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Top 17 hidden gems to visit in Ohio

Hocking Hills State Park – A nature lover’s paradise! Explore towering cliffs, deep gorges, and picturesque waterfalls set in a scenic forest. Take a hike, snap some stunning photos, and reconnect with nature.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park – A hidden gem! Enjoy a scenic train ride through the Cuyahoga River valley or explore the park’s many hiking and biking trails. Don’t miss the stunning Brandywine Falls or the historic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Old Man’s Cave – Step into history at this scenic gorge in Hocking Hills State Park, named for the hermit Richard Rowe who lived in a cave in the 1800s. Explore the hiking trails and discover waterfalls and other natural wonders.

Conkle’s Hollow – Get ready to be wowed at this breathtaking scenic gorge in Hocking Hills State Park, with high cliffs and a picturesque waterfall. Take a hike and experience the stunning views for yourself.

Rock House – Feeling adventurous? Check out this unique cave-like rock formation in Hocking Hills State Park, accessible via a short hike. You’ll feel like you’re in another world as you explore the dark and mysterious passages.

Ash Cave – Explore one of Ohio’s most beautiful natural wonders at Ash Cave, a large horseshoe-shaped cave with a scenic waterfall in Hocking Hills State Park. It’s a great spot for a picnic or a peaceful nature walk.

Cedar Falls – Take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of Cedar Falls, a scenic waterfall in Hocking Hills State Park. Listen to the soothing sound of rushing water and enjoy the serene surroundings.

The Wilds – Get up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing animals at The Wilds, a 10,000-acre wildlife conservation center. Experience a safari tour and see rare and endangered animals like African elephants and cheetahs.

Great Serpent Mound – Discover one of North America’s most intriguing ancient landmarks at Great Serpent Mound, a 1,348-foot-long Native American earthwork in the form of a serpent. Learn about the history and mystery behind this fascinating site.

Winton Woods, a park in Cincinnati that boasts over 1000 acres of hiking trails, a 156-acre lake for boating and fishing, and camping facilities for visitors. With so much to see and do, this park is the perfect destination for a peaceful and serene stay.

Next up is Caesar Creek State Park in southwest Ohio, with its scenic 7,900-acre lake providing ample opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming. The park has more than 43 miles of hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking trails that let visitors explore its diverse wildlife and natural beauty.

If you’re looking for an immersive forest experience, Goll Woods State Nature Preserve is the perfect destination. As the largest remaining old-growth forest in Ohio, the preserve has towering trees, rare plants, and wildlife. The four-mile trail system lets visitors witness an ecosystem that has remained largely unchanged for centuries.

In central Ohio, Alum Creek State Park is a popular destination with a 3,000-acre reservoir for boating, fishing, and swimming. With its hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails, the park’s natural scenery changes dramatically throughout the seasons, providing a unique experience every time you visit.

The Cleveland Metroparks offers a vast network of parks that cover more than 23,000 acres in the Cleveland area. With its hiking and biking trails, fishing, golfing, and picnicking, the parks are a perfect escape from city life. The scenic overlooks and tranquil streams make for a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

The Buckeye Trail is a 1,444-mile trail that circles the entire state of Ohio, connecting hikers with the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Buckeye State. With sections suitable for hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding, the trail offers a wide range of experiences for outdoor enthusiasts.

Adams Lake State Park is a hidden gem in southern Ohio, with its quiet lake offering opportunities for boating and fishing. The hiking trails wind through the park’s natural scenery, and visitors can enjoy a peaceful picnic in the park’s pavilions or watch the sunset over the lake.

Last but not least, Punderson State Park in northeast Ohio offers a scenic 18-hole golf course, and boating, fishing, and hiking trails. The park’s natural scenery and beautiful lake make it a popular destination for picnicking and relaxing, and its picturesque setting makes it the perfect spot for special events.