Take a Week to Explore Fantastic Landscapes of Ohio and Northern Indiana
A loop of Interstate highways connects the seven areas we're highlighting for intriguing landscape experiences. Major cities provide further lodging/shopping opportunities on the way. It's about 1000 miles all told, but the drive between any two places in the chain is 3 hours at most. Several locations could merit whole-weekend visits in their own, especially the Lake Erie Islands, Hocking Hills, and western Indiana state parks.
For storytellers (fiction writers, game masters), we believe there is no substitute for first-hand experience of an inspiring natural setting, its multisensory character and the challenges of perception and movement it presents.
Besides commercial caves and state preserves, this route includes two of our country's newest National Parks. In a week's jaunt you'll have the chance to explore a quaking bog, fern-filled ravines, trails between huge stone blocks, bedrock scored by glacial grooves, a cave entirely lined with giant crystals, and quiet canoeing channels hemmed by water lilies. We'll also share a few practical food/lodging recommendations for the stops on this loop.
Indiana Dunes National Park Renowned for its Lake Michigan beaches and high forested dunes, this area's parks also give visitors the chance to explore a variety of wetland environments, including a quaking bog! See More
Chain-O-Lakes State Park Rent a canoe or kayak to follow quiet, narrow channels between open lakes in these forested hills. You'll pass by a multitude of of lily pads, dragonflies, turtles, and waterfowl on your way. See More
Lake Erie Islands Just off Ohio's northern shore, these islands offer wonders including a crystal-lined cave and giant glacial grooves. Beaches abound, but so do rocky shorelines where waves break and spray just at your feet. See More
Cuyahoga Valley National Park These park properties follow the trace of the headwaters Cuyahoga River, giving opportunity to visit tributary streams' marshes and waterfalls on the way. A dedicated scenic railroad gives an unusual way to overview the valley. See More
Hocking Hills State Park High cliffs, collapsed stone blocks, and capacious rock shelters abound in these woods. Trails through the inspiring scenes range from highly improved and easy, almost genteel, to rough and challenging. See More
Ohio Caverns In this network of long, narrow passages, there are surprising new scenes to discover around each corner. Colors of formations and wall coatings range from pure white to brown, tan, black, and rust. See More
Shades & Turkey Run State Parks Trails skirt mossy sandstone walls and steep fern-covered slopes, water seeping from rock to fill pools and creek bottoms. The main stream here has etched its deep valley into the surrounding flatlands, turning its tributaries into canyons and narrow ravines. See More