By Nick Dekker
Posted On: Nov 15, 2020
A good friend of mine once shared that he and his family never do the "traditional" Thanksgiving celebrations. Sure, there's turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, but they don't camp in front of a TV and watch the Macy's parade or hours and hours of football.
Instead, they stay together at a cabin in Hocking Hills and spend most of their time – when they're not eating – hiking the miles and miles of trails. He said the goal is to get outside in the beauty of nature.
The more I think about that, the more I love the idea. Late November in Ohio is still warm enough to be outside, but cool enough to be crisp and refreshing. Leaves have changed colors, but haven't all fallen. There are still hints of green, but even if it's snowing, it's still beautiful just to be out in the woods.
I'm going to make a point this Thanksgiving to take a good long walk over the weekend, preferably at park with hiking trails. It'll be good to be outside and walk off some of the turkey and mashed potatoes, and to take some time to reflect on this past year and to unplug for a bit.
Wherever you are in Ohio this Thanksgiving, take some time to get outdoors. Hike and enjoy some quiet. Take in the state's natural beauty and reflect on what you're thankful for this year.
There are plenty of parks and trails to hike throughout the state. Here's a few to give you some ideas:
- Highbanks Metro Park in Lewis Center
- Holden Arboretum in Kirtland (must buy tickets in advance)
- Oak Openings Preserve in Swanton
- Plum Creek Park in Brunswick
- Rising Park in Lancaster
- Sand Run Metro Park in Akron
- Slate Run Metro Park in Canal Winchester
Note: Starting Nov. 16, all Columbus area Metro Park visitors are required to wear a mask while in the Metro Parks and adhere to social distancing. Holden Arboretum grounds will be closed to the public on Nov. 26, but members can access the grounds with their member gate code.
*Originally published Nov. 2016. Updated Nov. 2020