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What to expect

Ohio has 1436 trails including medium, easy, and difficult trails. The trail with the highest elevation climb is the Sycamore Loop Trail and the one with the least climb is the American Discovery Trail - South. The longest trail is American Perimeter Trail - North Country Primary at 5380 km. To complete this hike you should budget at least 269 days. For a shorter adventure, you can try the Bridle Trail from Gorge Parkway a t 285 m. This could be done in as little as 1 days. Trails with the best offering of hostels include Tinkers Creek - Center Valley Park, Schiller Park Loop, Indian Lake West Shore Walk - West Main Street, Great Miami River Recreation Trail, and Highbridge Trail.

Guide to hiking in Ohio

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FAQs about hiking in Ohio

What is the climate like for hiking in Ohio?

Ohio experiences a humid continental climate, perfect for hiking in spring (April-June) with temperatures between 50-70°F and the fall foliage in autumn (September-November) with similar conditions. Summers (July-August) can be hot, reaching up to 90°F, while winters (December-February) are cold with snow. Hikers should dress accordingly. Refer to for more specific weather conditions.
Though summer heat can be intense, morning and evening hikes around Ohio’s Great Lakes are often comfortably cool. Winters, on the other hand, can be challenging with slippery trails, yet, they offer beautiful snowy landscapes.
Always check local weather forecasts before setting out and consider the weather when choosing gear and routes. Proper preparation ensures a more enjoyable hiking experience.

Do I need a permit to hike in Ohio?

In Ohio, most trails don't require permits. However, certain state parks and areas with controlled access may require one. It's best to check the specific regulations for the area you're planning to hike in by visiting the Always respect the rules to preserve these areas for future visitors.

Is wild camping allowed in Ohio?

Wild camping in Ohio's state parks is generally not permitted. However, designated backcountry camping is available in some parks, such as Wayne National Forest, but often requires a permit. Be sure to review and adhere to all regulations found on the website.

Are there mountain rescue services in Ohio?

In the event of an emergency during a hike in Ohio, dial 911 for immediate assistance. Local law enforcement, park rangers, or emergency services will respond. The Ohio Search and Rescue Association (OSARA) also aids in wilderness emergencies. Visit their website for more details.

Are there dangerous plants in Ohio?

Ohio's forests, marked by oak, maple, and pine trees, offer a beautiful hiking backdrop. Expect wildflowers like the Great White Trillium on trail edges, especially in spring. Poison ivy is also common, so learning to identify it is key. Visit for more.

What wildlife should I be aware of when hiking in Ohio?

Hikers in Ohio may encounter white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and squirrels. Beware of ticks, mosquitoes, and potentially venomous snakes like the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. For safety tips, consult It's essential to stay vigilant and respect wildlife.