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Start 2016 by Exploring Ohio’s Parks and Nature Preserves

January 13, 2016

COLUMBUS, OH - We can help with your New Year's resolutions to get more exercise, spend more time outdoors or to enjoy more quality time with your family. Join us at one of the winter hikes offered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) at state parks and state nature preserves across Ohio this month.

ODNR is also excited to launch our OhioWinter16 photo challenge. Upload your photos to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag OhioWinter16 to potentially win an overnight stay in a cabin at one of our 74 Ohio State Parks.

51st Annual Winter Hike at Hocking Hills State Park - This self-guided hike will be held on Saturday, Jan. 16, with continuous starts from 9-11 a.m. This rugged hike offers a 3-mile or 6-mile trek, allowing hikers to see noteworthy sights such as Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave. This remains the most popular winter hike in the Ohio State Parks system, and millions of hikers visit this nationally recognized park throughout the year. Hikers are encouraged to wear layers and appropriate footwear for wintry conditions. Refreshments are available at Cedar Falls, and donations are appreciated. Shuttle buses return hikers to Old Man's Cave. Call 740-385-6841 for more information.

Winter Birding Hike at Stage's Pond State Nature Preserve - Join staff on Jan. 16, for a winter hike to learn more about the birds wintering at Stage's Pond. Dominated by glacial geology, the 3.5-mile trail system is mostly flat for easy hiking. Please dress appropriately for winter weather. Some areas of the trail will be wet; waterproof or water-resistant footwear are recommended. Meet at the large parking lot in front of the office. We will have refreshments after the hike; please bring your favorite hot chocolate mug and spoon. Call 740-380-8918 for more details.

Winter Hike at Lake Loramie State Park - Meet at the camp store at 1 p.m. on Jan. 16, for a winter hike along Lake View Trail. After the hike, refreshments will be served, and kids will be treated to a take-home craft.

Big Woods Hike at Hueston Woods State Park - Meet at the nature center at 2 p.m. on Jan. 16, to hike to an old growth forest within the park. Wear appropriate footwear and bring your vehicle; we will drive to the trailhead. Allow two hours for the hike.

Full Moon Hike at Eagle Creek State Nature Preserve - Meet on Jan. 23, at 8:45 p.m. to walk the preserve at night by the light of a full moon (contingent upon sky conditions). Registration is required for this free event. Please dress according to the weather and wear appropriate shoes, the event will last until 10 p.m. To register or for more information, call 330-527-5118.

Afternoon Hike at Hueston Woods State Park - Meet on Jan. 24, at 2 p.m. at the nature center to hike through the scenery of Hueston Woods. Please wear appropriate footwear. Bring your vehicle; we will drive to the trailhead. This program is longer than an hour.

Section Hike at Shawnee State Park - Meet at the lodge lobby on Jan. 30, at noon for a brisk hike on the Shawnee Backpack Trail from noon to 4 p.m. We will be walking on rough terrain so bring your walking sticks, wear comfortable hiking shoes and dress in layers. Bring snacks and water. Everyone welcome including pets. Hiking distance will be based on skill levels attending. No hike will exceed 7 miles.

Big Woods Hike at Hueston Woods State Park - Journey to an old growth forest on Jan. 30. Meet at the nature center and wear appropriate footwear. Bring your vehicle; we will drive to the trailhead. Allow two hours for the hike.

For more information on these hikes, plus other recreational opportunities at state parks, forests, nature preserves and wildlife areas, go to

Visit the ODNR website at



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