The way people talked about having kids, I thought the chance to hike would be over once we started a family! Luckily, it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of hikes that you can do with kids in Ohio. Here are my suggestions for 5 Ohio hikes you can do as a family.
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 use a stroller- I’d stick with a single if possible because the trail isn’t very wide.
Here are my Best Hocking Hills Hikes to do with kids
An 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 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 a 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). Find out more about hiking Blackhand Gorge with little ones.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park area
Ohio’s first and only National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park has some of the best hiking trails in Northeast Ohio. My favorite spot to hike was Virginia Kendall State Park (aka The Ledges). This wouldn’t be ideal for a stroller, but 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**
Another favorite is Brandywine Falls! This 65-foot waterfall is reached by a boardwalk hike. Ages toddler and up should be able to handle it, but if you’re bringing a baby, you’ll need a carrier.
Another favorite is Virginia Kendall Ledges. This hike is doable for kids aged 4+ if they are able to listen and stay on the trails. The trails seem almost otherworldly.
This Ohio nature preserve doesn’t involve a vigorous hike, but it does offer up views of 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).
When you’re done hiking, make sure you check out all the family-friendly things to do in Sandusky.
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