Ohio State Parks Week shows what we have to offer everyone | News, Sports, Jobs

During this Ohio State Parks Week, many Buckeye State residents might be surprised to learn that there are 75 state parks, with recreational opportunities ranging from kayaking on the Lake Erie to hiking in beautiful forests and historic formations.

“From Maumee Bay to Forked Run, our state parks add so much to our quality of life and make Ohio a better place to live,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “I encourage you to celebrate our state parks by taking the time to get outside and enjoy a walk along a storybook trail with your family, a day on the water with friends, or a a hike to some of Ohio’s most scenic spots.”

Soon, a 76th state park will be in place, with the development of a park near Xenia that will include an interpretive center in partnership with the three federally recognized Shawnee Tribes and Ohio History Connection. Our responsibility to appreciate and preserve the state’s history and natural wonders does not, after all, begin with 1787.

If you’re not at least a casual visitor to Ohio State Parks and Forests, you’re missing something. There are plenty of them within easy driving distance, and they provide opportunities to disconnect, relax, spend some time amid our state’s natural beauty, exercise, learn something… and still be home in time for dinner. (Unless you want to dine at one of the lodges, which is also a great option.)

If you already know what treasures we have here, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced the creation of the Ohio State Parks Foundation to protect, enhance, and defend state parks. At ohiostateparksfoundation.org, you can vote for your favorite park and learn about ways to support those parks.

In declaring Ohio State Parks Week, DeWine said “Ohio State Parks economically benefit the State of Ohio as well as the communities around them, bringing visitors to local restaurants and lodging establishments…”

This is just the beginning. Visit one and find out for yourself. But be prepared, once you’ve seen what our state parks have to offer, you’ll want to return.

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