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The Scenic Route

The Scenic Route


Maumee Bay State Park

Perfect for families, Maumee Bay State Park is full of activities, from golfing and a kids' splash garden, to boating and water sports at their marina.  Find resort lodges, cottages and campgrounds for a perfect stay, and make sure to stop by the Nature Center to learn more about the park!

Lake Erie Islands

The possibilities are endless in the Lake Erie Islands. See exposed glacial grooves carved in the rock by glaciers thousands of years ago at Kelleys Island or stand in awe of the world’s largest geode at Crystal Cave in Put-in-Bay. Enjoy an amazing view of Lake Erie all the way to Canada from the top of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial at 352 feet or go parasailing for a real bird’s eye-view of the islands and sailboats. Paddlers will love kayaking around the islands with views of Cedar Point, towering rock formations and even shipwrecks!

Lake Erie Bluffs

Lake Erie Bluffs features gravel trails with scenic overlooks and access to a natural beach along Lake Erie. The 50-foot coastal observation tower at Lake Erie Bluffs overlooks the lakeshore with multiple viewing platforms along a staircase which leads to a deck featuring 360-degree-views. Here you can spot a unique view of the lake, surrounding woods, fields and wetlands, and a variety of wildlife–particularly a large number of bald eagles that are regularly seen at the park.


Wine country meets an outdoor paradise in Geneva-on-the-Lake. Head out on a fishing charter from Oak Harbor and catch your dinner or get your adrenaline rush with a zipline adventure along the coast with Lake Erie Canopy Tours. End the day by stopping at a few of Ashtabula County's historic covered bridges. The region is home to 19 bridges in all, including the shortest and the longest in the USA.

Holden Arboretum

Holden Arboretum is one of the largest arboreta and botanical gardens in the U.S., with more than 3,600 acres. Be sure to check out the Murch Canopy Walk and Kalberer Family Emergent Tower that takes guests on an immersive exploration of the forest and tree canopy. However, there is so much than just these two attractions to see at Holden. While you stroll past lakes, ponds and beautiful flower beds, you can also educate yourself on all of the plants and animals that inhabit this area. It’s beautiful and educational!

Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park

Known for its rugged cliffs and unique rock formations, Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park - or as locals call it "Nelson Ledges" - is even more radiant during the fall. The park lies near one of the highest points in the state and is near the watershed divide between the Ohio River and Lake Erie. Pack a picnic and set out on a hike through the 167-acre park. The trails range from easy to difficult and several pass by the Devil's Icebox, Indian Pass and Old Maid's Kitchen rock formations.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

All aboard! Sit back, relax and enjoy the Cuyahoga Valley's sea of colorful fall foliage from the comfort of a train car featuring expansive windows. As one of the most scenic railways in the country, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad hosts numerous events throughout the year, including its popular Fall Flyer ride that takes place Saturdays and Sundays in October, starting October 5. The relaxing 2-hour ride allows passengers to experience the breathtaking scenery in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Mohican Fire Tower Overlook in Mohican-Memorial State Forest

Start at the Mohican Covered Bridge and take the Hog Hollow hiking trail which leads to the site of the fire tower. Once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with 360-degree views of the forested countryside that make up the Mohican-Memorial State Forest. Looking for more scenic views? Nearby you'll find the Gorge Overlook that offers great views of the Mohican River.

Highbanks Metro Park

Head to Highbanks Metro Park near Columbus to hike your choice of ten different trails including the 2.3-mile Overlook Trail to a deck 100 feet above the Olentangy River and a vast canopy of trees. Tributary streams cutting across the bluff create deep ravines in the eastern part of the 1,200-acre park. Keep your eyes peeled on the overlook deck -- you might spot an eagle!

Rockbridge State Nature Preserve

Located in the heart of Ohio's Hocking Hills region, Rockbridge is the largest natural rock bridge in Ohio. The bridge is located between U.S. Route 33 and the Hocking River making it easily accessible by land or water. Park in the preserve parking lot and set out on the 1.6-mile Natural Bridge Trail or rent a canoe at the Hocking Hills Canoe Livery and paddle up the scenic Hocking River.

Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park offers visitors more than 10,000 acres of forests, trails, cliffs and caves to explore. Popular areas include Old Man's Cave, Ash Cave and Cedar Falls. Consider planning your trip around the park's annual Grandma Gatewood's Fall Color Hike taking place Saturday, October 12. Participants will meet a naturalist at the Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center and set out on a challenging 6-mile hike along the Grandma Gatewood trail. Next, get up-close to the region's vast fall foliage from above during a zipline canopy tour with Hocking Hills Canopy Tours!

Lake Hope State Park

Located in the rolling hills of southeast Ohio, Lake Hope State Park is a nature lovers paradise. While the park's trails offer plenty of scenic views near steep gorges and narrow ridges, consider enjoying the views over a meal at Lake Hope Lodge. A hidden gem in Ohio's culinary scene, the lodge serves made-from-scratch meals and uses local ingredients for delectable dishes including all-hickory smoked real pit BBQ.

Great Seal State Park

Nestled at the edge of Ohio's Appalachian foothills, Great Seal State Park offers a combination of gently rolling terrain - as seen on the Great Seal of the State of Ohio - and steep uphill climbs making it one of the more unique hiking destinations in the Buckeye State. Set out on the park's Sugarloaf Mountain Trail that winds past an overlook adjacent to the campground and offers views of the Scioto Valley below.

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

Take a scenic stroll through Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve followed by lunch at the Historic Clifton Mill Restaurant. Diners can gaze out at some of the state’s most beautiful natural scenery, including Clifton Gorge and the Little Miami River. After lunch take in more of southwest Ohio's natural beauty at Glen Helen Nature Preserve. While in Yellow Springs, stop by Yellow Springs Brewery for a stein of Oktoberfest Lager or Young's Jersey Dairy for a scoop (or two!) of its seasonal pumpkin, cinnamon or S'mores ice cream.

Five Rivers MetroParks

Five Rivers MetroParks, named America's newest adventure capital by National Geographic, offers outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy everything from cycling to paddling. With the plethora of outdoor activities in the 18 parks throughout Montgomery County, Five Rivers MetroParks hosts an annual outdoor adventure festival dedicated to helping people try them all. This year's festival is October 5-6 and admission is free. Try taking in the region's fall foliage while kayaking on Eastwood Lake in Eastwood MetroPark or bask in panoramic views of the Miami Valley atop the Tree Tower at Cox Arboretum MetroPark.

The Birch Tree Allee and Vista at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens

Akron's first and largest National Historic Landmark, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is one of the finest examples of the American Country Estate movement, which flourished during the Industrial Age. The Estate includes five historic buildings and ten historic gardens on 70 acres, like the Birch Tree Allée - an alleyway of 550-foot long gray birch trees.

Oak Openings Preserve Metropark

The largest of the Metroparks, there are 50 miles of unique trails and 5k acres to discover. We recommend the park for picnics, birding, fishing, biking, and even horseback riding. Just outside of Toledo, Oak Opening feels like an oasis far from the hustle and bustle of the city. The great diversity of animal and plant species makes this mire worth a visit.