An icy cold day has descended and in my mind preparing for a wonderful winter hiking season in Ohio needs to start now. Winter hiking is underrated and if you have never taken a winter trek, you are missing out on some of the best hiking there is. You will see more wildlife, hear and see more birds and you can enjoy the quiet that the winter forest provides. Let our favorite 5 Ohio Winter hikes be your springboard into some phenomenal winter hiking!

Hocking Hills

56h VIRTUAL Annual Winter Hike at Hocking Hills State Park

We enjoy winter’s splendor on this 6-mile trek from Old Man’s Cave to Ash Cave in beautiful Hocking Hills State Park. The magnificence and grandeur on this lovely hike will leave you speechless. Taking in everything that you will see on the trail on this hike will give you a new appreciation for the outdoors in winter. I promise you won’t be disappointed, but you might get chilly. Bundle up in layers on this hike, and be prepared to take some things off if you start to sweat. I recommend a good pair of hiking shoes for this winter trek.

Due to COVID-19 this is a VIRTUAL hike: Press release from ODNR:

COLUMBUS, Ohio— The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will offer virtual hikes in lieu of the traditional in-person guided tours held in January and February of each year.  The naturalist-led, online series will give Ohioans an opportunity to plan their own winter hikes while maintaining a safe social distance.

“ODNR is committed to ensuring that everyone can safely get outdoors, enjoy their annual winter hikes, and get fit naturally to start the new year,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Just because we can’t all hike together doesn’t mean Ohioans will have to miss out on some of the prettiest winter views across the state.”

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.  Beginning January 1, 2020, ODNR will offer a variety of tools and online resources so hikers can safely plan a self-guided outing.  In addition to an overview of the trails, hikers can expect a review of safety tips for hiking in the cold and wintry weather. The do’s and don’ts of outdoor recreation in cold weather can also be found here.

ODNR will be releasing a limited-edition 2021 Ohio Winter Hike patch so hikers can commemorate their participation in the virtual hike program. The patch will be available for sale by February at

After a chilly day of hiking, your family can warm up in front of a fire in your own cozy cabin in the woods or a room at one of our beautiful state park lodges. Consider a winter getaway by visiting or and plan your next outdoor adventure. Our staff is taking all necessary precautions to ensure that your stay is safe and worry-free from check-in to check-out, and every moment in between.



Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center Address:


19988 OH-664 Scenic

Logan, OH 43138

Cleveland Metro Parks

How can you choose just one hike within this superb metro park system? I encourage you to hit as many of their winter hikes as you can during this season. There is one hike that has stood out over time, and that is the Hemlock Loop Trail at Brecksville Reservation. This area is waterfall heavy and has so many things that hikers are looking for in a winter hike.


There are many winter outdoor activities to do here within the Cleveland Metro Park system. You could spend a week adventuring through them and not get bored. They teach classes and lead tours on snowshoes and cross-country skies during the winter; if you’ve never done these activities, now is your chance.

Did you know there are Toboggan Shoots in Ohio? They have these here in OHIO, yes, you read that right, in OHIO! We have wanted to make it to the Chalet for tobogganing for years to ride on the fastest ice shoots in Ohio, and it has never worked out. Getting there is bucket listed for 2020, and we can’t wait to head to Cleveland to have some winter fun!

Read about our experience at the Toboggan Chutes in Cleveland Metro Parks

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

I can’t leave out Ohio’s one and only National Park off my list, the stunning Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The hike to the Ledges Overlook is honestly one of my favorites in Ohio. It’s crazy amazing any time of the year, but in winter, it’s MAGICAL.  This is probably the most popular overlook in the park, with the rock outcroppings, a secluded feeling, being surrounded by trees, and the smells of the forest make this hike otherworldly. I can’t help but make my way here every winter.


If there is a lot of snow, you can rent some snowshoes or bring your own. We hiked the Ledges in 6″ of snow, and I was exhausted afterward because we did not have snowshoes. It’s worth considering using them. Make time to visit the brand new Boston Mill visitors center located at 6947 Riverview Road
Peninsula, Ohio 44264. We recommend you do the Jr.Ranger program and watch the video about Cuyahoga Valley National Park; it is informative and gives you a HUGE appreciation for this Midwest National Park.

As a central Ohioan, I can’t leave out the amazing Columbus Metro Park system. They have an outstanding winter hike series; every hike is special and a one of a kind in the winter season. There is a diversity that stands out on each hike. The Clear Creek Metro Park winter hike has to be one of my favorites in winter. The terrain and rock formations here make this hike a winter wonderland of absolute amazing-ness. Ice forming off the sides of rocks and dripping off the Hemlocks make this a place of fascination and wonder.


Every winter hike in the Columbus Metro Parks ends with soup and hot chocolate, and there is nothing better than sitting down with family or friends after a winter trek through the woods. The volunteers at Columbus Metro Parks are amazing and really help the parks pull off these winter events. Make sure to add one of their winter hikes to your winter MUST DO LIST!

Due to COVID -19 all winter hikes will be VIRTUAL! The video below will give you the tips you need to enjoy this new and creative way to hike the 2021 winter hike series.

Mohican State Park, Lyons Falls Trail

This sweet trail in the Mohican State Park is one we return to over and over. It has changing terrain, beautiful waterfalls, trickling streams, and a lovely flowing river. Winter here in the forest is stunning, and we have seen eagles flying along the river, deer meandering through the naked trees, the beauty of soft falling snow slowly descending into the quiet woods. It has caused us to pause and be thankful for the pristine beauty of this place.

Things To Know

Mohican does not close in the winter, although hours at many places are shorter, so check those out before you come. You can find that information here at Discover Mohican.

We would recommend a winter overnight getaway at the Mohican State Park Lodge. There is a lovely fireplace, an indoor pool, and a delicious restaurant on the property. They often offer discounted winter rates, and it is the perfect time to explore the Mohican area. We love staying here and getting up early and heading out into the woods for an early morning hike.

Read about our winter hike here: Big Lyons Falls

Whether you choose one of our 5 Ohio Winter Hike choices or you decide to create your own adventure, we hope you enjoy everything this crisp, snowy season has to offer.

Happy Winter Adventures,


Other Ohio Adventures

Toboggan chute in Cleveland Metro Parks

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Gleason Family Approved Winter Hikes