At NRS Injury Law, we live and breathe the Buckeye State! We are the largest workers’ compensation law firm in Ohio and the leading injury law firm in the state. We think there are always fun things to do in Ohio, no matter the time of year, so we compiled a list of our favorite winter activities. And since we have law offices in Columbus, Cleveland, and Dayton, we were sure to include activities from across the state. Whether you're skiing, snowboarding, tubing, or snowmobiling, it's important to be prepared for the cold weather and potential dangers that come along with it.
Ohio is famous for its intense winters. Rather than staying indoors and avoiding the cold and snow, why not embrace it? Get bundled up and check out some of Ohio’s most popular ski hills. Many such resorts and parks also offer snowboarding, tubing, and sledding. Our personal favorites are Alpine Valley in Chesterland near Cleveland, the Boston Mills and Brandywine Ski Areas in Peninsula near Akron, and the Chalet at The Mill Stream Run Recreation Area in Cleveland.
Just about every inland lake freezes over in Ohio during winter, making for great ice fishing. Our favorite ice fishing spot is Indian Lake, north of Dayton. It is always the first to freeze in the state because it is so shallow, giving ice-fishing enthusiasts a long season to set up their huts and enjoy the good life! Also, we recommend Lake Erie for ice fishing. Cleveland fishing guides can take folks out onto the lake and find safe sections of ice with active fish below. Keep an eye out for crappie, walleye, and yellow perch!
Located in downtown Cincinnati, Fountain Square has been a focal point for ice skating for almost 150 years. In addition to ice skating, the square offers a full winter wonderland with festivities, lights, snacks, and warm-up tents. The RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton is also great for ice skating, and we’ve heard the Ohio State Ice Rink in Columbus is great too. Some of Ohio’s ice skating rinks will even let you rent the rink for birthday parties and other private events!
Hiking is all the rage these days, and who says it needs to end when the snow flies? With so much natural landscape in our beloved state, snowshoeing and hiking are some of the best things to do in winter in Ohio. We recommend Hocking Hills State Park, located in Logan, south of Columbus. We’ve also enjoyed Mohican State Park in Loudonville, located between Columbus and Akron. We also enjoy Wayne National Forest for its remote, wild nature. It has about 300 miles of backpacking and hiking trails and is near Stewart. And perhaps most famously, our gem of Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Cleveland, has many hiking trails to enjoy. Quoting their National Park Service Ranger information, “There are over 125 miles of hiking trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. These trails range from nearly level to more challenging, and pass through various habitats including woodlands, wetlands, and old fields. Some trails require you to cross streams with stepping stones or log bridges, while others, including the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, are nearly level and are accessible to all visitors. A portion of the state-wide Buckeye Trail also passes through the park.”
For nature lovers in Ohio, this activity is truly splendid. The Beech Creek Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve in Alliance (southwest of Akron) has a “Bird in Hand” program that allows you to feed wild chickadees and other birds. This particular attraction has on-site volunteers who have trained the wild birds to eat out of human hands, and they’ll be there to give visitors a special food blend and explain what to do to invite a chickadee over for a snack. Also, established in 1939, the Brecksville Nature Center in Brecksville is the last remaining Cleveland Metroparks trailside museum and is another place where visitors can hand-feed wild birds like chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches, and tufted titmice.
Ohio is known for its stunning waterfalls, several of which are still accessible even during winter. Further, the trails are often far less crowded, giving you more time and peace to enjoy the scenery. The Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, located in Yellow Springs (near Dayton), has a beautiful waterfall that usually freezes over in winter. Another option is Cascade Park in Elyria. This park has multiple waterfalls and is located near Cleveland.
The Buckeye State has more than 100 bridges, most of which are accessible during winter. Ideal for the perfect Instagram photo, these bridges are picturesque and less traveled during the winter months. We recommend checking out the West Liberty Street Covered Bridge in Geneva. Highly accessible, the bridge was built in 2010, and it was opened to traffic nearly a year later. Footpaths on both sides allow you to walk and stand on the bridge without worrying about traffic. Another good one is the Smolen-Gulf Covered Bridge in Ashtabula. It’s the longest covered bridge in the nation, 613 feet long, and it stands 93 feet above the Ashtabula River.
There are more than 20 lighthouses on the Ohio coast of lake Erie, and several of them are open to the public during winter. Some of these lighthouses are more than 200 years old, preserved as historical and cultural lessons for future generations. We recommend Marblehead Lighthouse in Marblehead, the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes. We’ve also enjoyed the Ashtabula Lighthouse in Ashtabula and the Lorain Lighthouse in Lorain.
If winter outdoor activities are not for you, plenty of fun indoor activities are available. Ohio is known for its museums, most of which are open to the public year-round. Our personal favorite is Loveland Castle. Also called Chateau Laroche, Loveland Castle is built just like a medieval castle! Located in Loveland, it took 50 years to build. For a time it was used as a youth group camp that encouraged following the principles of European knighthood and the Ten Commandments. Today it is a museum and a splendid sight to behold. We also recommend the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus.
The performing arts have been on the rise for some time now in Ohio. These events allow Ohio residents and visitors alike a way to get out of the cold and into a warm environment with good entertainment. We compiled a list below of our favorite places to catch a live show:
The NRS Injury Law partners wish all our fellow Ohioans a safe and heartwarming holiday. We feel so thankful and lucky that there are so many wonderful places to enjoy the holidays and the winter season in Ohio, and we hope you will take advantage of these many Buckeye State attractions.
And always know that if you ever need an attorney to represent you in an injury case or workers’ comp case in Ohio, we’re here to represent you. We’re available to provide a free consultation, so call our office if you need us: 855.468.4878. Or fill out our online contact form. Have a safe holiday!
 NPS. “Hiking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.” National Park Service: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 2022. nps.gov