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Weekend Getaways

Discover the lowest point in Ohio

The Ohio landscape is a vast, rolling plain stretching north to south. This hilly plain covers the highest and lowest points in Ohio. In the northern region of the state is Lake Erie and its plains, which are part of the Great Lakes Plains that extend into the southern parts of the state. The Allegheny Plateau makes up most of the eastern half. At the same time, the Western Territory consists primarily of sand-covered grasslands known locally as the Till Plains. Due to Ohio’s relatively flat topography, Ohio’s diverse landscapes may not seem obvious at first glance. So let’s explore this exciting state while highlighting the discovery of Ohio’s deepest point and other elements.

Hamilton County is the location of the lowest point in Ohio on the Ohio River with an elevation of 455 feet.

Nat Chittamai/

Ohio’s lowest point – Ohio River

One of the smaller states in the US, Ohio ranks 34th among all states at 44,828 square miles. The land area covers 40,953 square miles while 3,875 is made up of water. The highest point in Ohio is the lofty 1,549 foot Campbell Hill, while the average elevation is 850 feet above sea level.

Ohio’s lowest point is the Ohio River, which runs along the state’s southern border and joins the Miami River near Cincinnati. The river has an elevation of 455 feet above sea level, making it the lowest point in Ohio. Despite its low elevation, the Ohio River is an integral part of the state’s geography. The river provides a corridor for wildlife and plants and is home to several rare and endangered species. As a result, Ohio’s lowest point is a critical part of the state’s natural heritage.

Geography and population of Ohio

The state of Ohio is part of the Midwest region of the United States. Pennsylvania borders it, along with West Virginia to the east, Indiana to the west, Michigan and Lake Erie to the north, and Kentucky to the south. Although it may be small, almost 12 million people live in this state. Ohio’s diverse population and geography make it an ideal proving ground for new ideas and products. Its central location also makes it an important transport hub.

History of Ohio and its Lowest Point

Ohio plays a significant role in American history. Ohio’s history isn’t just about politics and economics; it’s also about the people who have called the state home. And Ohio has been home to many notable figures, including Presidents William McKinley and Rutherford B. Hayes, pioneering inventor Thomas Edison, and legendary baseball player Babe Ruth. Ohio residents have shaped the country countless times, and the state’s history is integral to American history.

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The Story Behind the Name of the Ohio River

The Ohio River is a crucial part of the history and culture of many Native Americans. The native peoples of the Ohio River formed prehistoric settlements along its valley, and civilizations continued to thrive at various points along the river. Native Americans also used the river for thousands of years as an important transportation and trade route. Its waters have connected communities for centuries. The river takes its name from the Seneca language, an Iroquoian word meaning “great water”. The Miami tribe offers a different explanation. They just call it OYO. When asked about the meaning of this word, a Miami chief said it meant, “It raises its voice to God.” French explorers called it La Belle Riviere – The Beautiful River.

Sunset view over the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Ohio River is also known as OYO and La Belle Riviere.

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Formation of the Ohio River

The Ohio River is one of America’s most famous rivers. Formed by melting ice from glaciers over time, it served as an important route for Native American tribes to migrate.

The formation process began two to three million years ago when north-flowing streams formed rivers that eventually emptied into larger bodies of water like the Ohio River. These great bodies of water brought new life while helping to dry up old ones.

Today’s Ohio River begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers converge. It then flows northwest into Ohio. The lowest point in Ohio also forms several state lines, including the Ohio-West Virginia, Ohio-Kentucky, Indiana-Kentucky, and Illinois-Kentucky state lines. As the largest tributary of the Mississippi, the Ohio River empties into the Mississippi River near Cairo, Illinois. On its impressive journey, it drains an area of ​​203,900 square miles. On the other hand, the Ohio River valley is relatively narrow, averaging a mile wide from Cincinnati, Ohio to Louisville, Kentucky.

The Ohio River – an asset to Ohio tourism

The Ohio River is one of the state’s top attractions, and it’s no wonder why. The river provides a beautiful backdrop for many activities including fishing, swimming and boating. In addition, the river is home to a variety of wildlife, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. Ohio has become a popular tourist destination worldwide thanks to the river, its lowest point.

In 2021, the tourism industry generated US$46.9 billion in visitor spend and welcomed 219 million visitors to the state. The tourism sector supported 411,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal jobs in Ohio. These are significant increases from 2020 and close to tourism’s record numbers of 2019, when Ohio generated $48 billion in revenue and 226 million visits while supporting 429,000 Ohio jobs. The Ohio River, at the lowest point in the state, is just one of the many reasons Ohio is a premier destination for tourists from around the world.

Ohio River Scenic Byway

The Ohio River Scenic Byway is a 943-mile road that runs along the Ohio River from Pennsylvania to Illinois. In Ohio, the byway covers 452 miles and 13 counties. This expansive stretch of road is known for its beautiful scenery, including river views, hills, valleys and charming river towns. Adding to the back street’s charm, it is also home to many cultural resources, such as historic sites and active artistic communities.

The Ohio River Scenic Byway is an excellent option if you enjoy scenic drives packed with sights and activities. Whether you arrive by car or motorbike, you will enjoy the ride. And with so many different counties to explore, you can easily make a weekend of it. If you’re looking for an educational, fun, and relaxing trip, check out the Ohio River Scenic Byway.

Ohio River Byway West Region – Cincinnati

The western region of the Ohio River Byway, Cincinnati is known for its sweeping river views. Cincinnati, the largest city on Ohio’s River Trail, offers numerous opportunities to see a major league baseball game. Visitors can explore the area as the side road spans a historic bridge (or seven). Alternatively, you might prefer to adventure through Renaissance-style art museums, live musical performances and professional theater performances.

Additionally, Cincinnati is home to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, built to showcase the history of the Underground Railroad. Visitors to the western region of the Ohio River Byway can also enjoy the many restaurants that line the riverfront, offering everything from BBQ to seafood. Regardless of your interests, you will no doubt find something to enjoy in Cincinnati.

Visitors to Cincinnati can explore the area as the side street spans a historic bridge.

Sean Pavone/

Central Region of the Ohio River Byway – Wayne National Park

Wayne National Forest is a beautiful backdrop to the central region of the Ohio River Byway. With 100,000 acres of public land, there’s plenty of room to explore. The forest is filled with trails branching off the road, begging curious explorers to come along and take a look. Camp in the wilderness or relax on the beach at Mount Vesuvius. There’s something for everyone in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest, near the lowest point in the state along the main river.

Ohio River – The lowest point of elevation

The Ohio River is not only the lowest point in Ohio, but also one of the most pristine and beautiful places in the state. The Iroquois Good River Proclamation is apt. More importantly, the Ohio River is a significant asset to the state. It offers scenic views, recreational opportunities, and economic benefits.

In fact, this incredible geological wonder has a lot to offer visitors. For these visitors, the Ohio River is well worth exploring, from its history to the scenic byways. Additionally, tourists and locals alike love the quaint little towns, sprawling cities, national parks, and luxurious vacation destinations that dot its shores.


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