5 Best Ohio National Parks (2023)

In this article, I examine the top 5 Ohio National Parks and how to visit them. Ohio may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think of national parks, but you’ll be surprised at the hidden potential that Ohio National Parks have in store, waiting to be explored. From rolling hills to tranquil lakes, Ohio’s national parks offer a range of natural beauty and outdoor adventures for visitors of all ages.

There’s so much for you to discover at Ohio National Parks! At these parks, you can spend a whole day exploring more than 5,000 miles of land and water trails, go boating on tranquil lakes, or enjoy a nature program or quiet picnic with your family. These national parks are free to visit and offer so many ways to spend time outdoors – hiking, paddling, golfing, fishing, mountain biking, wildlife watching, swimming – the possibilities are endless!

One of the most popular national parks in Ohio is Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Located just a short drive from Cleveland, this park has numerous side attractions like hiking and biking trails, waterfalls, and historic sites. It also has a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, bald eagles, and beavers.

Another must-see park is the James A. Garfield National Historic Site. This site celebrates the life and legacy of the 20th president of the United States – James A. Garfield – and offers visitors the opportunity to tour and see Garfield’s former home and museum exhibits.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history lover, or just looking for a fun family outing, Ohio’s national parks have something for everyone.

Ohio National Parks

Below are some of the that you should consider visiting soon:

(1) Cuyahoga Valley National Park: A Natural Haven in Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of Ohio National Parks located in northeastern Ohio, just a short drive from Cleveland.

Whether you’re looking to hike or bike the park’s miles of trails, go fishing in the Cuyahoga River, or simply take in the breathtaking scenery, Cuyahoga Valley National Park has something for everyone. Be sure to check out popular spots like Brandywine Falls, Ledges Trail, and the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

The park also offers ranger-led tours and programs, as well as educational exhibits and events at the Boston Store Visitor Center and the Canal Exploration Center. With so much to see and do, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a natural haven in Ohio that you won’t want to miss.

  • The park is open year-round, from dawn to dusk, and offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy.

(2) James A. Garfield National Historic Site: A Journey through Presidential History

The James A. Garfield National Historic Site is a fascinating destination located in Mentor, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. The site commemorates the life and legacy of James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States.

Visitors to the James A. Garfield National Historic Site can take a guided tour of the Garfield family home, which has been restored to its 1880s appearance. The tour offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Garfield family and the political climate of the time.

In addition to the home tour, the site features exhibits on Garfield’s life and presidency, as well as a visitor center with a gift shop and bookstore. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the life of one of America’s lesser-known presidents, the James A. Garfield National Historic Site is a must-see destination in Ohio.

  • The site is open year-round, with hours varying by season. From May to October, the site is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. From November to April, the site is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

Other Ohio National Parks to Explore

In addition to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Ohio is home to several other national parks that are worth exploring in Ohio.

Here are more Ohio National parks:

(3) Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

This park is located in Dayton, Ohio, and commemorates the lives and achievements of Wilbur and Orville Wright, as well as Paul Laurence Dunbar, a renowned African American poet.

  • The park is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and is located at 16 South Williams Street, Dayton, OH 45402.

(4) First Ladies National Historic Site

Located in Canton, Ohio, this park celebrates the lives and contributions of America’s first ladies. The site includes the childhood home of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley, as well as exhibits on other first ladies.

  • The park is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm and is located at 205 Market Avenue South, Canton, OH 44702.

(5) Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

This park is located in Chillicothe, Ohio, and preserves the remains of several prehistoric Native American cultures. The park includes several earthworks and mounds that date back to 100 BC.

  • The park is open daily from dawn to dusk and is located at 16062 State Route 104, Chillicothe, OH 45601.

Be sure to check the operating hours on the park’s website before you plan your visit to any of these national parks. Enjoy your exploration of Ohio’s rich natural and historical heritage!

How to Plan Your Visit to Ohio National Parks

When planning a visit to Ohio’s national parks, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Check the park’s website for operating hours and any seasonal closures or special events.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and activities you plan to do. Ohio experiences all four seasons. So, be prepared for anything from hot summer days to cold winter nights.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks, especially if you plan to do any hiking or other outdoor activities.
  • Respect the natural environment and wildlife. Pack out all trash and avoid disturbing plants and animals.

Ohio national parks offer a wide range of activities and experiences for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in hiking, history, or simply enjoying the great outdoors, these national parks in Ohio are worth exploring.


Ohio national parks offer a unique and diverse range of natural and historical wonders that are waiting to be discovered. From Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s stunning scenery to the James A. Garfield National Historic Site’s presidential history, Ohio’s national parks offer something for everyone. So, plan your visit, pack your bags, and get ready to explore the beauty and history of Ohio’s national parks.

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