Love Nests: Romantic Getaways in the Ohio State Park Lodges
From intimate meals to romantic trails to cozy cabins in the woods, these lodges are perfect for sweethearts
Ah, a romantic getaway. Just the two of you. Nothing is more important for nurturing a relationship than an escape to celebrate a special occasion like Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, a honeymoon, or even a spontaneous couple’s weekend. And the Ohio State Parks offer endless opportunities to do that, which change with the seasons to make those twosome getaways a new experience throughout the year.
You can tackle cross-country skiing in the snowy playground of northeast Ohio in the winter and wake-up to a brilliant sunrise over Salt Fork Lake from your cabin in southern Ohio in the summer. You can take a romantic stroll through the colorful changing leaves in the fall in central Ohio or cuddle up by the fireplace in the spring in the southeastern part of the state.
The Ohio State Park Lodges — Deer Creek, Salt Fork, Mohican, and Punderson Manor — are surrounded by idyllic settings, from lovely woodlands to gentle waterways. They provide the perfect romantic backdrops whether you want to get active together or just curl up and rekindle that spark.
Deer Creek State Park is for lovers who love the outdoors. The woodlands, waterways, and agricultural landscape of the area mean couples can play a round of golf, hike some of the park’s seven designated trails, or rent a paddle board to watch the sunrise on the 1,277-acre reservoir. Summer at Deer Creek offers popular activities for couples like riding a bicycle built for two and watching the sunset with cocktails from the Deer Creek State Park Lodge lobby terrace or their own cabin porch. Winter romance perks up with snow adventures like snowmobiling and cross-country skiing followed by a warm-up near the lobby fireplace or in the indoor hot tub.
One of the most romantic spots in the state, Salt Fork State Park in southern Ohio is tucked into 17,000 acres of forest, fields, and lakes. The chalet cabins with hot tubs at the Salt Fork State Park Lodge provide a cozy retreat for sweethearts looking to get away from it all. The summer months are filled with romantic opportunities to hike, boat, or just enjoy a cocktail poolside at the lodge’s outdoor pool. During the winter couples can enjoy being kids again with sledding and ice skating on Salt Fork Lake. Those looking for quiet time together can curl up by the fireplace or sip coffee while watching the sunrise from their private lakeside cabin. Now, that’s amore!
Few locations rejuvenate a couple like the natural setting of hemlock forests and the Clear Fork River in the Mohican State Park. Hiking the network of nature trails hand-in-hand or cuddling in one of the two lake-view gazebos make for perfect afternoons à deux. Nearby, duos can spend quality time together visiting the Mohican covered bridge and historic Malabar Farm, ziplining, or canoeing down the Mohican River in the canoe capital of Ohio. Evenings and winter days are best spent with a board game or a glass of wine next to the lobby fireplace in the Mohican State Park Lodge. Cheers to that!
How deep is your love? Punderson State Park with its stunning Tudor-style Punderson Manor estate house is a special place for couples — especially its elegant Windsor Suite, so popular with honeymooners. The quiet grounds are ideal for summer picnics for two and relaxing on the lakeside beach. Miles of scenic trails transform from hiking venues in the warmer months to mushing and snowmobile ones in the winter. There is even a lighted sledding trail for couples looking for old-school romance. For a more subdued getaway, they can enjoy strolls on the lakeside boardwalk or intimate dinners in the Cherry Dining Room overlooking the glacial Punderson Lake.
How to Explore
In addition to romantic getaways, Ohio State Park Lodges provide opportunities all year round for recreation, outdoor adventure, family fun, meetings, and relaxation.
Written by: Anietra Hamper
Ohio resident Anietra Hamper is an award-winning travel writer who specializes in covering outdoor activities.