Hiking Ohio  by Mary Reed

Hiking Ohio Guide Book

by Mary Reed (Falcon Guides)
Hiking Ohio  by Mary Reed
Hiking Ohio is a comprehensive guide to more than forty of the most scenic foot trails in the Buckeye State. Hike along beaches, over boardwalks, through gorges, past waterfalls, into caves, near wildlife, under forest canopies, and through carpets of wildflowers. Trek along secluded footpaths through Ohio’s virgin forest and keep your eyes peeled for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, beaver, fox, and, in the eastern part of the state, black bear. Whether you are a day-tripper looking for a short day hike or longer distance hiker yearning for an extended backpacking trip, this guidebook has plenty to offer and is an excellent way to see all the state has to offer.

© 2014 Mary Reed/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Ohio" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 44.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 44.

This 9.5-mile loop trail offers a sampling of the natural, resource, and human history that defines Ohio’s Appalachian region. Start from an old cemetery and walk along ridgetops and in hollows. Pass two attractive runs, a natural bridge, recess caves, and rock outcroppings surrounded by mountain laurel. Spring wildflowers in this mixed mesophytic forest are outstanding. Hike it in a day or make it into an overnighter, since backcountry camping is allowed in the national forest.
New Matamoras, OH - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 9.3
One of the few hikes in Ohio accessible by public transportation, Mount Airy Forest is an oasis of greenspace within the heart of greater Cincinnati. Combine several trails to make a 3.6-mile loop around the oval picnic shelter. Take a break from the noise and crowds of the city, step onto a trail, and find solitude within minutes in Mount Airy Forest. This is all due to the forethought of the Cincinnati Park Board, which in 1911 bought 168 acres of abused farmland around the top of Colerain Hill and embarked on the first municipal reforestation project in the United States.
Cincinnati, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.6
It’s said that when Europeans first set foot on North American soil, a squirrel could climb into the forest canopy at the Atlantic Ocean and not touch the ground again until it hit the Mississippi River. The ensuing years have seen great change in the natural landscape. Today almost every tree that was growing in Ohio when Europeans arrived has been cut. Not so at Hueston Woods. Hike the 2.3-mile Big Woods and Sugar Bush trail system to see a virgin beech-maple forest. The Hueston family homesteaded this spot and farmed most of it but kept some woods for maple sugaring. Thanks to that and the work of conservationists, you can now hike a trail through this spectacular bit of forest. Hueston Woods contains a 200-acre tract of virgin and "near virgin" (lightly and selectively timbered) forest, a rarity in Ohio's western Till Plains region, where 95 percent of the original forests are now agricultural fields or urban areas. Enjoy this short hike along the Big Woods Trail for both a respite from modern-day life and a look into the former landscape of this region.
Oxford, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.3
Blackhand sandstone gets its name from an image of a large hand that was once carved into the sandstone walls of Blackhand Gorge. It’s believed that this hand was engraved by Native Americans as a directional sign to the flint deposits at nearby Flint Ridge. A 2.4-mile loop beginning from the main parking lot on the east end of the preserve allows you to take in the main attractions of the preserve. Begin on the asphalt Blackhand Trail. Shortly you’ll come to an overlook spur that lets you view the buttonbush swamp, named for the plant’s round flowers. Return to the main trail and then hop on the Quarry Rim Trail, a 1.0-mile side path that, as the name implies, takes you around the lip of an old sandstone quarry that was in operation from the 1870s to the 1920s. From this trail you get good views of tall sandstone walls jutting out of the old quarry, now filled with water.
Zanesville, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.9
Maumee Bay State Park is home to a 2.4-mile boardwalk that takes you through the heart of a marsh ecosystem. Enjoy this fun little loop that weaves through a swamp forest that gradually gives way to an open marsh. If you’re a bird-watcher, this is the place for you. The western basin of Lake Erie is situated along both the Mississippi and Atlantic flyways; northward migrating birds gather here in vast numbers in spring. They often stop along the southern shore of the lake to wait for good crossing conditions. The marshes that line Lake Erie are home to about 300 bird species for at least part of the year, and during spring migration tens of thousands of birds gather along the shoreline here.
Oregon, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.4
Upgraded from national recreation area to national park in 2000, Cuyahoga Valley National Park straddles a 22-mile north–south section of the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron. Tracing a line right down the center of it all is a section of the statewide Buckeye Trail (BT). For a relatively long and secluded hike in this popular park, tackle the BT from Red Lock and hike to the historic town of Boston, then return on the canal towpath. Stop at the popular Blue Hen and Buttermilk Falls along the way. With more than 125 miles of trails, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one Ohio's premier hiking areas. Add a well-developed outdoor adventure infrastructure, and you can easily spend several days or longer discovering all the nooks and crannies of this lush greenway.
Peninsula, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.7
The beautiful 5.4-mile trail system in Lake Katharine Preserve is unparalleled in springtime. Home to the northernmost range of umbrella and bigleaf magnolia trees, it can look as though the forest itself is one big bloom. That also includes the native mo
Jackson, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.4
Once you’ve dropped down to your ideal weight from your summer hiking regimen, head over to Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park and hike through trail sections with such names as Fat Man’s Peril, The Squeeze, and The Narrows. The formation of Nelson-Kennedy Ledges began when ancient streams smoothed out, tumbled quartzite pebbles downstream, and deposited them into a sea that once covered most of what is now Ohio. These pebbles became embedded in sediment, and today’s resulting rock is Sharon conglomerate sandstone. When the Wisconsinan Glacier retreated from Ohio some 12,000 years ago, it left a thick layer of debris that covered most rock outcrops.The outcrops at Nelson-Kennedy Ledges, however, remained exposed.
Garrettsville, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
The 170-acre near-virgin forest is a remnant of the Great Black Swamp, characterized by towering trees 200 to 400 years old, with a few specimens as old as 500 years. Hike around the preserve on a 3-mile outer loop; it won’t take long to see that you’re in a special place. Unusually tall and broad tree specimens include cottonwood, oak, tulip tree, ash, maple, beech, hickory, and linden (basswood). The dark and clear understory is quite swampy in area and gives you a taste of what the Great Black Swamp was once like, all the way down to the mosquitoes. Take a respite from everyday living to view the process of life, death, and rebirth in a natural ecosystem.
Archbold, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Within the 60-mile backpack loop in Shawnee State Forest lies a 7.2-mile loop that’s a perfect day-hike option. Here in the “Little Smokies” of Ohio, ascend steeply to ridgetops of oak-hickory forest and then walk in cool beech-maple hollows. If you’re lu
Portsmouth, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.2
Take a 3.4-mile out-and-back trail beginning at the earthworks constructed by the prehistoric Hopewell Indians. Follow the earthworks and then descend a forested slope to the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a 70-mile multiuse path. Continue across the Little M
Lebanon, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.4
Slate Run Metro Park is an outstanding example of environmental restoration. Just twenty years ago, most of this park was a cornfield. Today it combines 6.6 miles’ worth of park trails through an oak forest surrounding the shale-bottomed (and misnamed). Based on soil and groundwater conditions, park naturalists believe that the land now comprising Slate Run Metro Park was originally a meadowy wetland. In 1995 and 1996 the park reverted a portion of its lands to grasslands. Species you’ll see growing here include Kentucky bluegrass, short fescue, ashy sunflower, purple bergamot, and butterfly milkweed.
Lithopolis, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.6
Caesar Creek State Park’s 50-plus miles of developed hiking, mountain biking, and bridle trails make it difficult to choose just one route. More than 50 miles of developed trails circle 10,000-acre Caesar Creek Lake. The 6-mile out-and-back segment from Flat Fork Picnic Area to Pioneer Village offers a little bit of everything at Caesar Creek: fossil hunting, lake views, forest, a rocky bottomed river, shale cliffs, a small waterfall, and a restored pioneer village. Stop by the visitor center to learn more about the natural and human history of this area before hitting the trail.
Waynesville, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
Fort Hill is the site of an ancient stone-and-earth embankment that encloses the top of the hill and was likely built by the prehistoric Hopewell Indians. But for a nature lover, this is a secondary attraction. Walk in a healthy, beautiful (and in places
Hillsboro, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
Glen Helen is Antioch College’s very own land laboratory. Like nearby Clifton Gorge, the glen was created by glacial meltwaters 10,000 years ago. When you hike along this portion of the Little Miami Scenic River, the strong forces of natural and human history make themselves known. Begin the hike downstream from Clifton Gorge. As you walk upstream, notice the way the water has carved out layers of rock. The uppermost layer of rock in the gorge is Cedarville dolomite, which is resistant to weathering. Below that are two thin layers of other dolomites and then a thick layer of massie shale.This shale weathers easily, and eventually its undercutting leads to “slump blocks,” where the upper layers of rock have tumbled down into the gorge, sometimes into the middle of the river.
Yellow Springs, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.4
Begin walking the 5 miles from Old Man’s Cave to Ash Cave and it won’t take long to see why this is one of the state’s most popular trails. Descend into Old Man’s Creek Gorge and walk by rock features with such names as the Devil’s Bathtub and the Sphinx. Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area lies in the heart of the Hanging Rock iron furnace region, named for the outcroppings of ferriferous limestone mined to fuel the iron furnaces that, in turn, fueled the economy of this region between 1818 and 1916. The Vesuvius Furnace (yes, named after the Italian volcano) was built in 1833 to smelt iron ore and was in use until 1906. At its peak the Vesuvius Furnace produced eight to twelve tons of iron each day. Iron munitions from these furnaces were critical to the Union effort during the Civil War. The Lake Vesuvius Lakeshore Trail begins and ends near the furnace.
Logan, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.6
You don’t have to go back to school to make the most of Miami University’s campus. This walk in the woods is literally within walking distance of uptown Oxford, and part of the campus’s “greenbelt.” After checking out the student-built bird blind and the
Oxford, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
Make a 9.3-mile lollipop to explore many of the main attractions at Mohican State Park. The centerpiece of Mohican State Park is the Clear Fork of the Mohican River, which runs through a gorge more than 300 feet deep. The meltwaters from the edge of the last glacier helped to carve out this gorge. Its natural features include sandstone outcroppings, hemlocks, sycamores, oaks, and rare virgin white pine stands that have earned the area Registered National Natural Landmark status. Begin by walking the Hemlock Gorge Trail along the Clear Fork of the Mohican River, which runs through a glacial meltwater gorge that’s 300 feet deep. Its natural features include sandstone outcroppings, hemlocks, sycamores, oaks, and rare virgin white pine stands. Continue on the Lyons Falls Trail and walk into a recess cave under Big Lyons Falls and then to the top of Little Lyons Falls, which pour into a box canyon. Return on this loop to the covered bridge, where you’ll again meet the Hemlock Gorge Trail.
Loudonville, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.3
As you drive southeast from Columbus on US 33, the flat landscape is abruptly interrupted by short but steep ridges and hollows. This topographic change marks where the last glacier ended—where Midwest gives way to Appalachia. Glacial meltwater created the beautiful Clear Creek, which today is surrounded by a biodiverse forest, sandstone outcroppings, and many bird species that call this place home. Begin and end next to Clear Creek and make a 3-mile loop on the appropriately named Hemlock and Fern Trails—there are about forty fern species in the park. The more common ones you'll see include Christmas, wood, maidenhair, and sensitive fern, as well as ebony spleenwort and polypody fern.
Lancaster, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Hinckley Reservation is one of the best known in the Cleveland Metroparks system. The reservation gets its fifteen minutes of fame every year with the return of the buzzards. For locals, its 25 miles of trails are just as popular. Bird-watchers and other curious folks gather every March to celebrate the harbinger-of-spring return of the buzzards, large bald-headed scavengers, also known as turkey vultures. The Annual Return of the Buzzards is a park event every March 15, when the buzzards supposedly return like clockwork.The celebration motto is “No one spots a buzzard until the Official Buzzard Spotter spots one first!”
Brunswick, OH - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.7