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Explore & Play: 13+ Outdoor Things to Do in Marietta Ohio

Marietta Ohio is in a unique location in Washington County where the Ohio River and Muskingum River come together. It’s no wonder this outdoor playground is a popular destination for those looking for the best things to do in Marietta Ohio!

Along with having its own parks and wildlife area, it’s also within proximity to the largest national forest in the state. On top of that, there are opportunities to play and watch sports, visit an orchard, go shopping, and more.

Here are 14 of our favorite outdoor things to do in Marietta Ohio

Boating, Biking, & Hiking in Marietta Ohio

Some of the best outdoor experiences that you can have in Marietta Ohio are paddling and riding a boat tour along the rivers. In fact, it’s the general consensus that you can’t avoid a water adventure of some kind. However, you can’t forget about the awesome biking trails and hiking trails throughout the city.

Canoe, Kayak, & Take a Boat Tour on the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers

Marietta is situated in an ideal spot for canoeing and kayaking. Planning a day on the water is super easy because there are numerous public docks and other launch points all over the area.

Marietta Adventure Company

If you don’t have your own paddleboat, head to Marietta Adventure Company. It has a variety of kayaks for rent — singles, tandems, and demo angler models. You could even purchase your own and get some great information about the best routes to paddle for your skill level.

Marietta Riverboat Cruise

If you don’t want to do the paddling yourself, hop onto a riverboat. Actually, Marietta is known as a Riverboat Town. The city is home to the nation’s only steam-powered sternwheel towboat that’s still afloat — W.P. Synder Jr, an important part of the country’s riverboat heritage.

One boat tour option is the Valley Gem Sternwheeler, which offers narrated sightseeing tours, sunset dinner tours, murder mystery dinner cruises, and other special holiday-related cruises.

Valley Gem Sternwheeler | photo via @eliolsen2.0

Bike or Hike Around the City

Is biking or hiking more your speed? Marietta has plenty of trails to keep you busy. As a matter of fact, the downtown area is very walkable, allowing you to take advantage of lodging and dining options as you experience cultural attractions — all without needing to find a place to park. The city has several other routes to travel as well.

The River Trail and Marietta Network Trail

The River Trail is a 3.3-mile paved path that stretches from the Indian Acres Boat Ramp to Harmar Bridge, running along the Muskingum River the entire way.

For something more adventurous, check out the Marietta mountain bike trail network, an 18-mile long system of off-road trails for mountain biking and hiking.

It’s a great way to see the city’s wooded valleys and hills, and it connects to several parks. The trail network is ideal for running and bird watching too, so don’t forget your binoculars.

Harmar Bridge | photo via @slika.nika

Ancient Earthworks and Mound Cemetery

If you’re biking or walking in the downtown area, consider heading toward the Ancient Earthworks and Mound Cemetery just a couple of blocks away.

Resembling an Aztec temple, the Earthworks is an archaeological site more than 20 centuries old, and the Mound Cemetery is a ceremonial mound and burial ground originally built by the Adena people.

The current mound was built around the original by the city founders. At the top are the graves of three dozen Revolutionary War veterans.

Mound Cemetary | photo via @inthefallstateofmind

Marietta College Campus

Another option is to take a spin or stroll through the Marietta College campus, which is 90 acres large and rests next to downtown. The streets are lined with trees, the brick buildings are lovely, and there are many places to stop for a picnic. In particular, the area around the Harrison Lawn is ideal for relaxing.

If you need a bike to explore any of these areas, you can get Marietta bike rentals at Marietta Adventure Company or the Marietta Harbor. For a different way to enjoy these outdoor things to do in Marietta Ohio, book a tour with Scott’s Super Adventures, which offers historic tours, parks and bridges tours, and fun Segway rides.

Explore the Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area

North of downtown Marietta, the Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area is an 800-acre park and preserve that’s mostly undisturbed. You can access the park via the Devola Multi-Use Trail and Marietta Trail Network. Also, it has three entrances, each of which has ample parking.

The natural habitat is awesome for environmental study and recreation. It has a large meadow, a natural stream with a waterfall, and three ponds.

When it comes to recreational activities, the preserve features well-maintained hiking and mountain biking trails, cross-country courses, and two disc golf courses. Picnic areas are available as well.

Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area | photo via @timeout_to_the_trail

Play at the Playgrounds & Parks in Marietta Ohio

Whether you’re traveling with a significant other or family with children, spending time at the parks and playgrounds is one of the best outdoor things to do in Marietta Ohio.

The city has six notable parks and playgrounds, giving you more than a handful of opportunities to soak up some sun while taking a stroll or tossing a Frisbee:

The Devola Playground is located north of downtown and has a host of facilities — a playground, basketball and tennis courts, ball fields, and a swimming pool with a gazebo and diving boards. Actually, it’s more of a recreational complex than a playground.

Compete In or Watch Marietta Ohio Sports

A list of outdoor things to do in Marietta Ohio would be incomplete without sports. No matter when you go, you have the chance to golf or cheer for a Marietta College sports team.

Pioneer Golf Course

Located on the southeast side of town, Pioneer Golf Course is a 9-hole public course with a separate 18-hole mini-golf course. It has been serving the city since 1997 and has affordable prices.

You can rent golf carts to get around to the standard holes or bring the family for a bit of entertaining fun on the small holes. The course has a driving range for practicing your swing too.

Pioneer Golf Course | photo via @hannahlbonnell

Marietta Country Club

With a rich history that dates back to 1901, Marietta Country Club is one of the oldest golf clubs west of the Allegheny Mountains.

It has been established at its current location since 1920 and has hosted a variety of events — the 1956 Ohio Open, which Jack Nicklaus won. Along with golf, the club has on-site dining and a pool.

Marietta Country Club | photo via @wideglide03

Marietta College Pioneers

Home to the Pioneers, Marietta College has an exciting sports program with 22 varsity sports — baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, and more.

The teams compete in the NCAA Division III, Ohio Athletic Conference, and Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference. Because of that, there’s almost always some kind of sports game or competition going on.

Visit the Orchard & Farmers Market in Marietta Ohio

Do you want a taste of Marietta from the source? You can get that by visiting the city’s orchard and farmers market — two of the most fun outdoor things to do in Marietta Ohio.

Hidden Hills Orchard

With more than 5,200 dwarf trees, Hidden Hills Orchard is located off Ohio SR 26 about 6 miles from downtown.

It wasn’t always an orchard, though. It was originally a dairy farm in 1895 and became hay fields until the Long family purchased the land in 1998 when they started planting the dwarf trees.

Now, the Hidden Hills grows 22 apple varieties — such as Gala, Gold Rush, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp. You have the option to pick your own apples from August through November or grab some that the farmers have already picked for you.

During your visit, try the award-winning cider that the orchard makes with its own apples. Aside from apples, the orchard has about 80 cherry and 150 peach trees.

River City Farmers Market

Another way to taste the locally grown products in Marietta is to check out the River City Farmers Market, which opened in 1999.

It’s open every Saturday morning all year, hosting an average of 78 vendors. Along with fresh produce, you can pick up handmade and homemade goods.

River City Farmers Market | photo via @wildroot_flowerco

Take a Marietta Ohio Ghost Tour

You won’t find ghost tours everywhere, so consider taking advantage of the opportunity while you’re in Marietta, especially if you’re interested in local and American history.

In fact, Washington County Ohio is a hot spot for history because it was the starting point for the country’s expansion to the west.

Hidden Marietta is passionate about researching, preserving, and telling this history. The company specializes in the shocking, spooky, and weird sides of the past. You have multiple ways to discover all of this — walking tours, in-depth building tours, and paranormal investigations.

Some of its walking ghost tours explore Front Street, Putnam Street, and the historic neighborhood of Harmar.

Hidden Marietta | photo via @viva_la_melisa

Go Shopping in Downtown Marietta Ohio

Shopping might not sound like one of the most interesting outdoor things to do in Marietta Ohio, but you’ll find a lot of distinct boutiques and specialty shops downtown.

Here’s a list of eight shops in Marietta Ohio that we think everyone should look into:

  • A.A. Baldwin’s – Jewelry By Design — Since 1990, this store has been offering jewelry made with structural integrity and restoring precious heirlooms.
  • Antique Mall of Marietta — For more than two decades, this shop has been selling a variety of antiques.
  • Baker & Baker Jewelers — This luxury jewelry store has been designing beautiful jewelry since 1918, establishing itself as a trusted name in the industry.
  • Dad’s Primitive Workbench — Specializing in primitive antiques and home decor, this store also has a boutique with accessories and clothing of all kinds.
  • Gold Line Jewelers — This jewelry shop focuses on designing custom jewelry for customers.
  • Green Acres of Marietta — One of the coolest shops in Marietta, Green Acres sells an array of antiques, unique handmade items, jewelry, and repurposed items.
  • Schafer Leather Store — Founded in 1867, this leather shop was once the local harness store. Now, it sells a range of belts, briefcases, handbags, jewelry, wallets, clothing, and more than 4,000 pairs of boots.
  • Teri Ann’s — Since 1961, this family shop has offered the latest in designer fashion for women.

Nearby Outdoor Things to Do

As if there aren’t enough outdoor things to do in Marietta Ohio, the city is surrounded by many more. Wayne National Forest and the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge are two of the major attractions nearby.

Wayne National Forest

About 30 minutes west of Marietta, Wayne National Forest is located in Stewart on US-33 and is the biggest national forest in Ohio.

To get there, take the National Forest Covered Bridge Scenic Byway (SR-26), which is one of the most stunning stretches of highway in the state.

Within the 241,000 acres, numerous outdoor adventures and historic structures and landscapes await.

Wayne National Forest | photo via @onlyinthemornings

Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Located in Williamstown, West Virginia, just across the Ohio River from Marietta is the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Expanding along 362 miles of the riverfront, the refuge is 3,440 acres large and has 22 islands.

You can enjoy fishing, hiking, and viewing wildlife such as endangered freshwater mussels and migratory birds.

Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Things to Do in Marietta Ohio

What outdoor activities in Marietta, Ohio are available?

You can go biking, hiking, walking, and wildlife watching all throughout Marietta Ohio. Boating is a popular activity since the city rests at the conjunction of two rivers. Marietta has several parks, playgrounds, protected lands, and golf courses as well.

What are the free things to do in Marietta, Ohio?

In general, the parks and playgrounds around Marietta are free to visit. You might have to pay a fee to participate in certain activities or to use certain facilities. Also, it’s free to bike the city trails if you have your own equipment, or you can hike the paths.

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