Family Hike: Headlands Dune State Nature Preserve

Distance: Varies, but about a mile (in deep sand)
Elevation gain: negligible
Date: October, 2015
Bathrooms: Flushing toilets at the Headlands Beach Park

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Last month we had an amazing hike along the shores of Lake Erie. For anyone who thinks you can’t hike in a flat state like Ohio, please take a trip to the Headlands Dune State Nature Preserve. We picked up the trail at the northern terminus of the Buckeye Trail, followed the blue blazes through a lovely field of sea grass, and up over a sand dune. Even though it was only October the conditions were quite invigorating.  We were charmed by the howling winds competing with the sound of the crashing lake waves, and were surprised by off and on snow squalls.

Past the dunes the trail ended, so we continued our hike along the lake shore. The waves, birds, and driftwood were beautiful sights, and we loved the views of the lighthouse in the distance. In the summer I’d imagine that it would be great to combine this hike with a swim or some fishing.

Note: You could make this trail as long as you want by continuing on the Buckeye Trail or even the North Country Trail. Hike Ohio! You won’t be sorry.


The Headlands are quite close to the home of President James A. Garfield – worth a tour if you’re in the area!

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