Don’t let the cooler weather deter you from hitting the trails. Not only is exercise good for your health, but also rejuvenating to your spirit. And with the leaves off the trees, you will find a new look to familiar trails. You will see great vistas and get a different view from any other time of the year and if there is snow on the ground you will be able to easily see animal tracks.
State Parks, forests and natural areas abound in Southeast Ohio, so you have an excellent choice of spots to hike. Why not try some of these spots?
Strouds Run State Park
The plethora of trails welcomes hikers to explore this park, which has hills that provide both a workout and the opportunity for interesting views. The rock houses scattered throughout the park offer an interesting contrast to the forest and are worth seeking out.
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve
Near Newark, this preserve showcases a deep gorge cut by the Licking River. The 10 miles of trails include some along the river and above, providing excellent views of the river and gorge. The Marie Hickey Trail above the river gives views into the neighboring hills.
The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway
Extending for 21 miles between Athens and Nelsonville, this path passes through rocky terrain and also open views along the Hocking River. Built on the old Columbus and Hocking Valley rail bed, this wide and paved trail is ideal for families, is easy to navigate and impossible to get lost on. The scenery is outstanding as well.
The Ridges Trails
Within Athens itself, there are four different trails on the Ridges. Be sure to hike the trail to Radar Hill where your reward is a panoramic view of OU, Athens and the surrounding countryside. Other walks include the River Valley Nature Walk, The Ridges Cemetery Nature Walk and the Athens Trail.
Just a few minutes from East State Street in Athens, this small park gives big opportunities for exploration and workouts. A steep trail leads to a great viewpoint with a view of the county. Another trail goes to a shallow cave and others will connect directly with those leading into Shrouds State Parks. For an easy adventure, walk to the small pond and enjoy the scenery or relax on one of the benches along the trail and contemplate nature.
Layer up and head out to enjoy a winter hike in Southeast Ohio! For more outdoor adventures, Find It Here at Ohio.org.