The 5 Best Hiking Trails in Ohio

Hiking has been one of the best outdoor activities that people from Ohio are fond of. This is because the area features many hiking trails that lead to the area’s hidden gems.

National parks are an excellent venue to take a hike. And if you lean towards the more adventurous side, the region also has trails that would fit your need.

Ohio is filled with natural beauty having Lake Erie as its northern border and lush forests towards the south. The Appalachian Plateau also covers most of its central areas.

Hiking near Cincinnati does not only offer coastlines and forests. It also allows you to explore waterfalls and several spectacular caves.

Best Ohio Hiking Trails

Buckeye Trail

Buckeye Trail

This trail is the most popular route in Ohio. It features a 1,444-mile trail that outlines the state’s border. This trail is divided into 26 different sections and is named after its immediate community around its area or based on a feature.

The trail features blue hazes. These are rectangular marks that are painted on poles and trees. These serve as directional markers along the trail.

Just take note of double blue markers along the area. This signifies a fork along the footpath that leads to a connecting route. Probably the most popular section along the Buckeye Trail is the Queer Creek Trail. This 2.7-mile pathway is suitable for trekkers of different skill levels.

This trail treks along the southern corridor of the Hocking Hills State Park.

If you opt for a longer and more challenging route, you can follow the Buckeye from Jaite to Boston. This is located inside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This trail stretches to over 10.2 miles and features a maximum elevation gain of about 1,500 feet.

There are maps of the Buckeye Trail that you can easily download to your smartphones for your convenience.

Erie Canal Towpath Trail

Erie Canal Towpath Trail

This 87-mile trail is a haven for hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and runners. It is a flat path of packed limestone and is a historic transportation route.

The towpath lets you gain access to the Cleveland Metroparks or the Tuscarawas, which is located near the Bolivar area. This trail is also ADA accessible for your convenience.

What’s interesting about this trial is its historical value. Mules used to flock along this trail, pulling boats filled with wares and passengers floating along the Erie Canal.

This pathway is what connected New York City to other cities in the midwestern areas.

Mill Creek Loop

Mill Creek Loop

This 2-mile trail is located inside Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, Ohio. This is one of the largest Metroparks are located inside the state.

There are fourteen different hiking trails inside Mill Creek Park, which are also worthy of a visit. However, the most scenic hike is from the East Gorge Walk and the West Gorge Trail.

Both these trails form the two-mile look along Mill Creek. It is fabulously picturesque, and it cuts through the rugged terrain consisting of massive rock formations. There is also a boardwalk along the trail.

If you want to visit this loop, you can park by Lake Newport. It is also the jumpoff area towards the West Gorge Trail. The trail though as several rough spots but is still hike-able. Take note that you need to descend towards the creek before heading for the covered bridge, which will lead you to the East Gorge area.

Old Man’s Cave Trail

Old Man’s Cave Trail

This trail is one of the trails that you can access from the Buckeye Trail route. It is a 15 kilometer out and back trail near the South Bloomingville area in Ohio.

It is rated as moderate and features a walk along the lake. This trail is primarily used for running, hiking, camping, and other nature trip activities and is easily accessible all year round.

Dogs are allowed to be on this trail but must be kept on a leash at all times. The whole route has a total elevation gain of 257 meters. This trail also lets you access Ash Cave and Cedar Falls.

When you are on the trail, just make sure that you follow the blue markers to avoid getting lost. Although there are parts of the heavily trafficked trail, the rest of the 15-mile walk is serene and quiet.

Caldwell Preserve Trail

Caldwell Preserve Trail

The Calwell Preserve trail is probably the name that pops out whenever you ask about the best hiking near Cincinnati. Many people love this area because it is not as well known as the other trails. And usually, there is very little traffic around the area.

The Caldwell Preserve is managed by Cincinnati parks and features a 3.5-mile scenic walk. This trail takes you through established forested areas of the park.

Most of the Caldwell trail is easy to walk except for a sharp decline that you have to traverse in one spot. The whole track consists of a pretty level terrain that is suited for recreational hikers.

This trail is a great route for a quick hike but does keep in mind that the course is not well-marked. It’s best to download a GPS map of the area to help you tet your area’s bearings.


There are many hiking trails near Cincinnati. What we have listed above are the most popular in the area. Another popular spot is the Yellow Springs Hiking trail. Although it did not make a list, it is still worth mentioning.

Always be prepared when you opt to go hiking near the Ohio area. For you to maximize the experience, always come with your hiking traveling backpack as well as the best hot weather hiking pants to keep you comfortable while traversing Ohio’s exciting trails.

The 5 Best Hiking Trails in Ohio

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