The way people talked about having kids, I thought my life was ovvveerrr once we had a few babies. But hooray- it doesn’t have to be! If you’re a natural explorer you can still get out and enjoy fantastic scenery WITH kids in tow.
These 5 Ohio places have been tried and tested by our family. Some are even stroller-friendly!
Hocking Hills area
Hocking Hills is full of natural beauty in all seasons! One of our favorite times to visit is winter because of all of the ice formations.
Two areas in particular are perfect for parents of small children: Ash Cave and Conkles Hollow. Ash Cave has a 1/4 mile handicap accessible trail that is perfect for strollers or new walkers. The trail does get very busy on weekends, holidays, and in the fall, so plan accordingly (i.e. you may NEED the stroller
Conkles Hollow has a one mile disabled access trail. This is also perfect for a stroller, BUT due to the cliff walls, a lot of sunlight does not hit the sidewalk. We’ve found this trail to be fairly icy and slushy in winter. Make sure kids wear snow boots, and you may want to forego the stroller. The ice formations on the rocks make this totally worth a little slipping and sliding! In summer, this is the perfect place to give the stroller a go- I’d stick with a single if possible because the trail isn’t very wide.
A ancient flint deposit used by Native Americans and now owned by the Ohio Historical Society, Flint Ridge has a few different hiking options for your family. One of the trails is mostly boardwalk/paved trail and is perfect for for strollers. There are other trails past the museum that are ok for ages 2+ to walk (no steep cliff faces). We visited last winter and it was MUDDY, so don’t wear good shoes. The museum is open March-October, so plan accordingly.
Located near Flint Ridge is Blackhand Gorge. Blackhand Gorge is named after a sandstone formation. A four-mile bike trail is perfect for your family’s stroller or bikes, and you’ll still see lots of great scenery even if you don’t get off of the beaten path. The Canal-Lock trail showcases of piece of the Old Ohio-Erie Canal towpath. This is an ideal hike for families, and even toddlers could handle the walk (with a little help from mom or dad). More info HERE.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park area
Ohio’s first and only National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park really surprised me! My favorite spot in the park was the Virginia Kendall State Park (aka The Ledges). This wouldn’t be ideal for a stroller, but I’d say ages 4+ would have no problems handling the stairs and grades. Within Ohio, this is second only to Hocking Hills as a place that will remind your family how small we really are in comparison to Creation. My go-to summer hiking shoe
Deep Lock Quarry (within Summit Metro Parks) is also very doable with young ones. This trail would be best used with a jogging stroller and you will have to miss one small part of the loop, BUT it’s still worth the trip. Our kiddos loved climbing on the giant sandstone rocks. More info HERE.
This Ohio nature preserve doesn’t involve an vigorous hike, but it does offer up views of a rare coastal wetland habitat. The kids enjoyed viewing different birds, seeing lots of chipmunks, and then ending up on the shores of Lake Erie. This path is definitely stroller-friendly until you get to the beach (no swimming allowed).
Have you hiked any of these trails? Where does your family enjoy hiking?