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Take in the scenery in Ohio’s Hocking Hills region

If you’re itching to get outside, consider a weekend in Ohio’s Hocking Hills region. About an hour from Columbus and two from Cincinnati, the area features national forests, state parks, nature preserves, and lakes.

The biggest draw may be Hocking Hills State Park, a natural oasis with gorges, waterfalls, and extensive hiking trails and rock climbing possibilities. Caves and cliffs lure thrill seekers, as do the new zip-line canopy tours, just launched in April 2008. An ideal option for those wanting to see the park the way birds do, the zip-line tour spans three hours and includes 10 zip-line courses, four skybridges, and a few stops to catch one’s breath and take in the vistas. A tour is $75 per person; kids get free admission with a paying adult on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

For those preferring a less intense getaway, the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway can show travelers the sights from the comfort of a vintage railcar. Two train routes are offered on weekends throughout the summer months; prices are $11 or $15 for adults, depending on which ride you choose.

And if you’re not an outdoors person, don’t fret. The region has plenty of other amusing diversions, from a thriving arts scene to antique and boutique retailers, as well as fine dining establishments.

To plan your visit, both the Hocking Hills Tourism Association and the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau offer good resources.

Read more of the 50 Affordable Stateside Escapes.

Have a recommendation for the Hocking Hills region, or another great getaway within Ohio? Post your comment below!

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