COLUMBUS – Get fit naturally as we begin a new year with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Ohio State Parks will be offering several winter hikes this month for people to enjoy. With winter hikes at state parks like Hocking Hills, Lake Loramie and Mohican, there are several options for winter hikes statewide for people eager to hike and spend time outdoors in 2018.
Winter Hikes at Punderson State Park – Enjoy the winter wonderland by walking through the park on a naturalist-led hike at Punderson State Park starting on Sunday, Jan. 7. This hike will take place every Sunday morning during January and February at 10 a.m., and we will have hikers venturing through the beautiful woods of the park. During our hike, we will discuss what animals do in the winter and look for some signs of their presence. The hike will take place on the Huron Trail and is just under 1 mile in length. Meet at the chalet. For more information, call 440-564-2279.
Winter Hike at Lake Hope State Park – Meet at the Hope Furnace on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 10 a.m. for a 3-mile hike on the Peninsula Loop trail to check out the wonders of nature in winter. Dress in layers and wear sturdy boots. For more information, call 740-596-4938.
Winter Hike at Dillon State Park – Bundle up and join us as we witness the wonders of winter at Dillon State Park on Saturday, Jan. 13. This winter hike is about 2.5 miles long covering the Eagle Ridge Trail and Blackberry Ridge Trail. Deep ravines, rolling hills and beautiful lake views will be waiting. The hike is rated easy to moderate. Hikers are free to hike on their own, and naturalist-guided hikes will start at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Meet at the camp store to participate. There will be a fire in the camp store’s fire ring. The camp store will be open, and coffee and hot chocolate will be available. Call the park office with any questions at 740-453-4377 or contact the Dillon naturalist cabin at 740-452-0040.
Winter Hike at Mohican State Park – Winter is an excellent season to see native wildlife, birds and majestic trees while hiking. The winter hike at Mohican State Park will be held on Sunday, Jan. 14, starting at 10 a.m. The hike begins at the commissary, which is located at the park’s Class A campground, just south of Loudonville on State Route 3 in Ashland County. Hikers will be able to choose to do three general hikes – a 5K, a longer 10K and an interpretive hike led by a park naturalist. Trails run from moderate to difficult. Hikes will begin and end at the commissary. A warm fire, hot soup, cookies and drinks will be provided after the hike. This event is free and open to the public. The first 100 hikers will receive walking sticks made of native Ohio wood by the ODNR Division of Forestry. The Mohican Trails Club welcomes donations to be used for trail maintenance and repair. For more information, call 419-994-4290.
Winter Hike at Hocking Hills State Park – This self-guided hike at Hocking Hills State Park, located at 19852 State Route 664 South, Logan, will be held on Saturday, Jan. 20, with continuous starts from 9-11 a.m. This rugged hike offers a 3-mile or 6-mile trek, allowing hikers to see noteworthy sights such as Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave. This remains the most popular winter hike in the Ohio State Parks system, and millions of hikers visit this nationally recognized park throughout the year. Hikers are encouraged to wear layers and appropriate footwear for winter conditions. Refreshments are available at Cedar Falls, and donations are appreciated. Shuttle buses will return hikers to the various parking areas from both Cedar Falls and Ash Cave. Call 740-385-6841 for more information.
Winter Hike at Lake Loramie State Park – Hikers should meet at the maintenance area at Lake Loramie State Park in the campground for a winter hike on Lakeview Trail on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. After the hike, we will have refreshments, and the kids can make a take-home craft. For more information, call 937-295-2011.
To learn more about family-friendly events at Ohio’s state parks, go to parks.ohiodnr.gov/calendar.
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.