Presented By Rathkamp Financial
(Columbus) – Ohio is a beautiful place to explore, especially in the winter. From the rare birds wintering along the Lake Erie shores to the snow-covered bridge at Mohican State Park- you can see it all with the Ohio State Parks 2022 Winter Hike Challenge hosted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“The state of Ohio has unmatched scenery, especially in winter,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “From the frozen falls at Old Man’s Cave to the scenic tales being told on our Storybook Trails, there are majestic winter sights all across our beautiful state. So, bundle up, grab a friend, and join us for a few hikes this winter!”
To complete the challenge, download the DETOUR Ohio Trails App, available at detour.ohiodnr.gov or in the Apple app or Google Play store. If you’ve already downloaded DETOUR, you’re ready. Hit the trails!
Participate in hikes at state parks in three different regions of our state between Jan. 1 and March 1, 2022. We have plenty of options! You can join us for guided hikes, or you can head out on your own. Just make sure you visit parks in three different regions. We have so many different trails to explore, you can make this challenge your own. You can even explore one of our Storybook Trails if you are hiking as a family! Find all the details on our Winter Hike Challenge webpage.
When you have completed the challenge, let us know by submitting your information here. The first 500 adventurers to complete the challenge will receive a free limited-edition Ohio State Parks Winter Hiker sticker. Ohio State Parks are hosting hikes throughout the season. You can find a full list of activities across the state here.
Your hiking trip may take you off the beaten path but remember to play it safe and stay on the trail. The winter months can have hikers facing snow, ice, and extreme cold. Some things to remember before hitting the trail:
- Check the forecast and research your hike before you leave the house
- Dress in layers, keeping your head, neck, and hands covered
- Stay hydrated and bring snacks
- Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return
ODNR has a list of safety tips for anyone who wants to head out to the trails this winter. You can find those here.
ODNR is also promoting what they call First Day Hike. Spending time outdoors is a great way to reduce stress and reconnect with nature and burn off some holiday calories.
Choose one of the naturalist-led hikes coordinated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) or surround yourself with Ohio’s wintry splendor on New Year’s Day at your favorite Ohio State Park.
Lake Hope State Park, 10:00 a.m. This 3-mile hike, led by the park naturalist, begins at the Hope Furnace with the naturalist.
Salt Fork State Park, 1:00 p.m. The 2-mile guided hike along the Kennedy Stonehouse Nature Trail is followed by a warm fire and hot chocolate at the historic Kennedy Stonehouse. Meet at the Kennedy Stonehouse Nature Trail parking lot.
Hueston Woods State Park, 2:00 p.m. Take a hike through the wintry woods. Meet the naturalist at the nature center.
Shawnee State Park, 1:00 p.m. An easy 1-mile hike is followed by hot chocolate and cookies in front of the state park lodge fireplace. Meet in the lodge lobby.
Caesar Creek State Park, 1:00 p.m. A 3-mile guided hike to the Swinging Bridge and Horseshoe Falls. Meet at the Nature Center.
Check the weather before you go hiking. Coats and sturdy shoes are encouraged for cold weather hiking. To learn more about each hike, please visit: https://ohiodnr.gov/wps/portal/gov/odnr/home/news-and-events/all-events/.