Ohio State Parks, Nature Preserves, Forests and Wildlife Areas

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Special places for contemplation, recreation, and outdoor adventure

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources was created in 1949, and has the mission of ensuring “a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all“. Through the agencies listed below, they manage almost 600,000 acres of land in the State of Ohio. ODNR is truly one of Ohio’s treasures, because they professionally and effectively protect our natural environment for enjoyment by present and future generations.

Ohio State Parks

Ohio boasts 74 State parks to choose from. Included among the park amenities are world-class resorts at several parks, cottages, 57 campgrounds, wonderful hiking trails, opportunities for boating, mountain biking, camping, fishing, swimming, backpacking, winter sports, rock-climbing, horse-back riding, and more. No matter what your motivation for getting outdoors, you will love Ohio’s State Parks.

Ohio State Nature Preserves

ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves manages 89 publicly accessible nature preserves, as well as an additional 41 that are accessible with written permission. DNAP manages these areas beacuse of unique or rare plant and animal species, interesting geological features, and other natural resources worthy of preservation. They manage some of the State of Ohio’s most sensitive public lands.

Ohio State Wildlife Areas

The ODNR Division of Wildlifeis “dedicated to conserving and improving the fish and wildlife resources and their habitats, and promoting their use and appreciation by the public so that these resources continue to enhance the quality of life for all Ohioans.” The division manages scores of Wildlife Areas, used for hunting, fishing, bird watching, and passive recreation. They include a maps of 80 “Watchable Wildlife” Areas on their web page at ODNR Division of Wildlife’s Watchable Wildlife Page.

Ohio State Forests

The ODNR Division of Forestry manages over 185,000 acres of forest land in 20 State Forests. These working forests are mainly in southeastern Ohio, the un-glaciated, rugged, appalachian portion of the state. Opportunities abound for backpacking, horseback riding, hiking, nature observation, camping, hunting and fishing on Ohio State Forests.