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ODNR Welcomes Winter with Statewide...

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ODNR Welcomes Winter with Statewide Recreational Opportunities
COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) welcomes Ohioans and out-of-state guests to celebrate the cold days of winter with an array of outdoor events and activities across the state.

Ohio's 74 state parks are offering dozens of fun, family-oriented outdoor events this winter. From Malabar Farms State Park in Richland County to Lake Hope State Park in Vinton County, there will be plenty of winter recreation including cross country skiing, winter hikes, sledding and more. These family favorites are highlighted this year by some new features and events.

The anticipation for substantial snowfall always runs high this time of year. Be ready for winter fun once the white blanket of snow arrives. This year, sled down one of the thrilling hills found at many of Ohio's state parks. Each region boasts several locations. Or, join a pre-scheduled winter hike, but remember, come prepared for cold weather by dressing in layers and wearing appropriate footwear. To find a state park near you, visit www.ohiodnr.com/parks.

There's plenty of action in January and February for those who like to spend their outdoor time hunting or trapping. Depending on the game species, Ohio's furbearer hunting and trapping season is underway or will soon begin. Safety is the number one issue when entering the woods to hunt. Hunter education courses are in full swing this time of year with courses being offered all around Ohio. All first-time hunting license buyers in Ohio must complete a hunter education course. To learn more, visit www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife.

With Ohio's ever changing temperatures, an ice fishing season can come and go as quickly as a trophy fish at the end of your line. Because of the need for consecutive days of freezing weather, it's hard to say when (or if) safe ice fishing conditions will surface. Savvy anglers know that preparation is the key to grabbing their chance to enjoy this fleeting fishing opportunity or else to be left, quite literally, out in the cold. To learn more about ice fishing in the Buckeye state, visit www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife.

Like your winter getaways a little warmer? Ohioans are invited to enjoy the comforts of the lodge rooms or cozy cottages at Ohio's state parks. Special packages featuring discounted rates make winter state park getaways even more appealing. Ohio State Park lodges offer a variety of seasonal packages. To learn more, visit www.ohiodnr.com/parks.

For more information about ODNR events and activities throughout the state this winter, visit www.ohiodnr.com and click on Winter Escape. Additional winter events throughout Ohio can be found at www.discoverohio.com or by calling 1-800-BUCKEYE.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.