COLUMBUS, Ohio – From meteor showers to festivals, there are many opportunities for Ohioans to enjoy the great outdoors. As one of only seven states in the nation with free admission to our state parks system, state forests and state nature preserves, Ohio’s trails and waterways offer something for all ages, interests and ability levels. Get outside and get fit naturally through ODNR’s many exciting programs during the summer season.
Summer Fun Day at Deer Creek State Park – Beat the summer heat Aug. 12-13 with naturalist activities, concession stand, movies, marshmallows, bounce houses and games. Every kid gets a prize. For more information, call 740-869-3124.
Survivor Ohio at Lake Loramie State Park – This fun-filled weekend will take place Aug. 12-14. Kids and adults will find this competition to be fun and memorable. For more information, call 937-295-2011.
Dragonflies at Stage’s Pond State Nature Preserve – Bring a camera and binoculars to search for dragonflies at Stage’s Pond State Nature Preserve on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The shallow glacial ponds produce several species of dragonflies in great numbers. Families are welcome, but remember pets are not allowed. Wear water resistant footwear. Meet at the preserve parking lot off Hagerty Road. For more information, call Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve at 740-380-8918 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explore the Outdoors at Beaver Creek State Park – Youth are welcome to come and experience several outdoor activities and displays on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Highlights feature a youth fishing event, stream study and youth archery. For more information, contact Tom Butch at 330-301-0536.
Paddle Palooza at Caesar Creek State Park – This free event is a great opportunity for the whole family on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 1-4 p.m. Everyone can test drive canoes, kayaks and learn how to do stand-up paddleboarding. For more information, call 513-897-1092.
Perseids Meteor Shower Campout at Caesar Creek State Park – Watch the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower on the beach Saturday, Aug. 13. Registration opens at 4 p.m. The event includes fun activities and star gazing with the Cincinnati Astronomical Society. Camp on the beach for free that night. Food and drinks are available and all funds raised will support the nature center. For more information, call 513-897-2437 or visit the state park’s Facebook page.
Perseids Meteor Shower Party at Dillon State Park – This event will be held at Dillon’s Sky Deck, located near Camp Area C on Saturday, Aug. 13, starting at 10 p.m. and ending Sunday, Aug. 14, at 6 a.m. Bring a camp chair, snacks, non-alcoholic drinks and stay a while. Telescopes will be set up to see celestial objects, but the main event will be the meteors. For more information, call 740-453-4377.
Insects, Insects, Insects Hike at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve – Dive into an insect safari on Sunday, Aug. 14, from 2-3:30 p.m. Guests will be able to tune in to the insects’ songs and capture some to look at more closely. Meet at the nature center. To RSVP, call 440-257-0777, email email@example.com or check the nature preserve’s Facebook page.
Paddle Ohio at Little Miami State & National Scenic River – Take part in a guided paddle on the Little Miami River on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Take part in the Paddle Ohio program and paddle on any designated water trail, scenic river or Paddle Ohio State Park lakes. By paddling in four different Ohio locations, participants are eligible for a free Paddle Ohio pin. To learn more, visit paddle.ohiodnr.gov.
Pioneer Day at A.W. Marion State Park – Celebrate pioneer history on Aug. 19-20. Join park volunteers and staff for movies, marshmallows, games and activities in honor of these Ohio forefathers. For more information, call 740-869-3124.
Late Summer Blooms Hike at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve – Explore the colorful, late summer flowers found in various habitats around the marsh on Sunday, Aug. 21, from 2-3:30 p.m. Meet at the nature center. To RSVP call 440-257-0777, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check the nature preserve’s Facebook page.
Butterfly Weekend at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve – Participate in a butterfly open house on Saturday, Aug. 27 and Sunday, Aug. 28, from 12-5 p.m. on both days. Learn about the life cycles of the butterfly and the plants that they like. Help dedicate the new Monarch Waystation. Meet at the nature center. To RSVP call 440-257-0777, email email@example.com or check the nature preserve’s Facebook page.
Night Haunt at Malabar Farm State Park – Dare to explore the “normal to paranormal” on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 8-11:45 p.m. Explore cemeteries and haunted houses. End the night with hot dogs, s’mores and stories around the campfire. The event is $30 per person. Pre-registration is required. Call 419-892-2784 or visit malabarfarm.org for more information. Not recommended for youth under 17.
Ridgetop and River Valley Hike at Rockbridge State Nature Preserve – Explore the habitat of the river bottom parallel to the Hocking River on Sunday, Aug. 28, from 1-3 p.m. Pre-register for this off-trail hike which is limited to 15 participants. To register, call 740-380-8918 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monarch Mania at Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve – Learn about monarchs on a butterfly hike on Sunday, Aug. 28, from 2-3:30 p.m. Explore how important milkweed is for monarchs and learn the latest news on monarch conservation. Help tag some monarchs as well. Meet at the nature center. To RSVP call 440-257-0777, email email@example.com or check the nature preserve’s Facebook page.
With so many different activities, the staff at ODNR hope that Ohioans will get outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty that the state has to offer.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.