Ohio Outdoor Activities and Events by Season

Different activities and events occur at Ohio parks and preserves over the course of the year. Some, like the winter and summer solstice occur like clockwork. Others such as rare flowers blooming, or hunting season vary from year to year. Note: we generally update calendar pages (Winter Hiking, Christmas Events, etc.) one month before the first event.


Winter (December, January, February)

Christmas Bird Count
Contact the Audobon Society or the Ohio Ornithological Society if you’re interested in participating in the annual Christmas bird count.
Christmas Events
Christmas related events at parks, zoos, and historic sites around the state. Many feature light shows and Santa Claus.
Deer Hunting
The season varies from year to year. Generally deer gun season occurs after Thanksgiving with bow season lasting from early fall to mid-winter.
Dog Sled Racing
The Siberian Husky Club of Greater Cleveland sponsors an annual sled dog race at Punderson State Park
Duck Hunting
Dates vary, but duck season generally extends from mid-fall through mid-winter.
Eagles Courting
Eagles find mates through elaborate courting flights in winter time.
Maple Syrup Events
Several Ohio parks feature maple syrup events in February and March.
Winter Hiking
Winter hiking events at Ohio parks. The annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike attracts thousands of hikers.
Winter Solstice
December 21st – several parks have solstice related events.
Winter Sports
Many Ohio parks offer cross-country skiing, sledding, ice skating and even toboggan chutes (at Mill Stream Run Reservation). Check our county guides for winter activities in a park near you!

Spring (March, April, May)

Baby Animals
Need a dose of cuteness? Spring is time for the birth of baby animals. Check our guide for the nearest zoo, wildlife conservation center, or farm park.
Buzzards Return to Hinckley, OH
The town of Hinkley, OH celebrates the annual return of turkey buzzards in mid-March.
Heron Rookeries
Watch as herons raise their young in a cluster of nests in early spring. Don’t forget your binoculars.
Lakeside Daisy
Walk through a field of flowers from Ohio’s rarest native plant.
Maple Syrup Events
Several Ohio parks feature maple syrup events in February and March.
April showers bring May flowers. Also, lots of mud. Be prepared for muddy trails on spring hikes.
Mushroom hunting
Mid-April through May is peak mushroom hunting season in Ohio. For more information, check out the ODNR page on Mushroom Hunting in Ohio State Parks. Another resource for would-be mushroom hunters is the Ohio Mushroom Society. Fun fact: a person who eats mushrooms is a mycophagist – scary sounding, huh? 🙂
Osprey / Eagle nest viewing
Spring is the time to watch eagles and osprey nesting, laying eggs, and raising their young. Bring your binoculars or spotting scope and keep your distance from nesting birds.
Spring Migration
Watch as birds migrate north for spring and summer nesting. Birds headed to Canada must stop and fuel up prior to crossing Lake Erie and do so in northwest Ohio. Join thousands of birders from around the world in northwest Ohio at the “Biggest Week in American Birding“. Read about our first trip to this event.
Spring Turkey Hunting
Dates vary, but spring turkey season generally extends from mid-April through mid-May.
Spring Wildflowers
Many Ohio nature preserves are known for their displays of spring wildflowers. See our many wildflower articles for details.
Spring can be an excellent time to visit the many waterfalls in Ohio.

Summer (June, July, August)

Boating / Canoeing
Many parks offer venues for boating and canoeing. Some state parks feature marinas and boat rentals during summer months.
Cranberry Bog Day
One day per year visitors are invited to visit Cranberry Bog – a floating island with trees and carnivorous plants. Cranberry Bog Day is usually scheduled for a Saturday in mid-June.
Summer is the right time of year for observing and photographing dragonflies and damselflies.
Check our guide for Federal, state, county, and local parks that offer fishing opportunities.
Hand-Feeding Hummingbirds
Visit the nature center at Lake Hope State Park and hand-feed hummingbirds.
You can assemble a simple set-up for observing moths in your backyard or on a camping trip. There are usually Ohio events scheduled for National Moth Week which is the last week in July.
Native Cactus in Bloom
Ohio has native cactus which typically bloom some time in June.
Summer Camping
Summer is prime camping time with long days and warm nights. Of course, you can camp anytime. A few state parks even offer winter camping. Check our guide for Federal, state, county, local, and NGO (ex. AEP ReCreation Land) parks with camp sites.
Summer Solstice
June 21st – summer solstice activities including Serpent Mound; site of a 1,348 foot native American effigy figure perched on the rim of an ancient meteor crater.
Summer Wildflowers
Several nature preserves feature summer flowers in prairie and fen habitats. Don’t forget to bring DEET.
Summer is time to hit the beach. Check our guide to find a swimming spot near you.

Fall (September, October, November)

Deer Hunting
The season varies from year to year. Generally deer gun season occurs after Thanksgiving with bow season lasting from early fall to mid-winter.
Duck Hunting
Dates vary, but duck season generally extends from mid-fall through mid-winter.
Fall Foliage
Get out and see the beautiful colors of Autumn
Fall Migration
Watch as birds from colder climes pass through or winter in Ohio. For instance, the Tundra Swans at Killbuck Marsh
Fall Turkey Hunting
Dates vary, but fall turkey season generally extends from mid-October through November.
Halloween Events
Family camping events with a Halloween theme plus kids events at Ohio parks and zoos
Monarch Butterfly Release
Many Ohio parks feature Monarch butterfly releases in September
Pawpaw Festival
Mid-September is time for the annual Pawpaw festival in Athens.
R.O.A.R Day
In late October, Lake Hope State Park hosts R.O.A.R. – Rural Ohio Appalachia Revisted; a fall festival of music, food, and crafts
Many lodges at Ohio State parks serve Thanksgiving buffets.

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and TrekOhio.com 2012 to 2017

3 thoughts on “Ohio Outdoor Activities and Events by Season

    1. Thanks! Actually our next project is moving our WordPress blog off of WordPress.com, so we can host it at our own site. It’s quite the learning experience, but both Bob and I have a background in computer programming, so it’s actually sort of a hobbyist activity for us. Our blog will still be on the WordPress platform, and it will still have the same domain of trekohio.com. But it sounds like it will impact the ability of people to be notified about our posts via the WordPress.com “following” mechanism.

      1. Wonderful! I’m building out my birding site on SBI. I love it. They have built in some functionality recently that allows some interface with WP, but I’ve been to busy to really follow it. Longer term I’m thinking about a WP blog that works with my SBI site. Too much to worry about for now. I’m sure you are having fun with the project…can’t wait to see it!

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.

Complete the following sentence by typing either real or spam:
My comment is ...