By Meg Berno
Posted On: Jan 8, 2021
Snow fall doesn't have to mean hibernation when you're in Ohio. Tackle the slopes by skiing or snowboarding, reach ultimate speeds while sledding or hike through beautiful winter wonderlands – all on an outdoor adventure in Ohio. The snow is sure to bring endless fun this winter season!
NOTE: Check directly with places before your visit to learn about their health guidelines, hours and any adjusted or suspended offerings.
Skiing at Snow Trails
Hit the Slopes
Nothing beats the thrill of carving out your path while skiing in Ohio. Whether you're an expert or a beginner, there are plenty of opportunities to hit the slopes by skis or snowboard this season. Check out the Meadow Trail at Alpine Valley in Chesterland or challenge yourself on the Alpine Trail at Snow Trails near Mansfield for a glimpse of a snow-covered wonderland.
Photo credit: Fifty West Brewing Company, Facebook
It's a picturesque scene – a glittering frozen pond surrounded by a blanket of bright, pristine snow. Check out ice skating options, especially as the temps get older with more parks and lakes open for the season). You can also glide across the ice (or try your best to) at Ottawa Park's ice rink in Toledo or head to Cincinnati for Fifty West Brewing's (n)ice outdoor rink.
Hiking at Hayden Falls Park
Hike to New Heights
Snow days are some of the best times to get out and explore Ohio's 75 state parks. Explore winter wonderlands with help from ODNR. Throughout the winter months, virtual hikes of state park trails, including well-known favorites and less-traveled options, will be presented on Facebook and the ODNR website by knowledgeable guides. You can also hike and explore hidden gems in your area, like Hayden Falls Park in Dublin.
Photo credit: Westlake Recreation Department, Facebook
Nothing says winter in Ohio more than tackling the highest sledding hills around! Feel the cold winter wind breeze through your hair as you rush down the snow-laden hill at Westlake Recreation Center Park or Fairfield's Harbin Park. Feeling adventurous? Catch the varying heights of three different sledding hills at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.
A New Pair of (Snowy) Kicks
Watch your surroundings sparkle as you snowshoe throughout beautiful winter scenery at Milan Towpath Metro Park. Once an early canal and railway, this park is the perfect spot for both outdoor adventurers and history buffs alike. Or head to Cuyahoga Valley National Park where you can rent your own snowshoes. Check out other Ohio spots perfect for snowshoeing.
Ice fishing on Lake Erie
Reel in a Catch
When the ice is solid, head to lakes around the state and try your luck at ice fishing. Ohio offers plenty of ice fishing spots, including Atwood Lake in Mineral City, Deer Creek Lake in Mount Sterling, Indian Lake in Lakeview and Lake Erie. Before you head out, be sure to check the conditions and have a valid fishing license. Learn more about ice fishing and ODNR's safety tips before you head out this season.
Toboggan Chute at Cleveland Metroparks
Chute for the Stars
Hold on tight as you speed down-hill on the icy, 700-foot toboggan chutes in Strongsville. The Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation is the perfect place for your next snowy adventure. While no snow is technically required, a little dusting can make for a gorgeous thrill.
Tire Yourself Out
Who said biking was only a warm weather activity? Fat bikes, also called snow bikes, are the monster trucks of the bicycle world. They're just like regular bikes, but with huge tires that provide traction and float over deep powder. Rent your own fat bike and ride down the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Cleveland.
Photo credit: Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Facebook
Tis the Ski-son
Little Miami State Park in southwest Ohio has a trail corridor that offers lots of recreational pursuits, like cross-country skiing along 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 winter, Hueston Woods State Park transforms into a wonderland of activity, just northwest of Cincinnati.
Not every feathered friend flies off to warmer weather during the winter. Snowbirds like eagles, hawks and owls visit Ohio, and it's not uncommon to spot a northern harrier (hawk) at Caesar Creek State Park in Warren County. Check ODNR's Winter Birding page to learn more about where - and which - birds you can spot this season. If you're in Central Ohio, you can also check out a birding kit from Bexley Public Library. The kit features all you need for a perfect birding experience, plus two activity sheets.
There's so much to do when Ohio is blanketed in shimmery snow. And if you prefer to admire the snow bundled up from inside, why not check out a board game from your local library (like from Delaware County District Library). Or maybe setup a virtual play through Columbus' Kingmakers, try a new game like Medium (designed by two Columbus makers) that just launched a digital version.
You can also channel your inner "Queen's Gambit" and learn to play chess. Or try your hand at some other iconic games like Mahjong, Go, Dominoes and Backgammon. And don't forget, there's also puzzles!