The Ohio River Trail of the Ohio River Scenic Byway is abundant with natural areas for wildlife observation and park recreation. Discover the immense diversity of the great outdoors along the mighty Ohio.
Beaver Creek State Park offers many different kinds of attractions year-round, including outdoor sports, historical points of interest including a pioneer village, and a nature center. Little Beaver Creek, designated as both a state and national wildlife refuge and scenic river, flows through a 2,700 acre park, offering a very diverse ecosystem with dozens of animal species, including the giant hellbender salamander, also known as a snot otter. The park also offers camping and picnic facilities, with reservations.
Near the south central portion of the Ohio River sits Shawnee State Park– 63,000 acres of beautifully rugged land. Cottages, cabins, camping, and a picturesque lodge offer amenities for any kind of traveler. Two lakes with canoes and kayaks available for rental, an 18-hole and miniature golf courses, swimming facilities and hiking trails are only some of the offerings at his popular and scenic park.
Blanketing nearly a quarter of a million acres throughout southeastern Ohio you’ll find Wayne National Forest. What began as a reforestation effort after generations of agricultural and lumber use, the beautiful park now offers a variety of outdoor activities and amenities such as camping and RV hookups. Many recreation areas are located on the banks of the Ohio River – as well as miles away into thick forest land.Though small in terms of acreage (just under 800 acres), Forked Run State Park gives visitors lots of opportunities to enjoy southeastern Ohio’s waterways and forests. Cabins, boating facilities, and Wi-Fi for travelers who need to stay connected are just a few of the site’s highlights. It is also adjacent to the Shade River State Forest, which offers another 3,000 acres of hiking and sightseeing land.
Approaching Cincinnati, parks can be found along the river in Clermont and Hamilton County.
Along with the state and national parks along the Ohio River Scenic Byway, dozens of other parks line the river maintained by cities and counties. Marietta, Pomeroy and Cincinnati are just three communities that offer riverfront parks that are perfect for a place to enjoy a picnic or just some quiet river watching. Those same parks are also home to many events throughout the year that appeal to a wide variety of interests.