When planning a day hike or camping trip in Ohio this summer, there are certainly lots of factors to consider this season. With destination beaches in Florida and California closed and the safety of air travel in question due to COVID-19, many Ohio cannabis users are opting for local alternatives for their summer vacations this year.

An uptick in the attendance of state parks indicates that hiking or camping trips closer to home is something families in Ohio are doing, but that comes with a lot of questions: Where do you go? What’s safe and legal right now?

And to add to the confusion, if you’re an Ohio medical cannabis user, you may be scratching your head about how to medicate safely and legally along the way. You may be able to discreetly stash your edibles in a knapsack, but where can you go if you vaporize?

MedicateOH is here to help! We’ve compiled a list of some favorite places in Ohio to enjoy nature safely this summer.

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

Located just three miles east of Yellow Springs, Ohio, this 268-acre nature preserve boasts one of the most spectacular dolomite and limestone gorges in the state.

Clifton Gorge’s cool trails and cliff overhangs with waterfalls were sparsely populated, which made socially distancing a breeze. One thing to note about state nature preserves, is that many, like this one, contain little to no facilities. Restrooms, picnic areas, and campsites are not going to necessarily be available, so plan accordingly.

If you go: Even if COVID-19 has closed many of the restaurants, bars, and businesses in the eclectic, brightly-colored neighboring hippie town of Yellow Springs, you can still drive through it and hold out a wish that you’ll score an invitation to Dave Chapelle’s next comedy show there. If you’re not that lucky or well-connected, a drive-through at Young’s Dairy is a fun stop to get refreshments on your way back home.

😷😷 This is a nature preserve and won’t necessarily have facilities, so pack some extra hand sanitizer and bottled water.

🌱🌱🌱 Cannabis friendly? Yes! Plenty of wide-open spaces to use your medical marijuana.

Mt. Echo Park

Mt. Echo Park

If you love sweeping river views and the rhythms of the city, this west side Cincinnati park is worth a visit this summer. Comprised of 84 acres of wooded hillsides and hiking trails, the 1928 Mt. Echo Pavilion serves as an epic overlook to the dramatic river and skyline views below.

If you go: While COVID-19 has canceled many of the activities at the park this summer, a few events remain on their calendar. On the night I attended, a lively yet properly socially-distanced drum circle was taking place at the Pavilion.

😷😷 Pretty good. I feel like this establishment made a concerted effort to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

🌱 I didn’t feel comfortable using my medical marijuana here due to the number of people around, but it wasn’t a problem to pack some edibles and medicate discreetly.


Nelson Ledges Quarry Park

If a summer camping trip is more what you had in mind than just a day hike, this northern Ohio repurposed rock quarry may be just what you’re looking for. The quarry serves as the centerpiece of the park and is hugged by 250 acres of forest for camping, meadows, streams, rock ledges, and fishing lakes. The spring-fed water rates as one of the least contaminated bodies of water in Ohio. If leaping from ledges into cool waters is your jam, it’s doable here. You’ll also be happy to know ledge-leapers are closely monitored by a team of Red Cross-certified lifeguards.

In previous years, music lovers flocked to Nelson Ledges for their large festivals, but COVID-19 canceled all of the park’s live performances this season. Many of the vendors are still open, though, so it’s a great place to pick up some hippie wares, hit up the general store, and have a slice of Disc-O Pizza.

If you go: Note that there are no water or electrical hookups for campers or RV’s. Small, quiet generators are allowed. Cost is $25 per person per day.

😷 The park’s size makes it easy to practice socially distancing, but not everyone was practicing it and the grounds are too large to enforce it.

🌱🌱🌱 Plenty of wide open areas where I can use my cannabis safely among others doing the same.

We hope you enjoy our list of some of our favorite places for enjoying your cannabis safely (and distantly) in Ohio. Have a great one that we missed? Let us know!


MedicateOH is dedicated to supplying Ohioans with useful news and information to make thoughtful medical decisions involving their holistic health. Support independent non-profit journalism in Ohio by donating to MedicateOH.


  • Gabrielle Dion

    Medicate OH's Founder and Publisher is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master's degree in public administration, both from Northern Kentucky University. She has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing professionally for the medical and wellness industries, including positions with The Journal of Pediatrics, Livestrong, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and Patient Pop.