Start the new year with a hike


COLUMBUS – Start the new year right and get fit naturally by spending a few hours outside enjoying the beauty of an Ohio winter. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Watercraft is coordinating First Day hikes around the state including Caesar Creek, Hueston Woods, Maumee Bay, Portage Lakes, Shawnee, and Wingfoot Lake state parks.

These naturalist-led winter hikes range from 1-3 miles and are perfect for both beginning and experienced hikers. Dress in layers and wear sturdy footwear. To learn more, contact the individual park office for details.

Caesar Creek State Park – Meet at the nature center at 1 p.m. for a 1-mile hike. Visitors are invited to stay for an additional 3-mile hike to the park’s swinging bridge and Horseshoe Falls. For more information, call (513) 897-3055.

Hueston Woods State Park – Meet at the nature center at 11 a.m. for a hike that will showcase the flora and fauna of Hueston Woods. Participants will need a vehicle to drive to the trailhead. For more information, call (513) 523-6347.

Maumee Bay State Park – Meet at the nature center at 10 a.m. for a 90-minute hike along the park’s boardwalk. After, warm up inside the nature center at the wildlife viewing windows. No pets please. For more information, call (419) 836-7758.

Portage Lakes State Park – Meet at 2 p.m. at the first parking lot on the right, as you enter the park. This 3-mile moderate hike will follow the Shoreline and Pheasant Run trails. For more information, call (330) 628-4720.

Shawnee State Park – Meet in the lodge lobby at 1 p.m. for an easy 1-mile hike through the park’s oak-hickory woodland. After the hike, warm up by the lodge’s fireplace with hot chocolate and cookies. For more information, call (740) 858-6652.

Wingfoot Lake State Park – Meet at the marina parking lot at 11 a.m. for an easy 1-mile hike along the Wildlife trail. For more information, call (330) 628-4720.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.