15 Ohio Day Trips to Get You Outside

Perhaps you’ve been keeping up on my itineraries in Tents, Trails and Taps and perhaps you’re really wanting to get away but you don’t have enough time to drive to Wyoming or something…. how about some day trips? Does that sound doable? 


Here are 15 ways you can get outside in the good ol’ state of Ohio, all with breweries listed that I insist you must try.

1.) Yellow Springs

  • Easily one of my favorite places in Ohio. In fact, their slogan is “Yellow Springs: Everyone’s Favorite Place”, which just kinda makes me nod my head in agreement.
  • Home to Dave Chappelle, which isn’t a big deal for me, but is literally the only thing people mentioned to me when I said we were going there.
  • If you own your own kayak you can kayak the Little Miami River as long as you have two cars. Check out the river on the Go Paddling app, find your start point and where you want to finish… park the second car at where you want to finish so you don’t have to paddle upstream…. not that I’ve had to do that…. ever….
I’m realizing I took minimal photos while in Yellow Springs…

Trails you should do:

Pittsburg-Cincinnati Stage Coach and South Gorge Loop in John Bryan State Park

Cedar Cliff Falls via Gorge Trail in Indian Mound Reserve

John L. Rich Trail in John Bryan State Park

Glen Helen Multi-Trail Loop in Glen Helen Nature Preserve*

Glen Helen, Little Miami & Clifton Gorge is the longest trail listed here at 13.2 miles*

*Glen Helen is currently closed as they transfer property. Please check here to see their current status before completely planning a trip around these two hikes.

Still realizing I took minimal photos when I was in Yellow Springs…

Get beer here:

Yellow Springs Brewery

Devil Wind Brewing Co.

Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company

2.) Mohican State Park

Super fun in the winter time, and cute and lush in the summer time.
  • This place is really neat in the winter time but also worth a trip in other seasons.
  • If you want to make an exciting weekend out of this trip book a tour at the Ohio State Reformatory , which is a huge old prison that is totally haunted. This is where they shot the movie Shawshank Redemption, and its a fun photography place. It is only about 30 minutes from Mohican.
The church at the state reformatory
  • If you want to toss in a cute waterfall to this trip head to Honey Run Falls. Mohican has a ‘waterfall’ but if the water levels aren’t high its just kinda like a small stream of piddle… so if you want to get in a better waterfall head to Honey Run.


Trails you should do:

Lyons Falls, Hemlock Gorge and Pleasant Hill Trail Loop is all of the best trails combined together into an 11 mile hike.

Hemlock Gorge to Covered Bridge 

Mohican Hog Hollow Trail (Covered Bridge to Fire Tower)

Get beer here:

Laxton Hollow Brewing Works

The Phoenix Brewing Company just 7 minutes from the Reformatory. This brewery used to be an old mortuary and funeral home so its 100% obvious that you must go here.

Uniontown Brewing Co.

3.) Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls
  • Really? You haven’t been here yet? I’ve been telling everyone to go here for how long?
  • Please refer back to this really old blog post about a day trip to Cuyahoga.
  • OR please refer to this more recent itinerary that features Cuyahoga.
  • If you know me, you know I have an unhealthy obsession for National Parks and I’m very proud of our very own NP here in Ohio… so yeah. I will forever tell people to go here.
Blue Hen Falls

Trails you should do:

The Ledges Trail

Blue Hen Falls Trail continue on this trail along the river to reach Buttermilk Falls

Pine Grove Trail and Ledges Trail Loop from Kendall Lake if you want to see the ledges but also hike a little more.

Brandywine Gorge Trail

Buttermilk Falls

Get beer here:

Missing Mountain Brewing Co.

HiHo Brewing Company

4.) Hocking Hills


  • I almost didn’t want to put this on here because it’s the only thing people ever recommend in Ohio… and it is an absolutely gorgeous park so the recommendations are valid. BUT OHIO NATURE IS MORE THAN HOCKING HILLS!
  • Please do yourself a favor and avoid this park in the summer time. Unless you like seeing more humans than nature, then head on down there.


Trails you should do:

Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave via Buckeye Trail a nice long wander to some caves

Rock House don’t know why but this is my favorite in the park

Upper Falls to Lower Falls via Buckeye Trail here are your waterfalls

Cantwell Cliffs Loop

Old Man’s Cave if you don’t want to do a full 9 mile hike to connect the caves you can do them individually

Ash Cave


Get beer here:

Brewery 33 the closest actual brewery to Hocking Hills

Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery  this one is not directly next to Hocking but is worth a drive if you’re already in the area.

5.) Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park


  • I’ve told y’all about this one before too. It is a majestic af little fairy playground with waterfalls, and ledges, and caves, and moss. I love me some moss.
  • Peep this link to see it featured in one of my previous itineraries. You can tag this onto a trip to Cuyahoga for an extra fun weekend.

Trails you should do:

Cascade Falls to Devil’s Icebox Loop Trail

Nelson’s Ledges Trail

I’m gonna be honest here, these trails are kinda difficult to follow but the area is small and you won’t get lost and you can just wander and wander until you’re sleepy.


Get beer here:

Garrett’s Mill & Brewing Company

Crooked Pecker Brewing

Modern Methods Brewing Company

6.) Holden Arboretum


  • This one will cost you money… but you wanna be outside and perhaps you’ve done all the other 14 options on this list.
  • Go here to get your tickets 
  • They have a fun canopy walk with suspension bridges that will remind you of Costa Rica if you cover yourself in sweat and think happy thoughts.
  • Besides the canopy walk and a super tall tower you will wanna climb, the gardens here are beautiful and it makes for a fun trip.


Trails you should do:

Old Valley and Highlights Trail Loop

Get beer here:

*Since you’ll drive through Cleveland on your way home, I’m gonna send you to some Cleveland breweries. My best friend moved there a little while ago and since then I’ve been able to drink up all of their beers (okay not all of them. They have a beer passport and you can get little stamps at each brewery and it’s a very exciting thing). Cleveland is drenched in some delicious beer, so this is only a small handful of breweries you should try.

Platform Brewery (also check out Phunkenship by Platform if you like sours)

Bookhouse Brewing

Noble Beast Brewing Co.

Saucy Brew Works

Butcher and the Brewer (eat food here, please)

7.) Maumee Bay State Park


  • This is a great Toledo-area park.
  • Great biking and rollerblading trails for all you cool cats and kittens.
  • Super cute muskrats.


Trails you should do:

Wetlands Boardwalk Loop this is where you will see all the cute muskrats and neat birds, and sometimes adorable snakes.

Inland Lake Trail to Natural Meadows


Get beer here:

Maumee Bay Brewing Co. naturally you should visit the brewery named after the park you just visited. Also eat the beer cheese soup

Earnest Brew Works

Patron Saints Brewery 

Four Fires Meadery for all you mead lovers out there, this place is pretty great.

8.) Hinckley Reservation

Worden’s Ledges has a bunch of neat and creepy carvings all throughout.
  • If you’re in the Cleveland area, here’s some more fun for you.
  • You could easily make an entire weekend of Cleveland area hiking, visiting Hinckley Reservation, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, AND Nelson Kennedy Ledges all in one cute weekend. That would give you even more time to check out all the great Cleveland Breweries.
  • Hinckley Reservation has some great ledges. Worden’s Ledges has fun carvings all throughout and its fun to try to track them all down, and then Whipp’s Ledges are nearby.
  • You can rent canoes/kayaks/SUPs here. Check out the details right here

Trails you should do:

Whipp’s Ledges Trail

Worden’s Ledges Trail  this is the one with the carvings

Hinckley Lake Inner Loop

Whipp’s Ledges

Get beer here:

Blue Monkey Brewing Company

Fat Head’s Brewery

Planted Flag Brewing

9.) Oak Openings


  • The wildlife and rare plants here make it worth multiple visits.
  • This is Toledo’s largest Metropark and you can hike, bike and rollerblade here.
  • The frequently photographed “Spot” is located here. People come from all over to photograph these neat-ass trees. Head here to get to The Spot.


Trails you should do:

Hognose Snake, Blazingstar, Blue Racer, and Badger Loop

Sand Dunes Trail

Lakes and Ferns Loop

Get beer here:

Black Frog Brewery

Inside the Five Brewing Co. one of my favorite local breweries so naturally it had to make it onto one of my posts.

10.) Grand Rapids, OHIO 

  • …not Michigan. Back before I considered myself an Ohioan, this city really confused me. Grand Rapids is a great city both in Michigan and Ohio
  • Great place for kayaking. If you don’t have your own kayak check out this rental place.
  • Super cute historical downtown area


Trails you should do:

Miami and Erie Canal Towpath Trail you can just do sections of this 19 mile trail.

Mary Jane Thurston State Park

Get beer here:

Majestic Oak Winery and Neon Groundhog Brewery this place is fabulous and has been great in some zoo fundraisers that we have done. 

Wild Side Brewing

11.) Sugarcreek Metropark

  • Known for a cute tunnel of trees that you could totes look instagrammy and adorbs frolicking beneath
  • Not too far from Yellow Springs, so you could toss this into a fun weekend plan to that area.


Trails you should do:

Sugarcreek Orange Trail

Sugarcreek Green Outer Loop Trail

Get beer here:

Loose Ends Brewing

Heavier Than Air Brewing Co.

Lock 27 Brewing

12.) Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve

This little friend calls this park home.
  • This place has people feeling like they are Snow White… the wildlife here are very curious and you may have some close encounters. BE NICE TO THE ANIMALS OR I WILL KILL YOU.
  • Great for birding
  • If you’re going out for a weekend on the Eerie islands this would be a good stop to add to your list!
There is a short little boardwalk off of the trail.

Trails you should do:

Sheldon Marsh Trail and then just plan on hanging out at the beach. Bring a hammock with you (you should always have an emergency hammock with you).

Views from the beach. You can get access to the beach by squirreling your way through some bushes near the end of the trail off to the side.

Get beer here:

Bait House Brewery

CLAG Brewing Company

13.) North Chagrin Reservation

  • There is a castle here
  • More waterfalls


Trails you should do:

Squire’s Castle at North Chagrin

Bridle, Castle Valley, and Hemlock Trail Loop a loop trail that combines some of the best trails of the park.

Buttermilk Falls Trail

Get beer here:

Willoughby Brewing Company

BottleHouse Brewery and Meadery

14.) Kelley’s Island

  • If you’re feeling relaxy, head to this island. 
  • Only way to get here is by a ferry… check times and rates here
  • Right as you get off the ferry you can rent golf carts. Might be smart to make reservations in the peak seasons, but there are a LOT of carts there.
  • Check out the glacial grooves, drive around leisurely, do some minor hikes and drink some local liquids.
Apparently the largest glacial grooves in the world. I thought they looked fake and kinda like a construction site, but still a neat thing to see.

Trails you should do:

Kelleys Island State Park Trails

North Pond State Nature Preserve Boardwalk Trail

Quarry Rim Trail Loop

A lot of trails here will lead you to water, because… you know… it’s an island.

Get beer here:

Kelley’s Island Brewery

Kelley’s Island Wine Co.

Sand Trap Tiki Bar not a brewery, but still drink here.

15.) Seneca Caverns


  • I don’t have any trails per-se for you here, but doing a guided tour into the caverns is pretty neat.
  • Check here for times and rates.
  • If you’re totally feeling the cave theme, check out Ohio Caverns
  • So not only do I not have specific trails for you, I also don’t have any breweries for you in this area. I have failed you. I apologize.
  • Just forgive me and head to these caverns.

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