Don't Let the Chill Fool You, Winter in Ohio Provides Plenty of Fun.
The majestic white snow on the ground and nip in the air is too inviting to hibernate in front of the television or computer in Ohio. With all of the fun winter activities and events across the state, there is no time to waste inside. Whether you’re after a tranquil snowshoe hike through the forest or you seek the adrenaline rush of speeding down an ice chute, it can all be found in Ohio.
So, grab those gloves, hats, coats, and boots and revel in the “coolest” season of the year! Following is just a sampling of affordable activities, events, and destinations perfect for outdoor winter fun in Ohio. Ohio is too much skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, ice fishing, polar bear splashing, penguin waddling, horseback riding, toboggan dashing fun for just one day!
The Wilds is one of the largest wildlife conservation centers in the world and the home of rare and endangered animals such as cheetahs, giraffes, rhinos and zebras roaming freely in southeast Ohio. Located on nearly 10,000 acres, the Wilds offer Wildside Tours where visitors interact with Animal Management staff to see the Wilds at work. Please note, reservations and pre-payment are required; contact (740) 638-5030 for more information.
Don’t miss an opportunity to see live ice-carving demos at the Toledo Zoo. Be sure to check out the spectacular Lights Before Christmas displaying millions of lights throughout the zoo. Watch the polar bears, along with other winter-loving animals including wolves, tigers and deer come to life during their favorite season at the Polar Bear Days at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. During the month of January when the high temperature for the day is 32 degrees or below it will be declared a Polar Bear Day at the Zoo. Visitors will enjoy half-price admission on that day.
A favorite of nature lovers, the Annual Winter Hike challenges outdoor enthusiasts to a six-mile, five-hour rugged hike though the Hocking Hills from Old Man’s Cave to Ash Cave. Capture the awesome beauty of the sun sparkling on icy waterfalls and check out sandstone rock formations covered with newly-fallen snow. Hikers assemble at Hocking Hills State Park Campground and are led in small groups on an interpretive walk to the Upper Falls of Old Man’s cave and then left to finish the hike at their own pace.
Little Miami State Park in southwest Ohio recently introduced a trail corridor that offers numerous recreational pursuits, including cross-country skiing of the entire 50-mile-long length of the park. During a trek through this winter wonderland, skiers can enjoy the beautiful vistas of Fort Ancient, the largest Native American earthworks in the state. During the winter, Hueston Woods State Park transforms into a wonderland of activity, just northwest of Cincinnati. Check out the 625-acre Acton Lake and land the day’s biggest catch on an ice fishing expedition. Also located in the park and within hiking distance from Acton Lake are the Hueston Woods State Nature Preserve and National Natural Landmark. This 200-acre primeval forest is the guardian of stately beech and sugar maple trees that tower over an abundance of ferns and woodland species.
Located in Zanesfield, Mad River Mountain Ski Resort offers 144-acres of snow-filled adrenalin-rushing fun! The resort offers 23 runs, and for the adventurous skier/snowboarder, check out one of the three terrain parks to test your skills and show off tricks. Don’t miss the enormous Avalanche Tubing Park – go for an exhilarating ride down one of the 10 snow covered chutes, each measuring 900 feet long! Another mountain getaway opportunity is at Snow Trails Winter Resort in Mansfield. The annual Winter Carnival on Feb. 23-24 features winter events and competitions for all ages.
At the Chalet Toboggan Chutes in Mill Stream Run Reservation in northeast Ohio, feel the wind against your face while plunging down a 1,000-foot chute with a 70-foot vertical drop! No snow, no problem for the park’s two 1,000-foot refrigerated ice chutes. If you’re looking for a new sport or seeking a relaxing hike through the powder, stop by the Winter Sports Center in Peninsula to try snowshoeing. Provided there is at least 4 inches of snow on the ground, let the snowshoeing commence. The center is open Saturdays and Sundays through February.