10 Best State Parks in Ohio

Ohio is scattered with amazing places to experience the great outdoors. State forests, memorials, nature preserves, wildlife areas and more than 70 incredible parks. No two parks are alike and each is distinctive in its natural beauty. Here are our favorite state parks in Ohio! 

Salt Fork State Park, Lore City, OH

The state’s largest park is teeming with things to do. Hiking, horseback riding, fishing, camping and swimming and boating at the Salt Fork Reservoir make this a favorite for nature-lovers. In any season, visitors are treated to a diversity of spectacular wildflowers, as well as animals from wild turkeys to songbirds, like the scarlet tanager. Trails are accessible throughout the year, by snowmobile in winter.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ohio State Parks (@ohstateparks) on

John Bryan State Park, Yellow Springs, OH

The Little Miami River, which runs through this park, has, throughout the centuries, carved an impressive limestone gorge that can be admired from several vista points. This 752-acre park has a warren of hiking trails that meander past waterfalls and cascading streams. Other activities include canoeing, disc golf, fishing, picnicking, rock climbing and mountain biking. In spring, the more than 300 species of wildflowers cover the park in color.

Malabar Farm State Park, Lucas, OH

This farm pays homage to Louis Bromfield, conservationist, farmer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Guided tours of the 32-room Big House, outbuildings and surrounding pastures, still home to goats, beef cattle and chickens, are offered year-round. There’s an education center with information on agriculture, wildlife, energy, conservation and recycling. Best time to visit: during the Maple Syrup Festival in spring or for the change-of-season fall colors.

Kelleys Island State Park, Kelleys Island, OH

Get your sea legs under you, because the only way to get to this park is by ferry. This island park is completely surround by Lake Erie. Once there, hiking and biking trails are easily accessible. There’s a popular summertime public beach, a place for swimming, kayaking or casual sunbathing. Spend the night in one of the campgrounds, both electric and non, or in one of the several large yurts. Ice fishing, ice skating and cross-country skiing for the hearty winter visitors.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ohio Dept of Natural Resources (@ohiodnr) on

Deer Creek State Park, Mt. Sterling, OH

A walk through the woodlands at this 2,300-acre park takes hikers along a dozen or so miles of hiking-only trails. Equestrians have 17 miles of bridal trails to ride along. Other amenities are a campground, golf course, swimming beach, boating activities and a modern lodge with cottages. Park goers can fish, hunt seasonally, picnic and kayak and paddleboard on the reservoir. Plenty of accommodations for large groups, too.

Tar Hollow State Park, Laurelville, OH

If you want to see a slice of Ohio the way it was when the first settlers came to the state, take a trip to this park where the surrounding wilderness is reminiscent of that time. A walk through the dense woodlands takes you past dogwoods and pitch pines, once a source of pine tar, thus the Park’s name. The trails, which range in difficulty, have a little something for everyone. Bridle trails wind through the park for 25 miles. The Logan Backpacking Trail, a serious 21-mile trek for avid hikers, overlaps with the Ohio Buckeye Trail.

Shawnee State Park, Portsmouth, OH

This is known as Ohio’s “Little Smokies” because of the soft, blue haze that blankets the Park’s rolling hills. Numerous hiking trails traverse the park, as do many bridle trails. Fish at Roosevelt and Turkey Creek lakes and you might catch largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie and trout. Stop by the Nature Center, visit with a naturalist and pick-up info about local wildlife and plants.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ramos(t) Famous Photography (@ramostfamous) on

Hueston Woods State Park, College Corner, OH

Natural history abounds at this park. Hundreds of acres of native Beech-Maple forest, dubbed the Big Woods, is protected. You can do a little fossil hunting, remnants of an ancient shallow sea that once covered the area. Birders will be glued to their binoculars, looking for one of the 150 species of birds that live in the park. Activities for mountain bikers, horseback riders, hunters and fishermen also available. Dog owners will love the three-acre dog park with lake access.

Beaver Creek State Park, East Liverpool, OH

Grab a canoe, and only a canoe or rubber raft, and take a trip on the swift currents of Little Beaver Creek and past awe-inspiring beauty through the Little Beaver Creek gorge. The 2,700 hundred acres are a mix of wilderness, rugged terrain and forested lands, just right for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center provides an in-depth look at the area’s natural history. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Tracy (@hager_bomber) on

Indian Lake State Park, Lakeview, OH

The peacefulness of this park is interrupted only by the honking, quacking, trumpeting and squawking of the hundreds of migratory birds that rest in the waters here as they migrate south. This man-made lake also provides human visitors opportunities to boat, fish, jet-ski, water skiing swim, hike, picnic and camp. Winter brings with it the chance to do some snowmobiling, ice skating, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and ice boating.

View more Ohio Parks.
Share your favorites!
Ohio Search
Find Parks Near You
Find Parks Near You
4119 State Route 95, Mount Gilead, OH
To provide an outdoor recreational experience for Ohio State Park visitors that exceeds their expectations. Read More
4119 State Route 95, Mount Gilead, OH
Mt. Gilead State Park is a quiet, small 181-acre park centrally located in the state of Ohio. Picnicking, fishing and hiking can be enjoyed year-ro... Read More
3615 South Old State Road, Delaware, OH
Alum Creek's 3,387-acre reservoir and 4,630-acres of gently rolling span of fields and woodlands provides a hub of recreational activity just minut... Read More
5202 US Route 23 North, Delaware, OH
Dense woodlands, expansive meadows and a shimmering 1,300-acre reservoir blend to create Delaware State Park. Once home to the Delaware Indians, th... Read More
708 Park Meadow Road, Westerville, OH
ACrEAGE: 3.954 AcresACquirED: 1985Parking: 20 Spaces/1 ADA Space (Off-Site)FunDinG: ciP, DonationsDEVELOPED: 2005: Park DedicationDog Park AreaSize... Read More
785 West Broadway, Granville, OH
Amenities include: Shelter House with picnic tables, Playground, Barbeque Grill, Soccer Fields, Community Gardens, Dog Park, Access to TJ Evans Bik... Read More
940 Pizzurro Park Way, Gahanna, OH
This beautiful park includes over 23 acres of family enjoyment.  Pizzurro Park is also home to a "Dog Park", which includes a 4 acre fenced area w... Read More
4050 Bromfield Road, Lucas, OH
Malabar Farm in Pleasant Valley was the dream of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Louis Bromfield. Today, visitors can see the house and farm exi... Read More
5000 East Livingston Avenue, Columbus, OH
Features: Three enclosed areas, double gated entrances, lights, pond access, separate large and small dog areas.  Hours: 7:00am to 11:00pm (Daily) Read More
480 East Town Street, Columbus, OH
A Historic GemThough the Topiary Park that we know today was dedicated in 1992, the seven-acre park’s history goes back much further. The top... Read More
400 West Whittier Street, Columbus, OH
Scioto Audubon is a 120-acre oasis in the downtown heart of a major city. It's a partnership effort between Metro Parks, the City of Columbus Recre... Read More
2905 Liebs Island Road, Millersport, OH
Buckeye Lake, constructed as a canal feeder lake in 1826, is Ohio's oldest state park. The park has long been a popular vacation spot and today off... Read More
3116 State Route 3, Loudonville, OH
Camping100 electric sites51 full hook-up sites35 non-electric sitesShowers, flush toilets, dump station and a campground storeRegistered campers ma... Read More
455 S. Westgate Ave, Columbus, OH
Westgate Park is a landmark to the historic Westgate community and home to the popular summertime event, the Hilltop Bean Dinner. The park establis... Read More
5265 Dillon Hills Drive, Nashport, OH
The wooded hills and scenic valleys of the Dillon area offer a picturesque setting for outdoor adventure. Whether boating the quiet coves and inlet... Read More
185 Clear Creek Road, Rockbridge, OH
About:Clear Creek Metro Park features over 5,300 acres of woodland interspersed with blackhand sandstone cliffs, ravines and creeks and is home to ... Read More
7317 Warner Huffer Road, Circleville, OH
The rolling woodlands and quiet waters of A.W. Marion State Park offer visitors a welcome escape from the rigors of everyday life. This small (309 ... Read More
4860 E Park Drive, London, OH
Lying within the vast Darby Plains of Ohio, 76-acre Madison Lake State Park is small and peaceful. The 106-acre lake attracts anglers and offers ex... Read More
491 Coe St, Tiffin, OH
Hedges-Boyer Park is Tiffin's community park, consisting of 78 acres of parkland with a creek running through it, and bridging the gap between Coe ... Read More
Show More
Select a Ohio town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you