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Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, Nelson

4.3
#36 of 60 in Nature in Ohio
State Park Nature / Park
Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park is located in Nelson Township, Portage County, Ohio, United States. It is accessible from U.S. Route 422 and State Route 305 via State Route 282.The Nelson-Kennedy region has always been a popular vacation spot and eventually came under state protection. In 1940, the state purchased land at Nelson Ledges, and in 1948, it bought 101acre of the area known as Kennedy Ledges. The state of Ohio created Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park in 1949 to preserve the area.Nelson-Kennedy Ledges is popular for picnicking and hiking. The rock formations at the 167acre Nelson-Kennedy Ledges have become trademarks of the park. The sandstone cliff formations resulted from the forces of erosion—wind, water freezing and thawing—that wore away at the softer rock layers. As these soft layers eroded, large blocks of rock called slump blocks fell away leaving more resistant layers to form ledges above. Within the park are angled rock formations 50 to 60ft high with ground fissures as deep as 60ft.There are approximately 3mi of main hiking trails, as well as many unmarked and more dangerous paths. To mark off the trails, a color-coding system is used on the rocks and trees. White is moderately easy, yellow and blue are medium difficulty, and red is extremely difficult, with some climbing of rocks involved.The beech-maple forest harbors a few tree species that are more common in cooler climates: yellow birch, Canadian Hemlock and Canada yew are common there. Some of these trees cling to the rock faces, their roots pushing into every available crevice. In the shelter of the roots and shaded by the leafy canopy above, ferns such as the Christmas fern and maidenhair fern grow in abundance. Others such as the marginal shield fern, grape fern, wood fern, and common polypody are more unusual for this part of the state.
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52 reviews
Google
4.8
  • Love this place. Very interesting ledges/ rock formations. Nice afternoon hike and exploring. A low-key, natural, Crown Jewel attraction for NE Ohio.  more »
  • Since I lived next door to the park it was a great place to hike with the family. My first date with my now husband was at the Ledges. Be sure to check out the park.  more »
  • I can't tell you how incredible this place is. I have lived in Ohio most of my life and can't believe I have never been here. When you look at it on a map it is not a big place so in my head I thought...  more »
Google
  • Loved our experience here. Lots of different hiking trails. A lot of families enjoying picnics and nature walks/hikes. Several different hiking routes for all ages and experience levels. Just make sure you have your walking stick and some water. Make sure you wear some old clothes and some shoes that grip for some slippery situations. Oh yeah a flashlight would be a great idea as well. Beautiful nature, clean environment. Lots of picnic tables for lunch or a romantic picnic. Don't forget you camera. Beautiful seclusion. Seems to be a "hangout" for the teenage/ early 20's crowd.
  • Awesome trails. So much to see and explore. Beautiful bluffs, a waterfall. There are easier trails as well as challenging trails. Something for everyone. A great workout if that's what you are interested in or a more leisure, scenic experience.
  • This place is really fun to explore in spring and summer. You might not want to go after a rain because it gets muddy. But there are lots of rocks to climb around on and little crevaces to explore... and there are a couple of really pretty Falls. The moss on the rocks makes it seem like a little fairy or a unicorn might jump out at any moment. Prettiest in late spring or summer when things are blooming.
  • Beautiful park! The well marked trails make it easy to navigate. Great for a family hike or going alone for some "me" time. Be mindful if hiking after rain, the rocks can be slippery.
  • Really cool rock formations. Some paths are very narrow to squeeze/crawl through. Moderate litter.