From the peaks of the Appalachian Mountains to the shores of Lake Erie, Ohio is a large midwestern state that takes its name from the Seneca word meaning “great river.” Over 2.6 million visitors come to visit the state’s 8 national parks, 76 national historic landmarks, and 23 national natural landmarks every year. With two national heritage areas, three scenic rivers, and one national trail, Ohio has almost 257 national archeological sites. The National Register of Historic Places lists 3,996 places on its registers. This list of parks in Ohio includes over 70 state parks, lakes, and historical attractions, most of which are open year-round.
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National Parks & Historic Sites
Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
1120 US-42, Xenia, OH 45385
Throughout his life, Charles Young overcame countless obstacles in his ascent to prominence. In spite of overt racism and stifling inequality, Young rose through the military ranks to become one of the most respected leaders of his time. A well-rounded man with a steadfast devotion to duty, Young led by example and inspired a generation of new leaders.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cleveland and Akron, OH; one site is 7104 Canal Road, Valley View, Ohio 44125
Though a short distance from the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife, and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.
David Berger National Memorial
26001 S Woodland Rd, Beachwood, OH 44122
This site honors the memory of David Berger, an American citizen who was one of 11 Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. David had no expectations of winning a medal but joined the Israeli weightlifting team to realize his dream – a dream which ended tragically. The Memorial is dedicated to his memory and the memory of the ten other athletes.
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
16 S Williams St, Dayton, OH 45402
Three exceptional men from Dayton, Ohio, Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright and Paul Laurence Dunbar, found their creative outlet here through accomplishments and failures, and finally success. However, these men offered the world something far greater, they offered the world hope, and the ability to take a dream and make it a reality.
Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site
I-475 & US 24, Maumee, OH 43537
The Battle of Fallen Timbers was the culminating event that demonstrated the tenacity of the American people in their quest for western expansion and the struggle for dominance in the Old Northwest Territory. The events resulted in the dispossession of American Indian tribes and a loss of colonial territory for the British military and settlers.
First Ladies National Historic Site
205 Market Ave S, Canton, OH 44702
Two properties, the home of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley and the seven story 1895 City Bank Building, are preserved at this site, which honors the lives and accomplishment of our nation’s First Ladies. The site is managed by the National Park Service and operated by the National First Ladies Library.
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
16062 OH-104, Chillicothe, OH 45601
Earthen mounds and embankments forming huge geometric enclosures grace the landscape of the Ohio River Valley. These monumental structures were built by Native American hands almost 2,000 years ago. Hopewellian people gathered at these earthworks for feasts, funerals and rites of passage. Come learn about these sacred spaces and reflect upon the lives of these American Indians.
James A Garfield National Historic Site
8095 Mentor Ave, Mentor, OH 44060
A front porch can serve many purposes. For some, a place to enjoy the breeze on a warm summer night. For others, a perch from which to keep eyes on what’s happening in their neighborhood. In 1880, James Garfield used his front porch as a platform to greet thousands of well-wishers during his presidential campaign. Today, the porch serves as a gateway to the story of the Garfield family.
National Aviation Heritage Area
26 S Williams St, Dayton, OH 45402
Aviation is chock-full of tradition & history and nowhere will you find a richer collection of aviation than here, the birthplace of aviation. From the straightforward bicycle shops that fostered the Wright brothers’ flying ambitions to the complex spacecraft that carried man to the moon, the National Aviation Heritage Area has everything you need to learn about this country’s aviation legacy.
North Country National Scenic Trail
Seven States-New York to North Dakota MI, MN, ND, NY, OH, PA, WI; one site is Wayne National Forest in Nelsonville, Ohio
Come to the North Country. Trek the hills and valleys. Lakes and streams remain from glaciers that molded the landscape 10,000 years before. Experience clear-flowing water, the red and gold of autumn, a fairyland of snow, tall grass prairies, and distant horizons. From New York to North Dakota, you’re never far from a great outdoor adventure. Experience your America at a walking pace.
Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial
93 Delaware Ave, Put-In-Bay, OH 43456
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace among Great Britain, Canada and the U.S. The Memorial, a Doric column, rising 352 feet over Lake Erie is situated 5 miles from the longest undefended border in the world.
William Howard Taft National Historic Site
2038 Auburn Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219
High atop one of Cincinnati’s most prominent hilltops stands the two-story Greek Revival house where William Howard Taft was born and grew up. Hard work, a good education, and an interest in civic duty are attributes that made the Taft family outstanding leaders over the years. The environment that shaped Taft’s character and philosophy is highlighted on a visit to the site.
To find more attractions in Ohio, visit Ohio.org.
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