One of the best parts about Ohio in the summer and fall is the vast number of state parks we have to enjoy, each providing a variety of activities in which to partake over the weekend or for a family vacation, all without having to travel across state lines. In addition to its 74 state parks, Ohio is home to 21 state forests, 136 nature preserves, and 117 wildlife areas, encompassing almost 600,000 acres of land.

In Summit County, we are lucky to have two incredible state parks—Portage Lakes State Park and Wingfoot Lake State Park. Both parks give locals and Ohioans from other regions of the state the opportunity to enjoy some of the many lakes in northeastern Ohio. With boating, water skiing, fishing, and swimming, there are so many reasons to get out on the water with your family. These parks serve as a welcomed refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city, a time to get away and make memories.

There are a number of other hobbies to get involved in at these parks as well, all things to get you outside and active. Disc golf, hunting, and hiking are just a few of the options available at Portage Lakes and Wingfoot. Additionally, the Suffield League Music Festival will be taking place this weekend, August 18th and 19th, at Wingfoot Lake State Park. A free family-friendly event, the festival offers a unique way to enjoy the park, interact with the community, and experience the local music scene.

In my experience, Ohio’s state parks can make for an incredible trip, and so many of them are right in our backyards. Each park is distinctive in its own way, and I encourage you to visit those right here at home, as well as others throughout the state. The dog days of summer can sometimes drag on, especially after all the to-dos have been completed, but your state parks are a great way to experience more of Ohio while filling up your final days of summer.

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