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Ohio Hiking Trail Finder

This site is designed to provide quick, organized access to informative Ohio hiking websites. Private hiking enthusiasts like you have created excellent web pages on Ohio hiking trails -- then posted those pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.

  • American Discovery Trail from the "official"web page, Ohio section. The American Discovery Trail follows the Buckeye Trail for most of its route through Ohio from Chester Hill to Eden Park in Cincinnati.


  • Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve Here's the official Ohio Div. Natural Resources website for this outstanding sandstone gorge. Includes trail map, photos, info, etc. Keep in mind the actual "Blackhand Gorge Trail" is referred to by many as the "Blackhand Gorge Bike Path." Either way, a good site.


  • Buckeye Trail Official website for the trail that circles the state of Ohio. Good site, nice photos & maps.


  • Buckeye Trail Caron Collins and her husband plan to slackpack the Buckeye Trail over a ten year period. In this enjoyable narrative, the first hike in 1998 is described in the Hocking Hills Region.


  • Brecksville Reservation section of the Buckeye Trail. Very well written narrative with map & photos, content by Patience Cameron.


  • Clifton Gorge Hiking trip narrative by the Natural Born Hikers. Great description and photos. This is a typical Mom'n'apple pie American family that goes all-out for hiking...even the kids attack the trail with gusto. In my equally typical family, on the other hand, everybody moans and groans when I announce our hike plans. Anyway, here's the report from Clifton Gorge. Update, September 2005: For another Natural Born Hikers journey to this scenic Little Miami River locale, click here for Clifton Gorge Revisited.


  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park NPS site, includes descriptions, trailhead locations, ratings, and downloadable maps.


  • General Numerous popular Ohio Trails, some spectacular photos. Site by naturalbornhikers.com. Excellent site with lots of great hike narratives. Also see Clifton Gorge link above & Ledges Trail link below.


  • General Northeast Ohio Backpacking Club (Cleveland area) homepage. Good group, helpful & informative website.


  • General Site dedicated to backpacking in Ohio's State Parks. Clickable map names the parks and lists approximate miles of trails, goes to more comprehensive pages from there. Well done, site maintained by Ohio Department of Natural Resources.


  • General Here's another page on the Ohio DNR site, this one is a clickable map of all the state parks in Ohio. Good page to have on your favorites.


  • General -- Northeast Ohio hiking trail reviews in Cascade Valley MetroPark, Cuyahoga Valley NP, etc. on the NEOnaturalist.com site by Eddie Dengg. Some general pointers as well. Good all-around site.


  • General -- Yahoo Group Ohio Backpackers and Hikers online; a rapidly growing Yahoo Group. The focus of the group is backpacking and hiking in and around Ohio but some members participate in longer trips into different parts of the eastern USA. Whether you join the actual hikes or just join the online group, it's a valuable resource for the Ohio slacker. Moderated by Robert Kiser.


  • General -- Northeast Ohio site by Dustin Beach is sort of a do-all outdoors site, covering everything from hiking to skiing to rapelling and everything in between. Specific trail info includes Wildcat Hollow (Wayne National Forest) and a backpacking trail in Zaleski State Forest.


  • Hell Hollow Wilderness Area trail map in pdf format, site maintained by Lake County Parks.


  • Ledges Trail -- Cuyahoga National Park here's a great little description and photos from the Natural Born Hikers (scroll down the page once you're on it). Also, here's a neat little 360 view of The Ice Box on the about.com site. (Not much other info on the about.com site, and I seldom link to their vacuous pages, but this photo thingy deserves "kudos").


  • Little Miami Scenic River Loveland to South Lebanon; This hike follows a part of the Little Miami Bike Trail, which currently runs over 60 miles from Milford to Yellow Springs. Excellent description, narrative & map by Steve Miller.


  • Miami Valley Trails Southwest Ohio Maps, pictures and reviews of rail trails in the Miami Valley of Ohio. Has links to every RailTrail in Ohio and other states. Excellent site by Thomas J. Recktenwalt. Even has some cool looking photos of rolling stock.


  • Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park near Newbury with fascinating geological features; ledges, glacial erratics, chasms, etc. Hiking trail isn't very long but well worth the trip, and well worth the detour off I-80 to visit.


  • New Straitsville section of the Buckeye Trail; excellent narrative & photos by Rich Pfeiffer.


  • North Country/Buckeye Trail backpack in Southern Ohio. Well written trail narrative by Bill Menke.


  • North Country National Scenic Trail Ohio section, official site of the NCTA. NCTA uses the Buckeye Trail for a significant portion of its Ohio route, but with some key differences noted in this site.


  • Ohio to Erie Trail Once The Ohio to Erie Trail is in place, Ohioans will be able to travel the corridor linking Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland on a serene, safe trail while enjoying the countryside and experiencing the history that shaped our state.


  • Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail This multi-purpose trail was developed by the National Park Service and is the major trail through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. From it you can make connections to many of the natural and historic sites in the park and to other trails which intersect it along the way. A Towpath Trail map is available on-line.


  • Old Man's Cave section of the Buckeye Trail; excellent site provides photos, narrative, description & map; by Ed Hilbert and Connie Pond.


  • Salt Fork State Park excellent trail description, narrative & map by Connie Pond.


  • Shawnee State Forest hiker/backpacker site by Marv Welte is a nice introduction to the area. Includes well prepared outline for a weekend trip. This is an AOL Hometown site, and sometimes takes a moment to load. Give it time; it's a worthwhile site.


  • Shawnee State Forest backpack site by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Excellent maps available to download. This link moves from time to time, but the one given here is in working order as of December 2002.


  • Shawnee State Forest This is a brief but persuasive description of a "backpacking" trip on the "Dirtbaggers" website. In case you were wondering, "dirtbagging" is a minimalist approach to backpacking: Minimal gear, minimal hygiene. All in all, this is an interesting and informative website. I'll warn you in advance, the photos of the two gentlemen who run this site will not appear on the cover of GQ anytime soon. (One of them, in fact, looks like the demon love child of Gilligan, from castaway fame, and Jaws, from James Bond fame)


  • Shawnee State Forest Backpack trip from 1997, from Troop 14, Toledo OH. Site includes enjoyable trip description w/route map.


  • Vesuvius Recreation Area Wayne National Forest site for Vesuvius/Lake Vesuvius, etc. Semi-helpful.


  • Wayne National Forest - Archers Fork Hike This 9.5 mile trek through Ohio's Hill Country leads past a number of interesting geological and historical sites, including an incredible natural arch. Excellent narrative and photos on NaturalBornHikers.com.

  • Zaleski State Forest Ohio Department of Natural Resources site with all the usual stuff.


Lobster Bisque

Ohio has its own little version of Down East Main, if you will, and it's nowhere near as pricey. Lake Erie Islands, specifically Put-In-Bay, is an experience not to be missed. Glacial grooves, fishing, camping, hiking, bicycling, history, boating, even cave tours. But the highlight is dining on the waters of Lake Erie in downtown Put-In Bay. Again, the scenery is decidedly un-Ohio like -- or at least the average misconception of Ohio. Now, the "must-have" meal at these fine and quaint eateries is lobster bisque. "Be sure to have the bisque!" and "Don't miss the lobster bisque!" is the first thing you'll hear. You'll see it on billboards, in tourism brochures, in visitor guides.

Only problem is, the nearest natural lobster habitat is 512.4 miles from Put-In Bay. (That would be Bayonne, NJ) So while it made no sense at all, I figured, when in Rome...

Where was I? Ohio, right. Home of Drew Carey and the Ohio Turnpike? No, couldn't be possible. I was enjoying a delicious bowl of lobster bisque, staring at a sparkling sea, with waves lapping around the docks, boats rocking gently to a cool breeze. But when the check arrived and I didn't choke, I knew I wasn't in Maine, nor Cape Cod, nor even Bayonne for that matter.

So make a note: Put-In Bay -- not to be missed. Just don't tell anybody else about it. And besides, folks back home won't believe you anyway.

* * * * *

One of the key hiking regions in the Buckeye State is the Hocking Hills area, located in southeast Ohio. Rivers and streams snake through deep gorges, dense forests, and thousands of acres of state parks and state and national forest. This link will take you to a helpful tourism site that offers a free travel guide for the Hocking Hills region. Not a hiking site; it does have plenty of info and provides links via the "outdoors" page.

Obviously we're going to recommend a book; we'll take Ralph Ramey's 50 Hikes in Ohio: Day Hikes and Backpacks Throughout the Buckeye State. Yes, this is from the "50 Hikes" series, and we hate to keep beating the same drum. But once again the publishers have retained the "go-to guy" to pen the book, so we're hard pressed to suggest anything else. Now, if you already have this one, you ought to consider Hiking Ohio: Scenic Trails of the Buckeye State by Robert Folzenlogen. Also good.

-- Rick Bolger

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Want to add YOUR Ohio hiking page? It's free, it's easy, and there are no strings attached. Please click the "Submit a Site" button, above left, for instructions and complete information.

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