Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial was established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace between Britain, Canada and the U.S.
There are numerous federal and state-administered parks and recreation areas in Ohio that provide facilities for boating, swimming, hiking, and a variety of other outdoor activities. Many of these units are along Lake Erie and the state's other water areas. There are also a number of historic sites and memorials in Ohio.
The National Park Service administers five parks in Ohio. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, just north of Chillicothe, preserves ancient Native American burial mounds. Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, commemorates both an important naval battle in the War of 1812 and the long period of peace between the United States and Canada.
In Mentor is the James A. Garfield National Historic Site, which contains the restored home of President James A. Garfield, from where he conducted his "front porch" campaign for president in 1880. In Cincinnati is the William Howard Taft National Historic Site, the birthplace and boyhood home of the only person to serve as both president and chief justice of the United States. The Cuyahoga Valley National Recreational Area, which preserves the rural character of the Cuyahoga River Valley, lies between the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron.
The only national forest in Ohio, Wayne National Forest, is made up of several sections in southern and southeastern Ohio. The forest has extensive hiking, backpacking, and equestrian trails. Shawnee-Roosevelt State Forest is the largest of Ohio's nine state forests.
All of Ohio's 72 state parks have facilities for picnicking and hiking, and most also have facilities for camping, swimming, boating, and fishing. One of the largest parks, Pymatuning State Park, covers 17,500 acres on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. It includes Pymatuning Reservoir, and beach, picnic, and camping areas. Hocking Hills State Park, in the south central part of the state, preserves Old Man's Cave, Ash Cave, and other beautiful rock formations.
The popular Lake Hope State Park, in a rugged wooded area in southeastern Ohio, has facilities for both summer and winter sports. Also providing year-round recreation is Punderson State Park, in northeasternmost Ohio. East Harbor State Park and Crane Creek State Beach Park have popular sandy beaches along Lake Erie. Other notable state parks include John Bryan, Hueston Woods, and Tar Hollow state parks.
There are numerous state memorials in Ohio that preserve notable historic sites. Several of them preserve earthworks constructed by Native Americans. In Fort Ancient State Memorial, on a plateau above the Little Miami River valley, is an earthwork of massive walls. A museum describes the two cultures who occupied the site. Serpent Mound State Memorial, a famous earthen mound in the shape of a serpent, winds for a length of 1348 ft along a ridge paralleling Bear Creek, near Peebles. Mound Builders State Memorial contains a great circular earthwork, which encloses an effigy mound, possibly representing a bird in flight. In Octagon State Memorial is an octagon-shaped earthwork are the work Mound Builders.
Other state memorials are associated with the many Ohioans who became president of the United States. The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont includes the home and tomb of the 19th president. Open to the public is a memorial building housing his letters and mementos. The burial place of another U.S. president, William Henry Harrison, is in Harrison Tomb State Memorial, overlooking the Ohio River at North Bend. Grant's Birthplace, Boyhood Home, and Grant Home State Historic Site each commemorate President Ulysses S. Grant. McKinley National Memorial in Canton honors President William McKinley.
Other state memorials include the Sherman House in Lancaster, which contains the home, now restored, where the famous Union general William T. Sherman and his brother, U.S. Senator John Sherman, author of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, were born. A reconstruction of the state's first planned settlement, a Moravian missionary village, is located at Schoenbrunn Village near New Philadelphia. Zoar Village, in Zoar, preserves the restored homes once owned by a community of Germans who emigrated to the United States in the 19th century.