Ohio is truly a treasure of natural wonder, with a variety of different landscapes from the plains of the northwest to the rolling hills of the south. Our 74 state parks offer a great opportunity to experience our state’s scenery while partaking in a number of unique family-friendly activities. Ohio is also home to 21 state forests, 136 nature preserves, and 117 wildlife areas, comprising almost 600,000 acres of land.
In the 84th House District, we are lucky to have two incredible state parks—Grand Lake St. Marys State Park and Lake Loramie State Park—both easily within driving distance for even just a day at the lake. Celina can boast about Grand Lake St. Marys to the rest of the state at its annual Lake Festival at the end of July each year, but both parks are certainly worthy of a trip out to western Ohio during any time of the year.
Grand Lake St. Marys State Park is well-known for its boating opportunities, with 13,500 acres of lake water and 52 miles of shoreline. In addition to boating, fishing is a popular activity at the lake, with largemouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, and more in plentiful abundance. Lake Loramie State Park also has many lake-related pastimes, but exclusive to it is a 9-hole disc golf course and five hiking trails. With picnicking, swimming, and more available at both parks, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to go around.
Outside of this region, one of my favorite parks to visit is Hocking Hills State Park. My family and I go there often, staying in one of the cabins or bringing our camper down for an extended visit. The landscape and scenery at Hocking Hills are some of Ohio’s best hidden treasures and are truly incomparable. While there is much to do at the park, it is best known for its exceptional trails. From Old Man’s Cave to the Rock House, Hocking Hills has some of Ohio’s most interesting terrain and most beautiful views.
In my experience, I’ve enjoyed many of our state parks with my own family, and I know the kinds of memories that can be created while hiking, boating, and more. Your state parks are an opportune way to experience more of Ohio as we transition into fall, and I encourage you to get out and explore!