Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument documents the extraordinary life of Captain Charles Young. Born into slavery, Captain Young attended West Point Academy, becoming only the third African American to graduate. He rose through the ranks in the Army, and went on to become the first African American National Park Superintendent at Sequoia National Park in California.

The Monument was created by President Barack Obama in 2013 and became the Nation's 401st National Park Unit. Guided and self-guided tours of Captain Young's home "Youngsholm" are available to visitors.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio

You'd never guess that there might be a National Park nestled in the woods so close to the busy cities of Akron and Cleveland. Cuyahoga Valley National Park highlights the industry that was once bustling along the Cuyahoga River and the Ohio and Erie Canals. Today its visitors enjoy the quiet trails, beautiful waterfalls, and even a historic train that travels through the park.

The most popular spots to visit in the park are Brandywine and Blue Hen Falls. The Towpath Trail is another popular attraction for hikers and cyclists. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway runs along the path as well and offers access along the route for a small fee. During the warmer months, paddlers enjoy use of the river, and during the winter, the park is popular with cross-country skiers. Cuyahoga Valley National Park was established in 1974.

Read more about visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park here.

David Berger National Memorial

David Berger was one of the 11 Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany and was an American citizen. He joined the Israeli team as a weightlifter to realize his dream of competing in the Games. The David Berger National Memorial honors those who died along with David.

The David Berger Memorial is at the Mandel Jewish Community Center of Cleveland and is open all year, except for Jewish and federal holidays. NPS passport stamps are available at the reception desk during normal business hours.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Paul Laurence Dunbar all hailed from Dayton, OH where they ran a bicycle shop. When they weren't building bicycles, they were building and testing airplanes and introducing the world to modern aviation. The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park contains several sites, including the Wright Cycle Company Building, Huffman Prairie Flying Field, and the 1905 Wright Flyer III - the world's first practical airplane. All of these sites have been designated National Historic Landmarks. There are five in total, along with a National Register Historic District located within the park.

President George H.W. Bush signed the park into law in 1992.

Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site

Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site marks the turning point in the struggle to finally rid the  Northwest Territories of the British. The result wrested control of these lands from the British and Native coalition and put it back in the hands of the United States Government.

Today the park is managed by Toledo parks in conjunction with the National Park Service, and you can visit Fallen Timbers Battlefield, Fallen Timbers Monument, and Fort Miamis where some of the original Fort remains.

First Ladies National Historic Site

Located in Canton, OH, First Ladies National Historic Site explores the role of the First Lady of the United States throughout America's history. There are two sites as part of the park - the home of First Lady Ida Saxton-McKinley and a small Visitor Center. Guided tours of the Saxton-McKinley home are available.

The site helps visitors understand the sometimes difficult role played by a First Lady and offers stories, exhibits, and artifacts from various periods and times in office. First Ladies National Historic Site was established in 2000 and is managed by Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park protects ancient earthen mounds that were built by Native Americans 2,000 years ago along with culture and artifacts of the Hopewell people. The mounds were used as meeting places for celebrations, funerals, and other activities.

The park contains a Visitor Center with excavated artifacts from the mounds, guided tours, and interpretive trails that visitors can follow around the park to learn more about it. There are a total of five units in the park to visit - Mound City Group, Hopeton Earthworks, Hopewell Mound Group, Seip Earthworks, and High Bank Works.

James A. Garfield National Historic Site

The James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, OH preserves the former home of America's 20th President. Tours are available of the home, which underwent a recent renovation and includes period furnishings from the height of the Victorian Era. Visitors can also tour what remains of the family farm and acreage. The Visitor Center offers a short film about the life of James Garfield and is open year round. The site is just a short drive from Cleveland up the Lake Erie coast.

For more ideas on visiting the area, see our post on visiting Cleveland here.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail - PA, OH, WV, KY, IN, ID, IL, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND, OR, SD, WA

The Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail marks the historic journey by Merriweather Lewis and William Clark along 4,900 miles of wilderness from Pennsylvania all the way to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. The Trail connects 16 states - Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon - and includes museums, landmarks, exhibits, and Visitor Centers along the route. For a complete list of markers and things to see and do, click here.

National Aviation Heritage Area

The National Aviation Heritage Area was created in 2004, encompassing eight Ohio counties and includes several sites representing the legacy and heritage of aviation in the United States. These sites include the following:

- National Museum of the United States Air Force
- National Aviation Hall of Fame
- Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
- Wright B Flyer, Inc.
- Wright Image Group
- Historic WACO Field
- Armstrong Air & Space Museum
- Wright State University Wright Archives
- Aviation Trail, Inc. Visitor Center & Parachute Museum
- Historic Grimes Field
- Historic Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum
- Greene County Historical Society
- Vectren Dayton Air Show
- Air Camp

Check here for more information on visiting the National Aviation Heritage Area.

North Country National Scenic Trail - MI, MN, ND, NY, OH, PA, WI

The North Country National Scenic Trail spans eight states and is part of the National Trails System Act signed into law by President Johnson in 1968. The North Country National Scenic Trail was added to the system in 1980 with seven states. Today, New York, Vermont, North Dakota, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin host parts of the trail.

There are currently over 1,775 miles of NPS-certified trail, with another 500-700 miles yet to be certified. It connects various landscapes, urban districts, historic sites, forests, lakes, canals, towns, and large cities.

Ohio and Erie Canalway National Heritage Area

The Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area aims to preserve and celebrate the stretch of canalway that runs from Lake Erie in Cleveland down to New Philadelphia. The NHA sets aside the first 110 miles of the canal for recreational use and also recognizes the towns, trains, and landscapes that make this area unique in the growth of America.

Camping, boating, hiking, biking, and paddling are all popular activities, along with visiting the various cultural and historical landmarks along the way. The Ohio and Erie Canalway NRA was established in 1996 and includes the 87-mile Towpath Trail  which runs through the center of Cuyhoga Valley National Park.

Click here for more information on visiting the Ohio and Erie Canalway National Heritage Area.

Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial is a 352-foot Doric column that sits on the shore of Lake Erie. It marks the long history of peace between The United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Its location is significant as it sits just five miles from the longest undefended border in the world.

The memorial also marks the end of the Battle of Lake Erie fought during the War of 1812. The monument is named after Oliver Hazard Perry, a naval officer regarded as the hero of Lake Erie. Shortly after this battle, the peace treaty was signed, ending the war.

William Howard Taft National Historic Site

The William Howard Taft National Historic Site in  Cincinnati, Ohio preserves the birthplace and boyhood home of William Howard Taft. Taft served as the 10th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court and the 27th President of the United States. Daily guided tours are offered of the house where visitors can discover what life was like at the turn of the century in this Victorian-era home. The home and surrounding grounds were designated a national historic site in 1969.