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stone bridge over a waterfall in a state park near columbus ohioColumbus, Ohio, is a vibrant and bustling city with plenty of attractions and entertainment options.

However, when the hustle and bustle becomes too much, it’s good to know that there are several state parks located within a short drive of the city.

These parks offer a chance to escape into nature and enjoy some of Ohio’s most beautiful landscapes.
From hiking and biking trails to fishing and camping opportunities, there’s something for everyone in these stunning public recreational spaces.

In this article, we’ll highlight five state parks near Columbus that are worth a visit.

Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway, these parks offer a chance to relax, recharge, and enjoy the great outdoors.

So pack your hiking boots, grab your fishing rod, and get ready to explore the natural beauty of Ohio.

Map of State Parks Near Columbus OH

Here is a map of the Ohio state parks covered in this post:

List of State Parks Near Columbus

All of the five state parks near Columbus in Ohio can be reached within a 2 – 3 hour drive from the city. So, they are all easy to get to for a day trip.

However, if you fancy making a weekend of it or even want to spend a longer period of time there, most of them have camping options.

They also all have other accommodation options like hotels, motels and Vrbos within a short distance from them.

1. Hocking Hills State Park

Conckles Hollow Trail through the trees at Hocking Hills State ParkLocation: 19852 OH-664, Logan, OH 43138

Hocking Hills State Park is located in the southeastern region of Ohio and is known for its stunning natural beauty.

The park features deep gorges, towering waterfalls, and towering rock formations, all formed over millions of years by glaciers and erosion.

There are several hiking trails throughout the park, as well as good fishing and boating. Additionally, the park is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and several species of birds.

The park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience Ohio’s natural beauty and participate in a range of recreational outdoor activities in a serene and peaceful setting.

It also has a very good campground which features both electric and non-electric sites, as well as rustic cabins that you can rent.

2. Mohican State Park

covered bridge at Mohican State ParkLocation: 3116 OH-3, Loudonville, OH 44842

Tucked away in north-central Ohio, Mohican State Park is a popular destination for those who love the great outdoors.

Overall, the park covers more than 1,100 acres and is home to several hiking trails, including a section of the Buckeye Trail, which spans the entire state of Ohio. The park also accommodates the Clear Fork River, which provides outstanding opportunities for fishing and boating.

One of the highlights of Mohican State Park is the Mohican State Park Lodge and Conference Center, which offers comfortable accommodations for visitors. The lodge features 96 guest rooms, a swimming pool and a fitness center. It also presents several dining options that showcase menus of varying international cuisines.

In addition to hiking and water activities, Mohican State Park offers opportunities for horseback riding, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing in the winter months. The park also has a modern campground with both electric and non-electric sites, as well as cabins and cottages for rent.

3. Alum Creek State Park

sunset over the water at a state park near columbus ohioLocation: 3400 Lewis Center Rd, Lewis Center, OH 43035

Spanning over 4,000 acres, Alum Creek State Park is a spectacular public recreational space in Delaware County.

Running along the Alum Creek Reservoir, it provides terrific opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming. The park also features several hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as a disc golf course.

In addition to these outdoor activities, Alum Creek State Park houses the Alum Creek Amphitheater. This structure hosts a variety of concerts and events throughout the summer months including recitals, concerts and plays.

The park also features several scenic picnic areas and shelters, which makes it a great place to spend a day with family and friends.

Should you want to stay here, there are plenty of options available to you. Its large campground has over 300 campsites, including electric and non-electric sites, as well as cabins and cottages. Some of its amenities include a children’s playground, a camp store, and shower facilities.

4. Delaware State Park

Location: 5202 US-23, Delaware, OH 43015

Over in Delaware County, the beautiful Delaware State Park is a lovely place to visit when you need a break from the fast pace of city life.

Set within 2,000 acres, it runs along the shimmering shoreline of the 1,300-acre Delaware Lake, which provides wonderful opportunities for guests to enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming.

The park also features several hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as a beach area for sunbathing and relaxation during the warmer months of the year.

Delaware State Park is another public recreational space in Ohio with a large campground, accommodating over 200 campsites which comprise electric and non-electric sites, as well as cabins. The campground features several amenities, such as flush toilets and hot showers, a dump station and children’s playground for guests convenience.

In addition to outdoor activities, Delaware State Park also offers several interpretive programs and educational opportunities for visitors to enjoy. This includes nature walks, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing for species like white-tailed deer, red foxes and coyotes.

5. Buck Creek State Park

Location: 1976 Buck Creek Ln, Springfield, OH 45502

Last, but not least, Buck Creek State Park is a terrific place to go.

Located in Clark County, Ohio, it is an especially popular destination for boaters, kayakers, swimmers and anglers who enjoy the sparkling waters of the 2,120-acre Buck Creek Reservoir.

All up the park covers more than 4,000 acres and includes a serene landscape of rolling hills and a mix of forests. This makes it an excellent terrain to explore via its many hiking and mountain biking trails, where you should be able to spot a wide range of wildlife species.

However, if you would prefer just to relax, the park also has a lovely beach area in which to do this. Additionally, it also offers a fabulous disc golf course that will provide a challenge to even the most seasoned of players.

For campers, the park is home to a good size campground with over 180 campsites for RVs and trailers. Some of which provide hookups for electricity and water.