COLUMBUS, OH – School is right around the corner, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy getting outdoors this summer! August offers a full slate of naturalist programming and other special activities, perfect for the whole family, at Ohio State Parks.
• Archery at Shawnee State Park – Meet at the nature center’s archery range on Friday, Aug. 11, at 5 p.m. at the park. Try your hand at a new outdoor skill or join us to show off precision shooting. All equipment will be provided. To learn more, contact the park at 740-858-6652.
• Summer Fun Day at Deer Creek State Park – Celebrate summer at Deer Creek the weekend of Aug. 11-12. There will be naturalist activities, a concession stand, movies, marshmallow roast, bounce houses raffle, games and every child wins a prize. To learn more, contact the park at 740-869-3121.
• Nature Saturdays at Kiser Lake State Park – Each Saturday in August, spend time learning about fishing, wildlife and more at Kiser Lake State Park. Meet at the nature center on Aug. 12, Aug. 19 and Aug. 26 to learn about fishing tips at 9 a.m. and Hooked on Fishing at 10 a.m. Make bird feeders at 11 a.m. At 4 p.m., catch creek critters. Archery and target shooting will be available at 7 p.m. For more information, contact the park at 937-362-3565.
• Skins and Skulls at Blue Rock State Park – Meet at the camp store on Saturday, Aug. 12, at 11 a.m. to learn about some of Ohio’s native wildlife, their food habits, adaptations, camouflage and more! To learn more, contact the park at 740-674-4794.
• Paws on the Path at Blue Rock State Park – Meet at the lower shelter house to go on a fun-filled hike with your furry friend! People going on the hike should bring a waste bag. Pets must be on a leash (maximum length of six feet). To learn more, contact the park at 740-674-4794.
• Elusive Timber Rattlesnake at Shawnee State Park – Why is this gentle giant so feared? What should people do if they encounter them? People can attend to learn how to lessen their fears during this fun and informative program at Shawnee State Park on Saturday, Aug. 12, at 4 p.m. Meet at the lodge lobby. To learn more, contact the park at 740-858-6652.
• Leaf Prints at Blue Rock State Park – Meet at the camp store for a crafting project on Sunday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m. using different kinds of leaves and paint to make your own tree. Be use to wear clothes that can get messy! To learn more, contact the park at 740-674-4794.
• Archery for Beginners at Lake Hope State Park – Learn how to shoot a bow for free on Sunday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m. at Lake Hope State Park, all equipment is provided. Meet the naturalist below the Lake Hope dam. For questions, call the nature center at 740-596-3030.
• Wild Wednesdays at Salt Fork State Park – Meet at the Salt Fork lodge activity room at 4 p.m. on Aug. 16 and Aug. 23 for a different wilderness and wildlife program each week. To learn more, contact the park naturalist at 740-439-3521.
• Night Hike at Shawnee State Park – Ever wonder what critters are out at night, or how they make their way through the dark? Join the naturalist on this fun and informative walk into the darkness. Meet at the nature center at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18. To learn more, contact the park at 740-858-6652.
• Tractor/Car Show at Harrison Lake State Park – Come see the old tractors and cars at Harrison Lake State Park on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The event, sponsored by the Friends of Harrison Lake, also features music, crafts and refreshments for sale. To learn more, contact the park at 419-237-1503.
• Aquatic Acrobats at Shawnee State Park – Float on the tranquil lake under dragonflies and birds whirling about on a mission to eat and reproduce. Meet at the Turkey Creek Boat Ramp at 9 a.m. on Aug. 19 and Aug. 26. This program will be done on the water with kayaks. To learn more, contact the park at 740-858-6652.
• Skins and Skulls at Guilford Lake State Park – Join us at the amphitheater at Guilford Lake State Park on Saturday, Aug. 19, at 10 a.m. for Skins and Skulls. We will discover some interesting animal skulls and then match them up with pelts and tracks. To learn more, contact the park at 330-222-1712.
• Butterflies and Caterpillars at Beaver Creek State Park – Local butterfly expert, Dorothy Reynolds, will be at the Wildlife Education Center at Beaver Creek State Park on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 1-5 p.m. to discuss butterflies and caterpillars. To learn more, contact the park at 330-385-3091.
• Solar Eclipse Viewing at Lake Hope State Park – Join us on Monday, Aug. 21, at 2 p.m. for the solar eclipse viewing at Lake Hope State Park. Eye protection will be provided. Don’t miss it, the next one won’t be until 2024! Meet at the dining lodge. To learn more, call the nature center at 740-596-3030.
• Passport to Fishing at Shawnee State Park – Learn about fishing at Shawnee State Park! Meet at the nature center on Friday, Aug. 25, at 5 p.m. Bait, tackle and poles will be provided by the ODNR Division of Wildlife and Scioto County Soil and Water Conservation District. During the program, the children will learn to tie knots, cast, handle fish and be responsible and knowledgeable anglers. To learn more, contact the park at 740-858-6652.
• Lighthouse Tours at Marblehead Lighthouse State Park – Tour Marblehead Lighthouse daily from noon-4 p.m., through Labor Day. The last tour of the day begins at 3:40 p.m. There is a $3 charge for all guests (aged 6 and over) to climb the lighthouse, cash only. Everyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The Lighthouse Museum and the Life Saving Station are open (no charge) while the lighthouse is open. For more information, call East Harbor State Park at 419-734-4424 or visit marbleheadlighthouseohio.org.
• 50th Anniversary of Hueston Woods State Park Lodge – Join us at the lodge to celebrate 50 years of making memories! Open to the public, activities run 12-4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, and the event is highlighted by a special program and cake cutting at 1 p.m. Other activities include music and refreshments by the pool, the jet ski simulator, disc golf demonstrations, naturalist programming in the lobby and door prizes all afternoon. For more details, contact the lodge at 513-664-3500.
To learn more about family-friendly events at Ohio’s state parks and state nature preserves, go to parks.ohiodnr.gov/calendar or naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/calendar.
Getting outdoors is an ideal way to relieve stress and boost mood levels. The Explore Ohio initiative is aimed at encouraging people to exercise outdoors and become healthier in the process. Participants can log their miles, share their photos and create friends groups on the Explore Ohio website at ExploreOh.com. Whether people are running, hiking, biking, climbing, walking or paddling, Ohioans can keep track of their progress at ExploreOh.com and share their adventures on social media using #ExploreOhio. After reaching 100 combined miles of activity on the site, each registered user will receive an email with a certificate good for 15 percent off camping at any Ohio State Park.