Though they may be pretty far from both the East and West Coasts, Ohioans still have plenty of water activities to keep them cool and active during the summertime.
From Lake Erie to the Ohio River, the Buckeye State is full of scenic creeks and waterways that are perfect for paddling. Here are just some of the best places in the state to go canoeing or kayaking.
The village of Loudonville, which is located in between Cleveland and Columbus, has actually earned the nickname “Canoe Capital of Ohio” due to the many liveries located along the Mohican River. Paddling down the river will take you through the beautiful Mohican State Park, which contains three separate camping areas for those looking to turn their trip to Loudonville into a weekend-long getaway. And with nearby hiking trails and zip-lining available, there is no reason not to make the most of your visit. Get a list of nearby rental facilities at http://discovermohican.com/what-to-do.php?UID=24.
There are many potential launching off points for those looking to paddle Lake Erie, but perhaps the most scenic is found in the Marblehead area. On a clear day, those canoeing and kayaking off the shores of Marblehead will enjoy views of the historic Perry’s Monument on South Bass Island, the towering roller coasters at Cedar Point and the picturesque Marblehead Lighthouse which stands on the rocky shores of the peninsula. For those who do not own their own canoe or kayak, there are many boat rental services in the area, including Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rentals and Kayak the Bay, Ltd on South Bass Island. Learn more about paddling in this area at http://paddling.net/places/showReport.html?2078.
Big Darby Creek
Central Ohio’s Big Darby Creek runs 84 miles from Champaign County down to Franklin County. One of the most biologically diverse aquatic systems in all of the Midwest, the river is home to the only known population of the Scioto madtom species of fish. Those paddling Big Darby Creek should be sure to stop in Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, which is home to bison and other fascinating wildlife. Trapper John’s Canoe Livery in Grove City is one of the most popular boat rental services in the area, and trips and pricing can be found at http://trapperjohnscanoeing.com/#!trips/czpx.
Little Miami River
The 111-mile Little Miami River flows through five counties in southwestern Ohio, beginning in Clark County and emptying into the Ohio River. One of the best stretches of the Little Miami can be enjoyed at Scenic River Canoe Excursions, located in the Greater Cincinnati area. Scenic River Canoe Excursions offers group outings and canoe, kayak and tube rentals for a peaceful, relaxing paddle down one of the state’s most beautiful waterways. To learn more, visit http://scenicrivercanoe.com/.
The rolling Hocking Hills of southeastern Ohio provide some of the most beautiful views in all of Appalachia. While most residents, visitors and students at the nearby Ohio University have hiked through Hocking Hills State Park at one time or another, fewer have experienced the pleasure of paddling down the Hocking River. Fox’s Hocking Hills Canoe Livery in Logan rents out canoes, kayaks and rafts to those wishing to explore the Hocking River, while also providing campsites, cabins and fun Moonlight Tours. For more information, visit http://hockingriver.com/.
From the Big Darby Creek to the Little Miami River, there are waterways of all shapes and sizes in Ohio just waiting to be explored. Hop into a kayak or canoe and paddle your way through some of these scenic spots.
This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio