Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, Nelson

4.3
#34 of 61 in Nature in Ohio
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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Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • We drove from Michigan specifically to see this place. Was totally worth it. So much to see. The hiking we thought was easy and just so much fun rock hopping even in the cold 30’s. Right now all the l...  more »
  • Our family loves this places. Beautiful scenery throughout the park. We take our dog with us on every family vacation and she loves it. I wouldn't recommend smaller dogs if you want to get into some o...  more »
  • I haven't been here since I was a little child and it was so fun to see as an adult. You park just off to the right, walk across the road, and you're hiking in the beautiful cliffs and stone. Even the...  more »
Google
  • I have been going here since I was a kid and now I am taking kids there to climb the rocks. It's a very small park, if your looking for regular hiking there are better options. But the rocks here are excellent. Great places to climb and crawl on rocks and through cracks. I think this is always the kids favorite place to go "hiking".
  • A beautiful park. The ledges are incredible rock formations in a lovely forest. There are four different 'trails', but even the easy trail requires some 'hill climbs' to up to the trail. It was a little sad to see a couple of plastic bottles along the trail (literally 2). Hopefully visitors will be respectful and pack out trash.
  • Beautiful park with some well marked trails that give you a workout. There is some areas that require some nimble footwork so wear good hiking boots or shoes.
  • Fantastic park to hike and explore, was bit chilly when we went, no coats, smh. But multiple paths and trails to take and never a dull trip.
  • Great place to hike and it's exciting for the kids! There are some big crevasses so watch your step!

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