Ohio is a Midwestern state with a plethora of natural and historic sites to explore. With 12 National Parks sites, visitors can enjoy wildlife, stunning views, and a variety of activities.
Besides national parks, there are 2 National Heritage Areas, 3 Wild and Scenic Rivers managed by the National Park Service, 1 National Trail, and 3,957 National Register of Historic Places Listings.
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a great destination for those looking for a day trip near Cleveland or Akron. It offers a beautiful landscape with hiking trails, waterfalls, and a scenic train ride, all within close proximity to cities.
Aside from its natural wonders, the park also has a rich history. It was home to a number of prehistoric peoples and is the site of historic Ottowa and Ojibwa camps.
In addition, the valley is home to remnants of the Ohio & Erie Canal, which linked Lake Erie with the mighty Cuyahoga River. The historic canal shaped the lives of the area’s residents, and helped them trade with other regions of the United States.
In 1974, Congress passed a bill establishing Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. It was then redesignated as a national park in 2000.
Located along the North Carolina-Tennessee border, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the US. With 150 trails, 2200-plus streams and more than 520,000 acres, this park is a nature lover's dream.
It is also home to a rich cultural tapestry of Southern Appalachian history. Throughout the years, Native American tribes, early European settlers, loggers and Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees have all called the Smokies home.
The park aims to preserve its flora and fauna in an environment similar to the one that existed prior to the arrival of modern technology. Extirpated species of animals such as bison, elk, mountain lion, gray wolf and fisher have been reintroduced to the park.
The best time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in October when the park's fall foliage is at its peak. It's also a popular time for hikers and backpackers looking to escape the crowds of summer.
The First Ladies National Historic Site is a tribute to the wives of US Presidents. Established in Canton, Ohio, in 2000 to honor all of the first ladies in our country, this site is comprised of two buildings: the Ida Saxton McKinley home and the Education & Research Center (formerly City National Bank building).
The Education and Research Center, located one block north of the Saxton-McKinley house on Market Avenue, features exhibits and a theater that rotate to showcase the many roles that first lady wives performed throughout history. The center also features a research library that replicates First Lady Abigail Fillmore’s collection for the White House Library.
The Ida Saxton McKinley house, built in 1841 and remodeled in 1865, has been restored authentically with period furnishings. Costumed docents lead tours of the home. Exhibits include photos of President and Mrs. McKinley, photos of other First Ladies and Victorian decorations. Tours run for about 2 hours.
Taking up a mere few square yards in Beachwood, Ohio, David Berger Memorial National Park is what's often referred to as America's smallest national park. It honors an Ohio-born weightlifter who died in Israel after competing in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.
Berger joined the Israeli team as a weightlifter to realize his dream, but that dream was cut tragically short. He was one of 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian terrorists at the games.
The statue is a tribute to Berger and the other athletes who were murdered. It was designed and built by Cleveland sculptor David E. Davis, and commissioned by eight Cleveland families who knew David Berger.
The sculpture was originally located on the grounds of the Jewish Community Center in Cleveland Heights, but when that facility closed arrangements were made to store it at the McKay Lodge Fine Arts Conservation Laboratory, in Oberlin, Ohio. During storage the sculpture was cleaned of existing corrosion and a corrosion inhibitor was applied. In addition, one section required welding reinforcement.