Unique things to do with kids near Canton and Cleveland OHIO: Hike a BOG!

Northeast Ohio has a lot to offer the family who travels with kids… When we stayed in the NE Ohio country between Canton and Cleveland, one of my favorite activities with my kids outside was FREE and FUN: we took a walk through the Jackson Bog State Nature Preserve! My kids had never seen a bog before (and honestly, I’m not sure I ever had either 😂), so not only did we get a level, easy hike in; but we also got to learn about nature.

When you pull into the parking lot (easily found using your GPS), you’ll see a colorful playground and public restrooms right there. The bog itself is set a short walk in past the playground, through the woods toward the water. Once you arrive at the bog, a flat deck weaves a walking path over the marshy bottom.

The path is well maintained and periodically features placards that share information about the bog and its plants and nature life. It’s an easy trail right along a boardwalk, and I am told that after a few days of heavy rain, the boardwalk can float on the water!

A bog is a wetland with lots of moss and peat as well as a variety of flowering plants! The kids had a good time spotting buds popping through the wet ground… these are purple pitcher plants, a CARNIVOROUS plant! Along with the venus flytrap, they eat insects… (insert lots of EWWs from the kids)

I didn’t know this, but apparently cranberries thrive in bogs, too. Now they want to go back to try to spot some more plant species once we really dig into the spring.

The kids came prepared, wearing rain boots *just in case* … it was really helpful for when we happened upon a creek in the woods outside the preserve area, but they *might* have dipped a foot into the bog, too, to test how deep it was. I’ve honestly never seen my kids so fascinated by muddy water. 😂

Admittedly we didn’t finish the full loop trail on the boardwalk, instead cutting back through the woods so the kids could explore more. But I believe that had we finished the full loop on the boardwalk, it would have been just under 2 miles round trip.

kids laughing and posing on a boardwalk hiking trail near canton ohio. unique hiking experience for kids walking over a bog!

The kids have already asked to go back on the bog walk! I don’t know if it was because the walk was short and flat and easy, or if they were fascinated by the unique plant life… or perhaps it was the super colorful and fun playground at the end!


kids laughing and posing for a picture while standing on a boardwalk hiking path near canton ohio. great unique hiking trail for kids!

(Okay, maybe it was the playground. 😂)

kids playing in a playground near canton oh, at jackson bog state nature preserve

Also in the park you’ll find a free little library, so maybe bring a book along to trade! Bathrooms were clean and unlocked, and there was plenty of parking available.

If you find yourself in the Canton OH area and decide to check out the Jackson Bog State Nature Preserve, we would love to hear about your adventures! As always be sure to tag @independentmamadesigns on Instagram and we are happy to feature your pictures!

And as always, happy hiking ❤️⛰️❤️