Highland County has an abundance of hiking trails, all ranging from easy and short walks to long and challenging paths. Most of these trails can be found at the county's state parks and nature preserves. Other smaller trails can be found as well such as the Nature Trail at Liberty Park and the Greenfield Bike Trail at Felson Park.
Rocky Fork and Paint Creek State Park are two of the most popular hiking areas in Highland County. Both state parks offer multiple different levels of hiking trails. Rocky Fork has three trails that are open to the public. These trails include the Bird Observation Trail, Deer Loop Trail, and Storybook trail. This Storybook Trail features a different story about every six months laid out on child-sized panels that line the trail. Paint Creek offers six trails for visitors to explore. The East Trail Loop, Harmony Trail, and Little Pond Trail can all be traveled by foot. Additionally, Paint Creek State Park features 25 miles of bridle trails (the North Bridle Trail and South Bridle Trail) and 12 miles of mountain bike trails.
The Miller State Nature Preserve offers three main trails: the Arch Trail, the Tuliptree Trail, and the Falls Trail. The Arch Trail is a short trail that features views of rock formations and the Rocky Fork Creek. This natural bridge is made out of Peebles dolomite, which is what most of Ohio's natural arches are formed out of. The Arch Trail is the shortest and easiest of the Miller Nature Sanctuary Trails. The Tuliptree Trail is 0.75 miles long. This trail boasts classic Rocky Fork scenery with rock-scapes, sparkling streams, and beautiful spring flowers. The Tuliptree Trail loops through a stand of tuliptree (Liriodendron Tulipifera) so named because of the tulip-like flowers produced by the tree in late spring and early summer. At one mile in length, the Falls Trail is the longest hiking trail at the Miller Nature Sanctuary. The Falls Trail follows Rocky Fork downstream to the extreme northeastern end of the preserve, passing its namesake near the half-way point. A small tributary enters from the north and tumbles over the gorge wall forming an impressive waterfall during wetter times of the year.
The Highlands Nature Sanctuary is the nonprofit Arc of Appalachia’s oldest and largest preserve. The heart of the 3000-acre preserve is the breathtakingly beautiful Rocky Fork Gorge, a 100-foot high steep-walled dolomite canyon with breathtaking rock formations, ancient white cedars, grottoes, springs, and stone arches. The Highlands Nature Sanctuary is known for its superb hiking trails, overnight nature retreats, wealth of botanical diversity and spectacular spring wildflower displays – some of the most stunning showcases in all of the Eastern United States. This nature sanctuary offers seventeen different trails for visitors to explore. All hiking trails are open from sunrise to sunset, which gives plenty of time if you are looking for a full day of outdoor adventures.
The Ohio Buckeye Trail is a popular attraction for visitors who love hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoors. Part of this special trail is located in South East Highland County, Ohio. The Sinking Spring section of the trail offers some beautiful scenery and hiking as its northern half passes through Pike State Forest. Instead of being guided by signs, hikers will be guided with what is known as the “blue blazes”. These are 2 inch by 6 inch blue paint marks that can be found on the sides of trees and utility poles along the trail. These blue blazes can be found all around the state of Ohio.
Some smaller trails located in Highland County are the Liberty Park Nature Trail and the Greenfield Bike Trail. Liberty Park offers a small trail that follows along the outside of the park. This trail is great for birding, hiking, and running. It's unlikely you'll encounter many other people while exploring as this trail is mostly hidden along the outsides of the park. The Greenfield Bike Trail is the perfect place for you and your family to ring your bikes and have an adventure. This paved trail is located at Felson Park in Greenfield, Ohio.
Highland County, in beautiful southwest Ohio, offers an abundance of hiking trails for visitors to explore. Whether it be a long trail like the Ohio Buckeye Trail or a shorter trail at Rocky Fork State Park; these trails can be found all throughout the county's state parks and nature preserves. If you and your family are interested in hiking and exploring the outdoors, these hiking trails are perfect for you.
You’ll find everything you’re looking for right here in Highland County, Ohio.