Article Posted: February 02, 2004

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Parks offer hiking, ice skating, sledding and cross-country skiing

COLUMBUS, OH -- Ohio's 74 state parks are brimming with beauty this winter,
offering inspiring environments for fitness and fun. Trek along miles of
scenic state park trails, hop on a sled or slip on a pair of skis. What
better way to burn calories and delight the senses than at Ohio State Parks?

Spend a day playing in the snow; then a night relaxing in a quaint cottage
or in front of a cozy fireplace at an Ohio State Park resort lodge. Special
discounts and rates are available throughout the winter season.
"Ohio's scenic parks provide the perfect setting for a range of healthy
outdoor activities for the entire family," said Dan West, Ohio State Parks
chief. "From trails for hiking and cross-country skiing to ice skating and
sledding, there's certainly something for everyone. I encourage all Ohioans
to get outdoors and enjoy our wonderful state park system."
All Ohio State Parks offer beautiful settings for outdoor activities with
many featuring organized hikes, maple syrup festivals, night walks, and ski
workshops throughout February and March.
Learn about the habits of Ohio's owls and take a guided walk on two
Saturdays, February 7 and 14, at Malabar Farm State Park in Richland County;
or visit Van Buren State Park in Hancock County on Saturday, February 21 for
its Owl Prowl. Malabar Farm also is hosting a cross-country skiing
beginner's workshop on Sunday, February 8.
Enjoy a winter hike along the Buckeye Trail Saturday, February 7, at Findley
State Park in Lorain County. If you prefer a romantic hike on Valentine's
Day, February 14, visit Caesar Creek State Park in Warren County or Hocking
Hills State Park in Hocking County. Malabar Farm will host its Winter Hike
For Health on Saturday, February 21, followed by hot bean soup and cornbread
at the finish.
If you haven't shaken the winter doldrums by March, consider a low-impact
activity by attending one of the many maple sugar festivals going on at
state parks across Ohio, including Indian Lake, Malabar Farm, Hocking Hills
and Hueston Woods.
As the snow continues to fall this winter season, outdoor enthusiasts can
enjoy gliding down sledding hills at Maumee Bay, Punderson and Scioto Trail
or cross-country skiing at a number of state parks. Skis can be rented at
Quail Hollow and Malabar Farm. Ice skating areas are available at Dillon and
Delaware state parks.
Staying active during Ohio's cold winter months is important, remember to
exercise common sense. Select activities that match your level of fitness.
And don't forget to dress appropriately for the weather to avoid hypothermia
or frostbite. That means wearing a warm coat and keeping your hands, head
and feet covered. Don't underestimate the dangers of cold.
Plan an overnight adventure or weekend getaway and take advantage of the
cottage specials at Buck Creek, Cowan Lake, Pike Lake, Lake Hope, Mohican,
Pymatuning, Hocking Hills and Dillon state parks. Throughout the winter
season, cottage discounts of $20 and $10 off regular nightly rates will be
available during the week and weekends. Starting February 16, cottage
reservations can be made over the Internet at
Savings continue with low winter rates at the eight Ohio State Park resort
lodges: Punderson, Burr Oak, Maumee Bay, Mohican, Salt Fork, Hueston Woods,
Deer Creek and Shawnee.

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