Ohio offers hikers the chance to enjoy some of the most gentle terrains in the Midwest, particularly during fall when the foliage becomes a vivid color palette of bright yellows, oranges, reds, and browns. To help you explore some of the Buckeye State's expansive woodlands, nature preserves, and parks, we've chosen five of the best hiking trails based on recommendations from Trails.com and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The Buckeye Trail treats hikers to a little of everything that Ohio has to offer, from Lake Erie beachheads to the Ohio River and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. You can explore the entire 1,444-mile loop that circles through Ohio or visit sections for a shorter hike.
Little Miami Scenic Trail
The 3rd longest paved trail in America is the 50-mile (and expanding) Little Miami Scenic Trail, which runs as a linear park through southwestern Ohio. Hikers pass forests, farmlands, gorges, and centuries-old Fort Ancient, which was built by the Hopewell Indians overlooking the Little Miami River.
Logan Trail (North Loop)
The main hiking trail in Tar Hollow State Park, located in the north end of the Tar Hollow State Forest, is the north loop of the Logan Trail, which begins and ends at the Pine Lake Dam. Hikers walk for 12.1 miles through deciduous forests that are alive with color in the fall and filled with wildflowers in the spring, and along the way there is a fire tower you can climb to take in expansive views.
Glen Helen Multi-Trail Loop
The Glen Helen Multi-Trail Loop offers hikers more than 20 miles of trails to explore throughout the Glen Helen Nature Preserve, which was formed 10,000 years ago by glacial meltwaters. On these trails hikers traverse pristine areas along the Yellow Springs Creek, including prairies, meadows, pine forests, and a waterfall.
Germantown MetroPark is home to the popular 8-mile hiking path known as the Orange Trail, which follows Twin Creek over rolling hills and through old-growth forests that are home to wild turkeys. The Orange Trail is entirely shaded as it loops through various landscapes that offer seasonal treats like autumn foliage and spring wildflowers.