Things to Do in Ohio in the Summer

Things to Do in Ohio in the Summer
Ohio does not flaunt its vast natural resources, so many people remain unfamiliar with what the state has to offer. For outdoor recreation and nature lovers of all types, it has abundance. Whether you prefer your trip to have a little of the excitement of a roadside attraction, the formality of an Air Force base or the breadth of a state or national park, Ohio has something waiting for you.

Big Muskie

The massive metal bucket from the one-time world's largest earth-moving machine is on display near Reinersville. The valley area around the bucket was mined using the machine known as Big Muskie and is now host to The Wilds animal preserve. It is a wonderful place to see reclamation efforts alongside former devastation of the land. Picnic areas and parking are provided.

Big Muskie's Bucket
State Route 78
Bristol - Reinersville, Ohio


Free admission allows you to see 100 years of aircraft history on display (and a replica of a nuclear bomb). The tour encompasses several hangars and involves a lot of walking to view the many historical presentations.

Memorial Park is located outside the hangars and offers 500 commemorative statues, benches and pieces of art to remind us of the service of both units and individuals. Air Park has outdoor aircraft exhibits, a World War II control tower on display and the Just Plane Fun playground. The base also hosts a yearly U.S. Air Force marathon.

National Museum of the United States Air Force
Wright Patterson AFB
1100 Spaatz St.
Dayton, Ohio
(937) 255-3286

Wayne National Forest

Wayne National Forest is Ohio's only national forest, and according to the Forest Service, it covers almost a quarter million acres of Appalachian foothills.

Offering 300 miles of trails, the forest welcomes ATV use, along with mountain biking and horseback riding. Visitors may camp (primitive camping is allowed), hike, backpack or enjoy scenic views including rock formations, deciduous trees and wildflowers. Plentiful wildlife, butterflies and birds are on view.

Points of interest include two lookout towers, Tinker's cave, the Payne cemetery, Irish Run natural bridge, covered bridges, Lake Vesuvius and the old Vesuvius Furnace.

Wayne National Forest
13700 US Highway 33
Nelsonville, Ohio 45764
(740) 753-0101

Buckeye Lake

Buckeye Lake State Park is one of the oldest parks in the state and is still one of the best for all types of boating. Boat ramps are available, and there are many small islands to explore. The 3,100-acre lake offers numerous sites for swimming and picnicking, including several with playground equipment and shelters.

Nearby sites of interest to naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts include Dawes Arboretum, Blackhand Gorge, the Hebron Fish Hatchery and Moundbuilders Park.

Buckeye Lake State Park
P.O. Box 488
2905 Liebs Island Road
Millersport, Ohio 43046
(740) 467-2690

Article Written By Alice Moon

Alice Moon is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and has traveled throughout Asia. Moon holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Ball State University.

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