Description - During the Ice Age several glaciers covered all of Ohio except the southeastern part of the state. The separate glacial movements resulted in the creation of four separate land regions: The Great Lakes Plains, the Till Plains, the Appalachian Plateau, and the Bluegrass Region.
Copyright: National Park Service
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Ohio boasts more than 44,000 miles of rivers and streams flowing either south into the Ohio River or north into Lake Erie. The Ohio River flows more than 450 miles along Ohio's southern borders. Lake Erie covers over 3,400 square miles with the International Line of the United States and Canada stretching about 20 miles north of the Ohio shore.
Forests encompass about a fourth of Ohio's landmass with the majority of the forest being comprised of hardwoods including black walnuts, maples, ash and oak. Common shrubs included the colorful dogwood and azalea. Common wildflowers include blazing stars, anemones, blue sages, Indian pipes, and wild indigos.
White-tailed deer are the dominant large wild animal of Ohio. Raccoons, red foxes, skunks, muskrats, and opossums have significant numbers. Several hundred bird species inhabit, nest or migrate in the midwestern state. Native fish species include bluegill, walleye, pike, perch, catfish, muskie, and bass.
- Ohio is rich in Native American and U.S. history. Its 73 state parks and various nationally-administered sites preserve historic and natural resources. Northern Ohio boasts a shoreline of nearly 200 miles along Lake Erie. State Parks and two major metropolitan areas, Cleveland and Toledo, lie along the lake. The Lake Erie shoreline also harbors Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, commemorating peace with Canada, and James A. Garfield National Historic Site, preserving historic structures associated with the 20th President. South of Cleveland along the Cuyahoga River is the newly defined Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Southern Ohio supports thousands of acres of farmlands as well as the cities of Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. The Ohio River forms the southern border of the state. Access to the river for recreation purposes is available at numerous points along its lengthy path. Large lakes in southwestern Ohio provide opportunities for fishing, boating and swimming. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in south central Ohio protects the mounds and artifacts of the Hopewell people, who lived in the region 1,800 years ago. The Wayne National Forest occupies nearly 200,000 acres of rolling hills and forest in the southeastern area of the state.
Recreation - Ohio's public lands support camping, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding and picnicking among other pursuits. Its lakes and rivers offer excellent fishing, boating and swimming to visitors and residents alike.
Please note that the Buckeye Trail is listed independent from any agency, while segments of the North Country National Scenic Trail are outlined within Wayne National Forest.
Climate - This state has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.
Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.
The Buckeye State is a midwestern state bordered by Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.