Just because Ohio winters may be snowy and frigid doesn't mean you can't enjoy them in the great outdoors. From its snow-covered forests to its frozen lakes, the Buckeye State offers plenty of reasons to get outside during the colder months and plenty of activities to enjoy while you're out there.
You don't have to be Dorothy Hamill to enjoy a glide across one of Ohio's frozen lakes and ponds that are ideal for ice skating. A number of state parks have these lakes, ponds or specifically designed outdoor rinks for you and your family's ice-skating pleasure. Ice skating can be great fun for kids or a romantic date for two. Check out regional listings for state park skating in Resources below.
Cross-country skiing lets you enjoy the lush Ohio winter landscape while you work your leg muscles and burn off all those calories from heavy holiday foods. Ohio's state parks are again an ideal location for this winter activity in open areas, along shorelines and golf courses or even on multiple-use trails. Some areas will provide rentals, but most require that folks bring their own equipment. Full snow cover and frozen ground are the only other requirements. Check out available locations and trails in Resources below.
If you'd rather use your feet sans skates and skis, you can opt for hiking through Ohio's winter wonderland. A number of lush forests and trails await at the state parks, either with your own agenda or as part of a group hike. Winter hiking lets you concentrate fully on the surrounding landscape, tracks and other signs of wildlife without the hassle of lots of equipment. Just bundle up well and be ready to warm up after your jaunt with a cozy cup of hot tea or chocolate. See Resources below for a group hike schedule and places to explore.
Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.