Walk this way to explore some of Ohio's best hiking trails.
Boardwalk Trail: The unique natural environment of Maumee Bay State Park is the drawing card for this 1.5-mile hike that winds through wetlands bordering Lake Erie. The boardwalk, accessible for all hikers, teems with birds, deer and wildflowers and comes to an end at an observation tower. ohiostateparks.org
Buckeye Trail: The 16.2-mile, two-day overnight hike starts at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Brecksville Station in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and continues to the five campsites surrounding the Stanford House. The hike resumes the next morning on the Buckeye Trail and ends in Peninsula. The terrain is mostly rugged, primitive and natural. Go backpacking with a tent, food and anything needed to heat your dinner. nps.gov/cuva
Logan Hollow Trail: Tar Hollow State Forest, located in the small town of Laurelville in Hocking County, is the third largest state forest in Ohio, covering 16,120 acres. The Logan Hollow Trail's 10.5-mile north loop begins and ends at a fire tower you can climb to get a view of the vast deciduous forest. This trail is recommended for experienced backpackers due to its length and hilly terrain. ohiostateparks.org
Peninsula to Olds Hollow Trail: Deep in the Zaleski State Forest in Vinton County, this 4.2-mile day hike begins at the lakeshore and continues into an oak-hickory forest, past a pioneer cemetery and to a mini-gorge before returning to a wetlands area. The Lake Hope State Park trail has minimal elevation and requires a moderate skill level. zaleskistateforest.com
Pittsburgh-Cincinnati Stagecoach Trail: Located in John Bryan State Park, this 1.3-mile trail follows the course of the Little Miami River on its north bank and joins trails that lead into the Clifton Gorge and the Glen Helen Nature Preserve. Walking is easy to moderate on this scenic trail. ohiostateparks.org
Shawnee Backpack Trail: Located in West Portsmouth, the Shawnee State Forest lies on the northern edge of the Appalachian foothills and offers spectacular views of the forested, hilly region. The main trail is a 40-mile loop, a day hike trail is 7.2 miles and the wilderness side trail is 9.8 miles. These trails require moderate levels of skill and endurance and hikers should wear proper clothing (shorts not recommended) and sturdy footwear. ohiostateparks.org
Dive into these six water sports and cool off all summer long.
Canoeing: The water on Kiser Lake is as calm as they come thanks to a no-motor policy. With woods surrounding its 396 acres, it's also largely shaded, making it an ideal place for canoeing. Wildlife such as deer and turkey sometimes find their way to the shoreline, and you might spot them if you spend enough time out in the boat. $4-$25, 4370 Kiser Lake Road, St. Paris, 937-362-3565, ohiostateparks.org
Kayaking: You may be far away from the hustle and bustle of Cleveland, but Lake Erie is a still one happening place. As your steer your way around Kelleys Island, you'll see plenty of boats, ferries, other kayakers and even bald eagles or fox snakes who frequent the island shore. $19-$30 an hour, 920 Division St., Kelleys Island, 419-285-2274, kelleysisland.info
Paddleboats: Almost like a bike on water, paddleboats are a leisurely activity for the whole family. Give it a go at the back channels of Lucy's Pond and Blackhawk Island just west of Indian Lake Campground — a hidden escape from the otherwise crowded Indian Lake. $7-$25, 12774 state Route 235 N, Lakeview, 937-843-3553, indianlake.com
Personal watercraft: If you like to go fast, jump on board one of these high-powered two-seater personal watercrafts at Alum Creek Lake. With 3,330 acres of open water, there's plenty of space to quench your need for speed, even during its busy weekends. $100-$800, 4000 Hollenback Road, Lewis Center, 740-548-6056, alumcreek.com
Stand-up Paddleboarding: Stand-up paddleboarding is already a workout, but take it to the next level with Inhale Yoga Studio in Athens. The studio offers yoga instruction while on paddleboards on Dow Lake at Strouds Run State Park. The serene 161-acre lake is a tranquil backdrop for downward facing dogs and warrior poses. $32, 11661 State Park Road, Athens, 740-249-4310, inhaleyoga.org
Waterskiing: Our waterskiing skills may not be the best, but a visit to West Branch State Park's Michael J. Kirwan Reservoir gives us a chance to work on that. With ski boats available for rent seating up to six, it's a great place for beginners thanks to its 2,650 acres of water — leaving ample room for you to stay out of the wake of other boats. $160-$390, 8109 Cable Line Road, Ravenna, 330-296-9209, westbranchmarina.com
Forget roughin' it, indulge in one of these relaxing activities.
Beach Yoga:This one-hour yoga class for all levels will have you doing sun salutations right along the shores of Lake Erie at the Firefly Beach Resort Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. and Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m. $5-$10, Firefly Beach Resort, 4903 Cleveland Road E, Huron, 419-557-4108, fireflybeach.com
Cabin Massage: After trekking through the wilderness, you'll want to have Blue Valley Massage & Traveling Spa therapists give you spa treatments in the comfort of your Hocking Hills cabin with a signature full-body, one-hour deep relaxation massage, soothing music and scented oils. $70, 740-653-2256, bluevalleymassage.com
Golf: Work on your handicap while camping when you stay in this log cabin overlooking the 11th hole of the Willandale Golf Club. Visitors can play up to 27 holes on 166 acres of farmland. Prices vary, 8828 Golf Course Road, Sugarcreek, 330-620-5551, alittlesliceofheavenbnb.com
Horse and Carriage Ride: Find a little romance on this horse-drawn carriage ride that departs from an English Tudor-style mansion and strolls quietly through the open woodlands of the 741-acre Punderson State Park. $50-$100, Punderson Manor Lodge & Conference Center, 11755 Kinsman Road, Newbury, 602-930-8665, ladybugranchllc.com
Traveling Chefs: If you're worn out on beans and weenies while hiding away in Hocking Hills, these chefs will take over your cabin's kitchen to prepare a four-course meal from scratch with steak, seafood and vegetarian options. $99-$199, 800-222-4655, grousenesttravelingchef.com
Wine Tour: While on a secluded stay at Rustic River Retreats in Austinburg, you'll want to venture out on one of the Barrels and Bridges tours, where you'll visit up to seven wineries on a guided tour through Geneva's wine country. Prices vary, 440-488-6250, barrelsandbridgestours.com
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June 23, 2014