Exploring Ohio’s National Parks

Maybe Ohio doesn’t boast the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Mt. Rushmore — but we have plenty of National Parks in the Buckeye State (8, to be exact)! If you’re looking for a little adventure, we recommend exploring Ohio’s national parks, which are located all around the state!

This fall, take a family road trip to one of Ohio’s National Parks:

1. William Howard Taft National Historic Site

2038 Auburn Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219
From the time of his birth in 1857 until he embarked on a political career that would win him the two highest offices in the nation (the only person so far to hold these two top offices), William Howard Taft lived at this home. The house that Taft was born in has been restored to its original appearance. Admission is always free! Read all about this local gem here.

2. Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

16 South Williams Street, Dayton, OH 45402
Dayton’s contribution to aviation history is well known. This park celebrates three exceptional Dayton inventors – Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Paul Laurence Dunbar – and their work in the Miami Valley. (Want to see the Wright Flyer III? Head to Carillon Historical Park! And the Air Force Museum is always a fun – and free – hit!)

3. Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument

1120 U.S. 42, Wilberforce, OH 45385
This is a newer National Park — the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument was established on March 25, 2013 to preserve the home and post-Civil War military legacy of Col. Charles Young (1864–1922). Col. Young was the third African American to graduate from West Point and the first to achieve the rank of colonel. He was also the first African American to serve as a superintendent of a national park, commanding the U.S. Army troops national parks in California.

4. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

16062 OH-104, Chillicothe, OH 45601
From about 200 BC to 500 AD, the Ohio River Valley was a focal point of the prehistoric Hopewell culture. The Hopewell Culture National Historical Park contains nationally significant archeological resources including large earthwork and mound complexes that provide an insight into the social, ceremonial, political, and economic life of the Hopewell people.

5. First Ladies National Historic Site

205 Market Ave S, Canton, OH 44702
With the first female candidate running for U.S. President, this site takes on newfound significance. Two properties, the home of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley and the seven-story 1895 City National Bank Building, are preserved at this site, which honors the lives and accomplishments of First Ladies throughout history.

6. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

1550 Boston Mills Rd W. Peninsula, OH 44264
This picturesque park is totally worth the drive (it’s near Cleveland). The winding Cuyahoga—the “crooked river—gives way to 33,000 acres of deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. The park is a refuge for flora and fauna and provides recreation, beauty and solitude for Ohio’s residents and visitors.

7. James A Garfield National Historic Site

8095 Mentor Ave, Mentor, OH 44060
Known as the Mother of Presidents, Garfield is another Ohio-hailing Commander in Chief. Garfield acquired the home in 1876 to accommodate his large family (he had 7 kids!). The home, named Lawnfield by reporters, was the site of the first successful “front porch campaign: in 1880. James A. Garfield was President from March 4, 1881 until his assassination on September 19, 1881. Four years after the President’s death, the Memorial Library wing was added by Mrs. Garfield and her family – setting the precedent for presidential libraries.

8. Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial

93 Delaware Ave, Put-In-Bay, OH 43456
Need an excuse to visit Put-In-Bay? How about Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial? Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, during the war of 1812, but in equal part it is here to celebrate the long-lasting peace between Britain, Canada and the U.S.


We live in a beautiful state — and this time of year, you have to get out and enjoy the fall foliage, cooler temps and special sights!

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