The National Park in Ohio is hard to top when it comes to outdoor adventure. It is popular for its stunning beauty and rich culture. National Park in Ohio is home to many historic sites, and memorials dedicated to some of the state’s most famous and historic events.
In this article, you will get to know about 2 Adventurous National parks in Ohio, and other National Historical Sites and attractions.
1. The Inspiring History of National Parks in Ohio
The National Park Service first became involved in Ohio in 1933, with the establishment of the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. This National Park in Ohio was one of the first to be designated as a national recreation area, and it is still one of the most popular National Parks in the state today.
The National Park Service now manages eight units in Ohio, including:
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park
- James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor
- Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
- Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
- First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton
- Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
- William Howard Taft National Historic Site in Cincinnati
- Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial on South Bass Island.
2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The most visited national park in Ohio is Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). It is a beautiful natural sanctuary just south of Cleveland and Akron.
3. Amazing Things to Do in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
3.1 Hit the scenic Hiking Trails
- Ledges Trail: This 1.5-mile circle walk provides breathtaking views of sandstone cliffs and lush trees. This National Park in Ohio has a trail with a variety of plants and wildlife, including wildflowers and songbirds. It’s a short trip that can be accomplished in an hour or less, making it ideal for families with young children or inexperienced hikers looking for a scenic walk without too much physical effort.
- Buckeye Trail: Hikers on this 8-mile circular trail will pass through a variety of environments, including old-growth forests, marshes, and meadows. As you make your way around the loop, you’ll see plenty of animals and may even catch a glimpse of deer or beavers. The landscape is largely flat with a few hills, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
- Towpath Trail: This 20-mile section follows an ancient canal track that mules used to move boats upriver in the nineteenth century. Today, it provides breathtaking views of lush forests and undulating hillsides, as well as several opportunities to sight wildlife along the way. Although it is slightly longer than other paths in the park, it is ideal for a day trek or an overnight camping excursion.
3.2 Go Bike Riding
There are various bike trails throughout this National Park in Ohio, ranging from easy flat tracks to more challenging routes with hill climbs and switchbacks. If you don’t have your own bike, renting is available at the visitor center.
East Rim Trail is ideal for experienced mountain cyclists seeking a challenge. It has strong hills and descents that will put your skills to the test as you weave your way through the forest.
3.3 Enjoy Kayaking & Canoeing
Kayaking and canoeing are one of the best ways to explore the National Park in Ohio. It is one of the best Ohio National Parks that offers a variety of scenic paddling opportunities for all levels of experience.
Peninsula has the Station Road Bridge Trailhead. This trailhead provides access to some of the park’s most picturesque areas. Paddle down Brandywine Creek and enjoy spectacular views of Brandywine Falls from here.
A trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park would be incomplete without a trip down the park’s namesake river. As you meander down the valley, you can explore all sorts of nooks and crannies. You’ll have lots of opportunities to take in breathtaking vistas of forests, wetlands, and farmland along the journey.
3.4 Try your Luck in Fishing
Many of the park’s streams and lakes allow fishing.
Tinkers Creek, located near Brecksville, provides anglers with access to both warm and cold water species such as smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, catfish, sunfish, and others. It is also a wonderful habitat for panfish such as bluegill and crappie.
Rocky River flows through Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, providing fishermen with access to a variety of fish species such as largemouth bass, channel catfish, brown trout, rainbow trout, panfish, carp, suckers, and others.
3.5 Have Fun watching Birds
Bird watching is an interesting way to explore this National Park in Ohio, as it is home to over 200 kinds of birds. Bring your binoculars and keep an eye out for bald eagles, woodpeckers, warblers, and other wildlife!
Brandywine Falls is one of the most popular attractions in this Ohio National Park, and it’s also a terrific place to go bird-watching. Many different species use the falls for cover and food, including warblers, thrushes, sparrows, woodpeckers, and others.
During the spring and fall migration seasons, Horseshoe Pond is an excellent place to see waterfowl. You’re likely to encounter ducks, geese, swans, grebes, and other birds here!
3.6 Go Horseback Riding
Take a guided horseback ride through this National Park in Ohio on designated trails that offer breathtaking views of nature along the way.
3.7 Try Camping
If you’re looking for a more rustic experience, check out the primitive campsites at Camp Butler and Stanford Backcountry Campsites. These sites offer basic amenities such as fire rings and picnic tables but no electricity or running water.
They also have pit toilets and access to trails, so you can explore this National Park in Ohio while still having all the comforts of home nearby.
3.8 Visiting Historic Sites
The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath is ideal for a calm stroll. The picturesque Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath follows the path of the historic canal that formerly connected Lake Erie to Akron.
Along the way, you’ll see old locks and aqueducts that were used to convey products along this vital trading route. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath, which runs through lush woodlands and open fields, also provides breathtaking vistas of nature.
4. Must-See Attractions of Cuyahoga Valley National Park
4.1 Everett Road Covered Bridge
This bridge, which was built over 100 years ago, still stands today as an iconic reminder of simpler times gone by and is an excellent location for scenic photography.
The Everett Road Covered Bridge also provides excellent views of Furnace Run Creek. It’s a lovely site for viewing nature’s splendor while admiring the architecture of this historic bridge.
4.2 Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Take a trip back in time with the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which will take you through some of the most beautiful parts of this Ohio National Park.
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad provides a range of experiences, including sightseeing tours, dinner excursions, and special events such as murder mystery dinners and seasonal celebrations. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has something for everyone!
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is wheelchair accessible, allowing everyone to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of one of their classic trains or railcars!
4.3 Blossoms of Hope Garden
This tranquil garden is home to over 150 varieties of flowers and plants, making it a perfect spot for taking a peaceful stroll or simply admiring nature’s beauty.
5. Budget-Friendly Stay in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
5.1 Hampton Inn & Suites Cleveland-Solon
This hotel is located just minutes from the National Park in Ohio and features comfortable rooms with all of the amenities you need for a relaxing stay. Onsite amenities include an indoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, business center, free breakfast buffet each morning, and free WiFi throughout the property.
5.2 Courtyard by Marriott Cleveland Airport South
This modern hotel offers spacious guest rooms with plush bedding as well as an onsite restaurant serving delicious meals. You can also take advantage of the hotel’s fitness center, indoor pool, and free Wi-Fi.
5.3 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cleveland-Independence
This luxurious hotel features spacious rooms with modern furnishings, as well as an onsite restaurant serving delicious meals. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cleveland-Independence is also conveniently located near shopping malls and restaurants.
6. Best Ways to reach Cuyahoga Valley, National Park
6.1 By Car
The easiest way to access this National Park in Ohio is by car. Located on Route 8 south of Cleveland, the park can be reached from Interstate 271 or Interstate 77 in less than an hour.
The main entrance is located at Brecksville Reservation off State Road 82, with additional entrances along Route 303 and Riverview Road near Peninsula. There are also two visitor centers where you can find information about activities in the park.
6.2 Via Public Transportation
You can also take public transportation to visit this Ohio National Park. The Akron Metro Transit Authority provides bus service from downtown Akron to Boston Mills station and Peninsula Depot at several different times throughout the day during weekends and holidays from May through October.
6.3 By Bike
For those who want to explore National Park in Ohio on two wheels, there are plenty of biking trails throughout the National Park in Ohio.
The Towpath Trail is a popular option for cyclists looking to explore the area, as it runs along the historic Ohio and Erie Canal and offers views of wildlife and local flora. Additionally, you can rent bikes at several locations in nearby Cleveland or Akron.
7. Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is a national park in Ohio dedicated to preserving Dayton’s aviation history. The Wright Brothers National Park in Ohio was established in 1992 and comprises four different locations that celebrate the development of powered flight by the Wright brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Wilbur and Orville Wright.
7.1 Things to do at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
7.2 Explore Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center & Aviation Trail Visitor Center
The Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center is an excellent site to begin your tour to the National Park in Ohio. There are interactive exhibits here that convey the tale of Wilbur and Orville Wright’s connection to aviation history. You can also visit the Aviation Trail Visitor Center, which displays relics from their time as innovators and aviation technology pioneers.
7.3 Visit Huffman Prairie Flying Field
Huffman Prairie Flying Field, located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is where Wilbur and Orville tested their aircraft after designing them in nearby Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. You can take a self-guided tour of this historic site or join one of the park service’s ranger-led excursions during certain months of the year.
7.4 Tour Hawthorn Hill Mansion
Hawthorn Hill Mansion, built in 1914 by Wilbur Wright’s sister, Katharine Wright, is a stunning example of the American Arts and Crafts style. Explore the house to discover more about Wilbur’s life and achievements while enjoying its distinctive architecture.
7.5 Take a Flight Simulation Ride
Prepare for takeoff! With a flying simulation ride at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, you can experience what it was like for Wilbur and Orville as they tested their aircraft. This exhilarating encounter will undoubtedly raise your heart rate!
7.6 Visit Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial
Pay your respects to this well-known African-American poet at his state memorial, which is located inside the park’s limits. You can look at relics from Dunbar’s life, such as his typewriter, manuscripts, photographs, books, and other mementos from his time as an author in Dayton in the late 1800s.
7.7 Hike along woodland Trails
Enjoy nature and explore this National Park in Ohio with a hike along one of its many woodland trails.
8. Best Hotels in Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
8.1 The Hampton Inn Detroit Metro Airport
This hotel is just minutes from the park and offers free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking.
8.2 The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ypsilanti
This hotel offers a free shuttle to and from the airport, as well as free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking.
9. How to Reach Aviation Heritage National Historical Park?
There are several ways to reach the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. The best way to reach the park is by car, but there are also several public transportation options available.
9.1 By Car
The park is located just off Interstate 75, about an hour north of Cincinnati. From I-75, take exit 36 and follow State Route 4 north for about 3 miles. The park will be on the right.
9.2 By Public Transportation
The park is also accessible by public transportation. The RTA Route 4 bus stops at the park, and the park is also a short walk from the RTA Route 22 bus stop.
10. Stunning Monuments & Historical sites in Ohio that’re worth Checking Out
10.1 Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.
If you want to have some fun, head east to Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. This memorial commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812 and is located on an island in Lake Erie. Visitors can browse the museum, enjoy the views from the observation deck, or climb to the top of the column for a breathtaking perspective.
10.2 William Howard Taft National Historic Site
The William Howard Taft National Historic Site, located just outside Cincinnati, is to the north. Taft’s life as a lawyer, judge, president, and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court is commemorated on this website. The historic mansion also houses a number of displays about his life and profession.
10.3 First Ladies National Historic Site
The First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton, Ohio, is the next stop on your trip. This website honors all 45 first ladies by featuring interactive exhibits that showcase their lives and accomplishments while residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The museum has interactive exhibits that show how each first lady influenced our country’s history. Visitors can also participate in special activities such as lectures and tours to learn more about the lives of these great women.
10.4 James A Garfield National Historic Site
James A Garfield National Historic Site is located just south of Canton and honors our 20th President, who was assassinated after only four months in office. Throughout the year, visitors can learn about his childhood in Ohio as well as his presidency through guided tours, special events, and educational activities.
10.5 The North Country National Scenic Trail
The North Country National Scenic Trail stretches 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota. It crosses seven states, including Ohio. Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts can visit some of the most magnificent scenery in the United States on this trail.
The North Country Trail in Ohio is almost 400 miles long and runs through 13 counties in northern Ohio. Visitors can enjoy a variety of terrain along this section of trail, including woodlands, marshes, prairies, and rolling hills.
10.6 The Clark National Historic Trail
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, also known as the Clark National Historic Trail, is a must-see for anybody interested in learning more about our country’s history. This trail, which stretches over 3,700 miles from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean, has been a part of American history since 1804.
10.7 David Berger National Memorial
The David Berger National Memorial in Beachwood, Ohio, is a national memorial honoring a remarkable young man and his lifelong devotion to social justice. It remembers David Berger, a native Clevelander who was among 11 Israeli athletes assassinated by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics. It is located on the grounds of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland.
The David Berger National Memorial honors his legacy in several ways, including a memorial plaza with an eight-foot bronze sculpture of him running with a torch; an outdoor amphitheater for public events; a reflection garden surrounded by trees representing each country where David lived or visited; interactive displays that tell his story; and educational programming that promotes tolerance and understanding between people of different backgrounds.
11. Best Time to Visit National Park in Ohio
Summer: Peak season in Ohio’s national parks is from June to August. Temperatures can reach the 90s during this period, and humidity levels can be significant. However, National Parks in Ohio include a variety of activities that make summer visits worthwhile.
National parks in Ohio provide breathtaking views of lush forests and wildlife, and many campgrounds feature family-friendly programs such as movie nights and nature hikes.
Fall: Fall offers cooler weather and stunning autumn colors to Ohio’s National Parks when temperatures decrease in September and October. This is an excellent time for leaf peeping and bird viewing because migratory birds rush to Ohio’s National Parks during this season.
During this time, you can also take advantage of discounted camping costs, making it easier on your wallet! Furthermore, numerous sports, such as fishing and boating, are still available in the fall.
Winter: If you don’t mind chilly temperatures, winter is a terrific season to explore National Park in Ohio. Many National Parks in Ohio do not open all attractions during this season, but there are still plenty of activities to enjoy, such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Furthermore, because animals like deer and foxes can be seen more easily against the white backdrop of snow, winter affords unique possibilities for wildlife viewing in Ohio’s National Parks.
Spring: As spring arrives in March and April, wildflowers begin to blossom in Ohio’s National Parks and temperatures begin to rise.
You can take advantage of discounted camping costs in National Park in Ohio, during this time, making it an affordable tour! Hiking trails in Ohio’s National Parks offer spectacular vistas of verdant woodlands as well as wildlife observations throughout this season.
12. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. How many national Historic sites and memorials are there in Ohio?
There are currently 11 National Historic Sites and Memorials located in Ohio.
Q2. Are pets allowed at national parks in Ohio?
Pets are generally not allowed within the boundaries of National Park in Ohio; however, some parks allow leashed pets on certain trails or areas outside of the main boundaries. Check out the national park service website for specific rules regarding pet policies.
Q3. Can I bring my food to a national park in Ohio?
Yes; however some parks have restrictions regarding food items that can be brought into the boundaries of the park (e.g., no glass containers).
Visiting a national park in Ohio is a wonderful way to experience nature, learn about history, and appreciate the state’s natural beauty. Spending time at any of Ohio’s national parks is sure to be a unique experience, from camping under the stars to exploring historic ruins and participating in exciting activities.