Here we are in our first trip ever to Ohio!
We were impressed by the eclectic mix we found here between the most modern cities and natural beauty of the sceneries. But everywhere we traveled, we found the perfect places to have a ride too! Let us tell you the story of this journey!
First to visit: Cleveland! Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland has developed into a popular tourist destination with professional sports teams and many cultural attractions, not the least of which is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Grit meets sophistication in a town where you can browse modern art inside a turn-of-the-century transformer station, hear the orchestra perform live inside the local hot dog joint and chow down on pierogi stuffed with beef cheek.
Start by exploring the trendy University Circle area, visit the International Women's Air & Space Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. Best things to do in Cleveland, Ohio with kids include the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.
To pedal as much as you like, find out Cleveland Metroparks that provides over 100 miles of shared-use, paved, all purpose trails for cycling, walking, running and in-line skating. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the all purpose trails.
Cincinnati is a great weekend destination, whether you are planning a romantic getaway filled with art and music, or a family trip focused on fun, bike riding or history and interactive learning. This historic city on the Ohio River offers top cultural institutions and a revitalized riverfront. Things to do in Cincinnati include the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Cincinnati Art Museum, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Cincinnati Museum Center. The Irwin M. Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati is the city's horticultural gem with over 3,500 plant species from all corners of the globe. The Conservatory features unique themed houses that include a desert and a tropical rainforest, complete with a waterfalls. Ride on, you have so much to see here!
As the state capitol, Columbus contains some of Ohio's most important institutions and buildings, including the statehouse. Bicyclists and nature fans alike will enjoy miles of bike paths and natural wilderness running through the heart of Columbus. Next time you visit, bring your bike! We already made a selection for your next trip here:
We have first choose Scioto Trail – Running along the Scioto River and through downtown, this 9-mile trail offers spectacular views of the Columbus skyline.
Olentangy Trail – 18 miles long and running from downtown to the northern suburb of Worthington, this incredibly scenic trail may be the city’s most popular route.
Alum Creek Trail – Stretching 31 miles to the east of the city, this trail runs through both quaint neighborhoods and beautiful parks.
Big Walnut Trail – Running from the Hoover Reservoir to Inniswoods Metro Gardens, this 6-mile trail takes the rider through a series of picturesque parks.
Darby Creek Trail – Located just outside the city, this crushed gravel path might be the area’s most beautiful ride.
If bringing your own bike isn't an option, check out COGO - the Columbus bike share program! For $6 a day, you can rent bikes throughout the central city for 30 minutes at a time, all day long. Great, isn’t it?
Dayton is an important city in the history of flight. It was home of the Wright brothers today it hosts the impressive Air Force Museum and the Aviation Heritage Park.
Dayton, Ohio is also a Top Cycling City! 330 miles of trail to explore! And a Bronze Level Bike Friendly City! Cyclists can take off in the birthplace of flight with 30 miles of central-city trails connecting to a 300 plus mile network of paths that offers something for everyone from the beginning rider, the casual rider, and families, to competitive spirits and professionals. Bike-mounted National Park Service rangers lead riding tours of Dayton’s aviation history, including the Wright Brothers’ original bike shop. Bicycle trails in Ohio offer cycling experiences for anyone and everyone.
Don’t believe it? Ok, find out next. First, Mountain Biking Trails at Huffman MetroPark. Named for the historic Huffman Dam, this MetroPark is conveniently connected to the Kauffman Road Bikeway and offers more than eight miles of sustainable Ohio trails for mountain biking developed to International Mountain Bike Association standards. Expert and beginner cyclists alike will find fun and challenge on this course!
Another are good for cycling is Downtown Dayton, a bike friendly urban area. With enhanced bike lanes on the city streets and a plethora of bike racks, you'll enjoy checking out the sights on two wheels.
To make that easier, Dayton has launched a new bike share program in the downtown area. It is easy to find one, if you look for the bright green. Find a hub, grab a green bike, swipe your card and go!
Toledo has numerous attractions worth exploring. Some of the highlights include the African Safari Wildlife Park, the Butterfly House, the historic West End with old Victorian homes, the Merry-Go-Round Museum, and the Toledo Museum of Art.
Hop on your bike and take a ride, we have some paths to try on!
The Towpath Trail connects three Metroparks along the Maumee River: Farnsworh, Bend View and Povidence (8 miles). All Metroparks encompass beautiful scenery, open spaces and boast an open invitation to come and explore.
The University/Parks Trail connects the University of Toledo with Wildwood Preserve and continues to King Road in Sylvania (6.3 miles).
The Wabash-Cannonball Trail connects Side Cut, Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Oak Openings Preserve, among other attractions. It is the region's longest off-road bike trail. North Fork: 9 miles paved; South Fork, 10 miles paved.
The Chessie Circle Trail connects North and South Toledo, numerous schools and other places of interest along a former rail line.
Mountain bikers, bring your energy! Northwest Ohio is not known for hills, but a singletrack trail at Oak Openings Preserve delivers thrills for mountain bike fans. The Beachridge Trail is being built by volunteers, with new sections opening as they are completed. More than half of the 11-mile trail is now open, with challenging bridges and other obstacles along the narrow, scenic path.
Toledo is a good surprise for a casual but passionate rider!
6. Corkscrew Falls in Ohio - Hocking Hills
Hidden away in Hocking Hills State Park, these epic falls are probably the prettiest in the whole park, and since they're sort of secret (apparently aren't on the official list of attractions at Hocking Hills State Park, unlike Old Man's Cave) you don't have to worry about sharing the trail. We are kidding. But, still, you can have this waterfall all to yourself for a while! Located in the picturesque sandstone region of Southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park encompasses some of the most scenic areas in the entire state. Rock outcrops, deep cool gorges, and waterfalls are found throughout the 6 main park areas. The pristine beauty of the area is enhanced by the abundance of wildlife found throughout the Hocking region. While the roadways in the Hocking Hills might not be suitable for amateur riders, the area does feature one of the best bicycling options around: the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. Stretching 20 miles from Athens to Nelsonville, the path follows along the Hocking River, a tributary of the Ohio. The name is comes from the ancient Adena Indians who lived in this area and called the Hocking, "Hockhocking" or "bottle river" for the tapered bottleneck shape of this river valley in southeast Ohio.
Others trails to try on:
Lake Hope State Park - mountain biking on 17 miles of trails.
Tar Hollow Mountain Bike Trail - 2.6 mile mountain bike trail along the beach and lake, through a field, and then into the hills and trees.
Wayne National Forest - Miles of trails at Wayne National Forest are available to mountain bikers.
Area bicycle shops can assist with your ride by providing rentals, service and other essentials you need.
7. Marblehead State Park
Marblehead Lighthouse is one of Lake Erie's best known and most-photographed landmarks. So, you won’t need the filters of your smart-phone app. Built in 1821, the Marblehead Lighthouse is still standing strong as the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on all of the Great Lakes.
It rests on the Marblehead Peninsula, a rocky headland of Columbus Limestone that juts into Lake Erie. (“Marblehead” means “marble headland,” because limestone is sometimes incorrectly called marble.) The grounds surrounding the lighthouse offer excellent picnicking and views of Lake Erie, Sandusky Bay, Kelleys Island and South Bass Island.
8. Mentor Headlands Beach
The trademark of Headlands Beach State Park is its mile-long natural sand beach, the largest in the state. In addition to its popularity during the summer season with picnickers and swimmers, the area is home to many plant species typically found only along the Atlantic Coast. Two trails run through the park with additional trails found in the adjacent nature preserve: Buckeye Trail: 1.5 Miles, easy, handicap accessible and Fishing Trail: 0.4 miles, moderate.
Here you can also enjoy a scenic picnic area with tables and grills. During winter, under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy sledding and cross-country skiing.
9. Seneca Lake
Looping around one of Ohio’s most popular lakes, this drive is ideal for passing away a morning or afternoon when stopping to enjoy the recreational activities the area has to offer. Boating is extremely popular at Seneca Lake.
With the 399 horsepower limit and 3,550 acres of water, users have an abundant amount of area on which they can recreate. Ski boats, sail boats, pontoons, canoes/kayaks, and jet skis are among these various watercraft that share the water on the third largest inland lake in Ohio. Guided Kayaking Programs are offered throughout the season. Seneca Lake Marina offers pontoons and fishing boat rentals, and dock space seasonally.
The Dockside Restaurant provides convenient dining options while boating on Seneca Lake.
10. Little Miami Scenic Trail Park
In the heart of Ohio’s Miami Valley lies the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a 78-mile paved path linking Newtown to Springfield while passing through a dozen small towns, beautiful countryside and Southwestern Ohio’s Little Miami Scenic Park.
The highlights of this trail include access to John Bryan and Caesar Creek State Parks as well as the Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Preserve. The Little Miami Scenic Trail is generally described as having a southern and northern section with distinct personalities that change as the trail shifts from meandering alongside the Little Miami River (a designated federal and state scenic river) to following the rail corridor of the old Little Miami Railroad.
If you are missing the Little Miami River, consider a 3.5-mile detour to the beautiful John Bryan State Park where the Little Miami has carved an impressive limestone gorge. According to the park’s website, more than 100 different trees and shrubs and 340 species of wildflowers grow here. In any portion of the trail you will decide to ride, you’ll find a marvelous experience waiting for you!
Ohio is quite special and we know for sure where we will be back!
What we are curious about is where is your perfect place to ride? That one, the greatest in the universe. Anywhere in the world. Of course, we are all subjective, but this is the whole idea. Either is a childhood place (grandparents’ garden) or an exotic island, tell us your personal cycling story at happytohelp@bikeroo,net and we will share it with the world!