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Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, Nelson

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 45+ reviews on the web
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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  • This was such a great short hike. While not strenuous, it's a good workout for a brisk hiker. The ledges and scenery make this a definite favorite. 
  • This is just a wonderful park to hike and see so much beauty around. It is quiet and really gorgeous in the fall. So, put on your hiking boots. Across the street, you park and have a picnic at the tab...  read more »
  • If you like hiking this is one of the best around caves and trails are great , but you must be careful there are some tricky areas. 
  • This is a great park. It is so beautiful- waterfalls, canyons, and rock formations. It doesn't even look like NE Ohio, appearing to be somewhere else- southern Ohio, West Virginia, or Pennsylvania. I will not give it five stars because of those drinking alcohol in passageways and deep caves where others may want to explore, the sheer volume of litter (such as broken beer bottles that could potentially cause harm to animals) and marijuana use I have witnessed.
  • Beautiful park with interesting rock formations. Very short trails take you through your choice of rugged terrain. The down side is the unbelievable amount of litter and graffiti in this park. It seems to attract obnoxiously loud partiers probably from the concert venue nearby.
  • We have never been to this park it is beautiful. The trail markers a little hard to understand but you could figure it out. The rock formations were neat. We had 6 of us and we are all on the older side we all enjoyed the park even in the rain. We did get a little dirty crawling around on the rocks but a good time had by all.
  • It's a great place for hiking, camping, and swimming. The trails are accommodating, some are easy and some are hard. The festivals are awesome and easy going. It's also a great place to get in touch with nature and some say the waters cleanse your soul.
  • The kids love to explore and are amazed at all the different ways to maneuver through the trails. Bring a flashlight for some of the darker spots and don't forget the camera and bug spray. We haven't had a picnic yet but there are grills and a shelter.
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