Description - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources manages 20 state forests and 73 state parks. Much of the recreation is centered around the many scenic lakes, rivers, and gorges. By visiting an Ohio park or forest, visitors can learn about the environment, learn about the state's rich natural heritage, or just kick back and enjoy an array of outdoor recreation opportunities that change with the season.
Copyright: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Scioto Trail State Forest
- From the blue glistening shores of Lake Erie to the deep crevices of Hocking Hills to the fishing waters at Stonelick, Ohio State Parks and State Forests manage land and recreation facilities designed for all tastes, ages, and abilities. Scheduled hunts and stocked waters are located throughout the state enhancing what nature has already shed upon Ohio. Recreational boating is one of Ohio's favorites. The many U.S. Army Corps of Engineer water management projects are oftentimes a joint venture with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources who manage the recreation associated with the dam. From fishing, camping, and picnicking, to sailboating, swimming, and waterskiing, Ohioans and her visitors will find award-winning state parks in every corner of the state.
Quail Hollow in northeastern Ohio is a divine hidden treasure where history comes to life at the Manor House and along the paths of a beautiful and well-manicured garden. Southeastern Ohio offers rolling hills where rustic lodges such as Burr Oak and Salt Fork entice the vacationer into airy entertainment lobbies where stone fireplaces, wooden board games and comfortable chairs give reason to linger and gaze outdoors. Rolling scenery at the backdrop of dangling busy bird feeders yield a memorable experience. Travelers in southwestern Ohio can enjoy the unique experience of fossil digging at Caesar's Creek State Park while northwestern travelers can enjoy scenic bike rides along the island shores of Lake Erie. Pausing at one of the many local cafes for a scoop of fresh dipped ice cream or a fresh hot cup of cappuccino can be a prelude to a guided fishing trip into the rich perch waters. Central Ohio is not to be forgotten. Alum Creek is the perfect recreation lake. When the speedboats come to rest at dusk, catfish anglers emerge silently trolling the water's edge.
Many of Ohio's State Parks and Forests offer full-service camping with facilities that include water, electric, ice, phone, and environmental programs. Picnic facilities are some of the best in the country where swimming beaches rest adjacent to tables, grills and concessions. Hiking is mostly easy, offering splendid sights even for the young, aged or disabled. Mountain biking is another of Ohio's favorites with many state park trails linking with metro park trails that travel to and beyond entertainment destinations. Equestrians will find their sport enhanced by several well-equipped horse camps. Anglers and hunters can also find their fill of sport. Park offices provide thorough details pertaining to stocked waters and seasonal hunts.
Recreation - Many outdoor recreations are enjoyed at Ohio State Parks and State Forests. Visitors will find camping, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, canoeing, rock climbing, nature walks, boating, fishing, lodging, interpretive programs, historic exhibits and sights, and more. Snorkeling and scuba diving are allowed in 29 state park lakes. Campers should note that facilities vary, and surprisingly, campgrounds near densely populated areas can be primitive in nature while those in more remote locations can have modern facilities. Also, campers that enjoy biking may do so along park and campground roads.
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.
Ohio's state parks are located throughout the state's five travel regions. The state forests are concentrated in the Southeast and Northeast Travel Regions with one forest lying in the Northwest Travel Region.