Are you undecided about what to do when we have a nice day? Maybe I can help! Today, I’m sharing what I consider some of the best outdoor attractions in Ohio and before you get angry at me and send hate mail because YOUR favorite attraction isn’t listed, please remember this isn’t exhaustive and is based on places I’ve personally been.
I would love for you to share your favorite outdoor attractions in the comments below so I can also check them out.
Ohio is full of amazing outdoor attractions and adventure opportunities. Because of the four distinct seasons we have in Ohio, you can find year-round adventure. We have no shortage of parks and trails to explore during the nice weather, plus ice fishing and snow sports for winter.
When I sat down to write a post on the greatest outdoor attractions in Ohio, it was difficult to decide which ones to include because it seems like the list is simply never-ending!
Ohio is home to over 70 state parks, and over 100 nature preserves, and we even have a national park- but that’s not the best part! Unlike many other states, you’ll find that all of Ohio’s state parks are free. That’s right. FREE. If you ask me, that’s one reason to put Ohio on your list of states to explore.
So, are you ready to learn more about the great outdoors in Ohio? Read on.
The Best Outdoor Attractions in Ohio
1. Hocking Hills
You’re probably not surprised to find this area at the top of the list.
The Hocking Hills region is well-known and has received national (and international) attention. It is located in the southeastern part of the state and features countless opportunities for outdoor recreation.
You will find ample hiking opportunities, campsites, canoeing, zip-lining, rock climbing, off-road Segways and so much more! Check out our new post packed with things to do in Hocking Hills. There are over 50 options so you have no excuse for not staying busy, unless you prefer to take it slow and savor the beauty of the area.
2. Mohican State Park and Forest
The Mohican State Park and Forest area is known as the canoe capital of Ohio but don’t worry! If the thought of a relaxing paddle down the Mohican River doesn’t appeal to you, you’ll find plenty of other options that include an awesome adventure ropes course at Mohican Adventures, loads of camping spots, zip-lining, and hiking, bridle trails, and more. There’s even a scenic byway for those who want to explore beyond the park.
For those who enjoy nature by day but prefer luxurious accommodations by night, you’ll find Landoll’s Mohican Castle and The Mohicans Treehouse Village nearby.
Get more details here: Mohican State Park
3. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Located near Cleveland, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park includes 33,000 acres of natural wonders and an outdoor adventuring paradise.
With amazing rock formations, over 150 miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, golf courses, historical sites, and even a train that runs through the park. You’ll stay busy and have a wonderful time near some of Ohio’s largest metropolitan areas.
Get more details here: Cuyahoga Valley National Park
4. Ohio’s Wine Country
Okay, we can call this one an indoor/outdoor attraction because yes, you will go inside of wineries, but you can also spend time in the vineyards if you choose to as well.
Did you know that Ohio has quite an extensive wine country? Many do not, but you will find over 20 wineries just in Northeastern Ohio!
If you want to make a weekend of it, check out lodging options at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake and book one (or more) of their bus tours to the surrounding wineries.
Get more details here: Ohio’s Wine Country
5. Lake Erie
You knew we couldn’t make this list without listing Lake Erie on it, right? Lake Erie is the 4th largest lake of the great lakes and the 11th largest lake (if measured by surface area) of all lakes globally. That is a really big deal!
There are so many things to do around Lake Erie, that you’d be hard-pressed not to stay entertained while visiting the lakeshore.
In our opinion, a trip to the lake isn’t complete without taking a short ferry ride to South Bass (home of Put-in-Bay) or Kelleys Island.
You may want to check out our guide on finding beach glass before you set out, and we’ve also shared a list of the best Lake Erie beaches, including this one that looks more like an ocean than the great lakes.
Get more details here: Lake Erie
6. Covered Bridges
Did you know that in Ashtabula county you can find 17 restored, historic covered bridges?
That Fairfield County has the most original covered bridges in the state?
And that you’ll find a covered bridge driving trail around Ohio’s oldest city in Marietta? Or these covered bridges near Hocking Hills?
A driving tour of these covered bridges is a beautiful way to spend the day.
7. Leo Petroglyphs
Yep. You read that right. Ohio has petroglyphs. Who knew, right?
My husband and I recently stopped at the Leo Petroglyphs & Nature Preserve on a van camping trip. To say I was shocked at this unique, historical attraction in southeastern Ohio is an understatement.
The short hiking trail is scenic and pretty even in February (though a bit slippery in spots so pack your trekking poles or walking stick) and the petroglyphs are exquisite.
This is even a great stop for those who don’t like to hike, as the petroglyphs are visible beside the parking lot.
The only caution I have is that the park is remote and there are no restrooms on-site so make sure you go before this stop.
Get more details here: Leo Petroglyphs & Nature Preserve
8. The Wilds
If a day spent with exotic animals sounds fun, head to The Wilds and don’t forget your camera! You’ll see giraffes, rhinos, and other exotic wild animals throughout the 10,000+ acre wildlife conservation center.
You will see hundreds of animal species, including animals that have made their way to the endangered species list.
The Wilds offers you the chance to ride through and see the animals from the comfort of a safari bus.
The really adventurous can also experience The Wilds via horseback, zip lining, or a private tour.
Get more details here: The Wilds
9. Worden Ledges
I was enchanted the day my husband and I explored Worden Ledges for the first time.
A short, easy walk leads to what I consider one of the most magical trails in Ohio.
You must see the carvings for yourself to truly appreciate the works of art carved by the man who once lived in the home formerly on the property.
Get more details here: Worden Ledges
BONUS: Cedar Point Amusement Park
Okay, while most of our outdoor attractions so far have been natural areas, we couldn’t have an outdoor attractions list without mentioning Cedar Point amusement park.
Cedar Point is one of Ohio’s most popular attractions. Here you will find record-breaking roller coasters, a water park, live entertainment, and more!
Plus, it’s right on the shores of Lake Erie so the views from the tops of those rides are unbelievable!
Get more details here: Cedar Point
Enhance your Ohio Outdoor Adventure with these Items:
More posts you may enjoy:
The Ultimate List of 100+ of the Best Things to do in Ohio
Crystal Cave: The World’s Largest Geode
Cheap Romantic Getaways in Ohio
Explore Ohio’s Appalachian Towns while Road Tripping along The Ohio Art Corridor
15 Things to do with the Family at Malabar Farm State Park
Have you visited any of these locations? Leave a comment and tell us about your favorite outdoor attraction in Ohio.
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Cynthia & Jason L
Thursday 1st of July 2021
Ive been to Mohican, hocking hills and Lake Erie & rode the Ferry at Put in Bay Mohican cost us the most but had more to offer in my opinion. It was the most appealing to us and plan to go back. While hocking Hills is local to me so I didn’t have to pay for a stay. The trails at Hocking Hills( old Mans Cave) can be sketchy at times and dangerous if wet but if you stay on trails you should be ok. Lots of cool nature and trails that are Mae from Mother Nature and frictioned stone. While I’m 40 and have never been to kings island nor cedar point but that’s are next getaway. Still trying to decide which direction to go to thou.
Monday 30th of August 2021
Mohican is in my backyard and truly one of my favorite destinations in the state. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your visit to the area and want to visit again.
Monday 15th of July 2019
I have so many memories of visiting Cedar Point throughout childhood into my college years, but now many of the other outdoor attractions on this list appeal to me. I'd love to visit some Ohio wineries, Lake Erie, and Hocking Hills in the near future!