Park – Sunday, Feb. 16, starting at 11 a.m. Hikers will gather at the nature center before driving to the Big Woods for a guided hike through the old growth forest.
Winter Hike at Caesar Creek State Park – Saturday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to noon. Park at the Wellman Meadows Boat ramp off Oregonia Road. See two beautiful frozen waterfalls and scenic views of the lake on this self-guided trek. Afterward, hikers can warm up with bean soup, cornbread and hot drinks at the nature center.
For more information about these hikes or any other activities available at Ohio State Parks, visit parks.ohiodnr.gov. ODNR also offers a comprehensive winter recreation website at www2.ohiodnr.gov/winter.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.