Great Ohio Summer Festivals & Events
And other things to do
& places to go in Ohio…
And other things to do
& places to go in Ohio…
“The Big Ditch” is a 308-mile Canalway carved into the Ohio frontier over seven grueling years. What was hailed as the smoothest ride in transportation is a turbulent story.
On July 4, 1825, ground broke for two canals that would flow goods from New Orleans to New York City, and Ohio was the heart of it all, connecting world commerce to America’s frontier! The Ohio and Erie Canal was dug by hand from Portsmouth and the Ohio River to Cleveland and Lake Erie. Then from Lake Erie to the Hudson River, stretched the Erie Canal. Born was the young nation’s first national transportation system. But it was not without blood, sweat, and disease.
For decades, canals used to be the arteries of American commerce, bridging the transportation eras of wagon trails to train tracks.
Today, a time capsule floats passengers back to this bygone era along the banks in Coshocton, Ohio, and its Historic Roscoe Village. At this canal port, two draft horses, Diesel and Tim, and a Hoggee who guides them walk a towpath tugging the rope of a passenger packet named The Monticello III. …For the rest of the story, photos, and video, click here.
If you’re a treasure seeker, Ohio’s Amish Country is a trove of hidden finds, historical delights, and a junker’s dream. Scattered across the Amish Scenic Byway, visitors looking for that unique item will stumble across off-the-road antique shops and garage sales with treasures waiting to be found.
Every year in the small towns of Amish Country community garage sales pop up where creative organizers plan the routes and list addresses for garage sale lovers to come and search for whatever their heart desires. While we are nearing the end of the 2023 season, you can mark these for 2024 to attend. Sugarcreek garage sales are usually held in early May, and Berlin holds their garage sales in late April, typically the same weekend as their Barnstorming event. We often tell visitors not to be alarmed, as even if you miss these, Holmes County has a variety of individual and community-wide garage sales throughout the summer and fall months.
If you are not the garage sale type but love old things, back road trippers will be amazed at the places they will find. Check out the best antique stores in Ohio’s Amish Country.
Carlisle Antiques and More: Up on top of a hill overlooking the beautiful Mudd Valley, you will find aisles and aisles of antique finds. Plan to spend some time walking through each area; there are more things than you can imagine.
Berlin Village Antique Mall: In the heart of Berlin, right in the middle of town, you will find this beacon of history calling you in to seek out specialty items. Claiming to be the largest collection in town, you’ll want to snag a parking spot early. After you have shopped the antiques and extensive glassware selection, you might feel hungry; check out Plain and Simple, where you can grab a burger.
Berlin Antique Mall: Looking for a place to spend the afternoon? Berlin Antique Mall, located in Schrock’s Heritage Village, is the place to put on your vintage stops bucket list. With ample parking, find hundreds of the best finds around!
Tip: Schrock’s Heritage Village is a one-stop shop in Ohio’s Amish Country. Once you park your car, you can shop the complex finding things from fabric, puppies, and gifts! Ohio’s largest Christmas store Tis the Season is filled with all things Christmas and should not be missed. You can even find one of Amish Country’s best farm-to-table restaurants, Olde World Bakery and Cafe, locally sourcing food in season.
Historic Millersburg is one of the hubs of the Amish Community, and lining Main Street are shops galore. Find a spot to park in one of the plentiful public parking areas and walk to the vintage shops in town. Jackson Street Antiques: Find a large selection of kitschy finds, from vinyl albums to the rare pieces you want to fill your curio cabinet. Starlight Antiques and Gifts: Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Millersburg, Ohio, you will find a small family-owned Antique and Gift Shop established in 1987 by owners Phil and Caren Starr. Shoppers can walk through aisles of primitive furniture, collectibles, unique and local household items, garden accessories, and furniture in the rough and grab something to take home from this Millersburg staple.
It’s time to get away from the high-rise buildings, the traffic back-ups, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life, at least for a long weekend getaway. Imagine a weekend of relaxation and peacefulness with the landscape filled with views of the beautiful Appalachian foothills. Does this sound like a much-needed escape from your busy life? This oasis exists in southern Ohio just three hours southwest of Cleveland, an hour south of Columbus, and an hour and a half northeast of Cincinnati in Chillicothe, Ohio.
During your getaway, reconnect with nature and immerse yourself in the tranquility only the great outdoors can provide with its gentle breeze, the warmth of the sunshine, and sounds from the native wildlife. You will be rewarded with picturesque views of the southern Ohio landscape and stunning sights of vernal pools, wooded ravines, and vertical cliffs where glaciers carved out the topography thousands of years ago. There are over 225 miles of trails with intensities to accommodate beginners to more advanced and trained hikers and mountain bikers. With five State Parks and numerous county and city parks, you can easily find your connection with the outdoors in a setting that you prefer. The Ross-Chillicothe Convention & Visitors Bureau offers an official Ross County Trail Guide that will help you determine the best location.
Serenity can also be achieved by visiting Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. This site showcases the magnificent, ancient earthworks created nearly 2,000 years ago by a prehistoric American Indian culture. Not only will you reconnect with nature, but you can walk where these ancestors once gathered for celebrations, funerals, and rites of passage. Park Rangers are available to provide more insight into the earthworks and the advanced culture that built them to create perfect geometrical shapes, alignments with solar and lunar events, and even replicate these designs throughout much of central and southern Ohio with accurate precision. These significant accomplishments are part of the reason these sites are part of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks World Heritage nomination that will soon become an official UNESCO World Heritage site later this year.
Although Chillicothe has an abundance of outdoor recreation to assist in your relaxation, there are plenty of opportunities to reenergize yourself. A summer visit to Chillicothe isn’t complete unless you experience the epic performance of “Tecumseh!” Outdoor Drama. This spectacular production showcases the life of Shawnee leader Tecumseh as he defends his homelands in the 1700s. As you sit beneath the starry night sky, the action unfolds on the stage, which surrounds the audience with galloping horses and military cannon fire.
Time your visit during one of the many festivals, such as the Ohio Jeep Fest or the Frankfort Sunflower Festival, for a weekend filled with fun and entertainment. There are many other special events and entertainment options throughout the summer, such as the 250th birthday celebration of Thomas Worthington, best known as the “Father of Ohio Statehood.” This event occurs at his home, Adena Mansion & Gardens, where you can tour this restored 19th-century mansion designed by American architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe and one of only a few of his standing structures. An exciting new event, RoCo Music Fest, is presented over Labor Day weekend, featuring headlining country artists such as Jana Kramer, Dustin Lynch, Randy Houser, and Parker McCullum, to name a few.
Don’t miss visiting the historic downtown district in Chillicothe, which offers a wide assortment of locally owned shops, restaurants, and breweries. Jump on the Chillicothe Trolley for a fun way to explore downtown Chillicothe which provides a unique opportunity to view the variety of architecture that sets Chillicothe’s downtown apart from the rest. Many venues offer live music on the weekends so you can catch some great local and regional bands.
Start planning your peaceful and relaxing getaway today! Learn more at VisitChillicotheOhio.com, download the Visit Chillicothe Ohio mobile app, or request your copy of the official Explore Chillicothe Ohio Visitors Guide online or call 740-702-7677.
For family fun close to home, plan a visit to Lehman’s, in the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country. Founded in 1955 by Jay Lehman to serve the local Amish, today, Lehman’s ships practical products all over the country. The retail store is a rambling 35,000 square-foot building, filled with thousands of products, museum-quality antiques, and four pre-Civil War era buildings. It’s like going to a museum and going shopping at the same time. Lehman’s is open every day except Sunday and is always open at Lehmans.com.
Marvel at the non-electric appliances like wood heating and cooking stoves; shop in the year-round Christmas store; enjoy the pantry’s toy room and food samples; appreciate the oil lamps and lanterns; and spend time in the massive housewares department.
For details on all of the events hosted by Lehman’s, please visit Lehmans.com/events.
Homemade Ice Cream Workshop is July 8, from 2pm to 3pm, $20
Ever had delicious creamy homemade ice cream? Come to Lehman’s to learn from their resident ice cream expert, Don. And what’s an ice cream class without samples? There will be root beer, too! Make a root beer float or enjoy both treats separately.
Christmas in July is July 15, from 10am to 3pm, FREE
Deck your summer with holly and jolly at Lehman’s! Come for fun holiday traditions with a summer twist.
Join Mrs. Claus as she makes her yearly summer trip to Lehman’s on Saturday, July 15th, to stock up on supplies for her garden at the North Pole. Visit her in Lehman’s Garden Department, where she will be assisting children in planting special seeds to take home that magically grow candy canes!
Don’t miss Flower the Clown as he twists up some fun with his amazing balloon art. Brush on over to a wonderfully talented face painter for free face painting.
Honeytown will be filling the aisles with festive music. Make sure to stop by for a dance or two. The Flaming Marshmallow Food Truck will also be on site. Be sure to check out the newly remodeled housewares department during your visit.
Meet Carving Artist Paul Weaver on July 22, from 9:30am to 2pm, FREE
Meet the artist: Have you been to Lehman’s to see the unbelievable carvings done by Paul Weaver? They are truly worth the trip itself. Every fourth Saturday of the month, Paul will be at the store to answer questions and give some background on these amazing works of art. Pictures do not do them justice; you must see them in person!
Cow Cuddling is July 22, from 10am to 2pm ($5 per group photo)
Ever see a cute cow and want to give him a cuddle? Well, now you can! Meet Hoss; this sweet, cuddly cow will be at Lehman’s to interact with customers. Take a picture, pet, or cuddle Hoss the cow ($5 per group photo). He will even have merch for sale!
Enjoy Mr. Bill’s Pizza on July 22, from 10am to 5pm
Enjoy a wood-fired pizza: Love pizza? Have you ever had wood-fired pizza? Yum! Come to Lehman’s to try it with Mr. Bill’s Wood-Fired Pizza Kitchen. He will even be featuring a delicious dessert pizza – the Lehman’s! Don’t worry, there are all the delicious classic pizza options.
Meet the original homesteaders Shawn and Beth Dougherty on July 22, from 10am and 2pm, $20
The farming couple from East Ohio will teach two workshops, one at 10am and one at 2pm. Topics will include Gardening, Harvesting Grass with a Ruminant, Milk and milking, Capturing Water, Fertility, No Waste Composting. Your ticket will ensure you a seat for their presentations and a $10 (no minimum purchase) coupon to shop at Lehman’s. There will be time after both sessions to meet and greet Shawn and Beth and get your questions answered.
Made in Ohio is July 29, from 10am to 3pm, FREE
Explore your favorite Made-in-Ohio products or discover something new! Value locally-made products that are understandable and, therefore, simpler. Shop the store to see which products are highlighted as Made In Ohio. Visit the booths of local vendors selling pottery, jewelry, essential oils, and more.
Local Roots (established in 2009 in Wooster, OH by volunteers who, with community support, turned an empty building into a vibrant marketplace showcasing local food and handmade gifts.) will provide a boxed lunch from noon to 2 pm, outside under a tent, for $__. It features a grilled peach and chicken salad over greens with a side of summer veggies and orzo salad, and a cookie. Iced herbal tea and freshly squeezed lemonade will accompany the meal.
Click here to plan your visit to Lehmans.
In Medina County, the putting greens are lush, the microbrews are cold, and accommodations are close by and welcoming. That can only mean one thing: time to get the old gang together for a golfing road trip! Medina put together three golf and brewery tour options to kickstart your weekend planning.
Northern Medina County
Kick off your tour of Northern Medina County golf courses with Coppertop Golf Club, 5740 Center Road Valley City, Ohio, which features an 18-hole course. The onsite Golfer’s Pub offers refreshments and delicious food. Once off the links, sample the unique bites and refreshments at Jilbert Winery & Brewery, 1496 Columbia Road, Valley City, Ohio. Choose from a variety of wines, beers, and appetizers. Ready to accommodate nearly any size group of travelers, Comfort Suites, 1464 Town Center Boulevard, Brunswick, Ohio, is an easy 10-minute drive.
On day two, head to Bunker Hill Golf Course, 3060 Pearl Road in Medina, Ohio, a gorgeous 18-hole course that will test your mettle, but not so much that beginners can’t have an enjoyable outing. Looking for a substantial feast? Stop by Lager Heads BBQ Smokehouse, 2832 Abbeyville Road, Medina, Ohio, where the name says it all about the fare at this establishment. Bring your hungry belly with you! From stouts to pilsners and IPAs, you’ll find even more tasty craft beers at Hoppy Dude Brews, 1369 Ridge Road, Hinckley, Ohio.
Central Medina County
Start your adventure at the Pleasant Valley Country Club, 3830 Hamilton Road, Medina, Ohio, an 18-hole public golf course on 165 acres of beautiful Ohio landscape. By now, your group has probably worked up a thirst, so quench it at the Wrecking Crew Brewworks, 144 N. Court Street, Medina, Ohio, where the beers on display are as unique as their names. Finally, put up your feet for a well-earned rest at The Huffman House, 3935 Huffman Rd, Medina, Ohio, a historic, family-owned rental property offering four bedrooms, three baths, and 3,000 square feet of comfort.
Well rested and ready for day two, book your tee times at Shale Creek Golf Club, 5420 Wolff Road, Medina, Ohio. Visit the Granite Grille or book your wedding or other events at the gorgeous venue. A quick 5-minute drive away, head to Planted Flag Brewing, 3594 Pearl Road, Medina, Ohio, to check out the tasty brews and delicious food.
Southern Medina County
Begin your weekend tour of southern Medina County golf courses at Ridge Top Golf Course, 7441 Tower Road, Medina, Ohio, an 18-hole public golf course. Then check out Blue Heron Brewery and Event Center, 3227 Blue Heron Trace in Medina, to test any 16 draft beers on tap. At the end of the day, relax and recharge at the Holiday Express & Suites Wadsworth, 231 Park Center Drive, Wadsworth, Ohio.
Ready to hit the links on day two? Take a cruise to Rawiga Golf Club, 10353 Rawiga Road, Seville, Ohio, a championship public course with a club that hosts special events like weddings, banquets, charity events, leagues, and more. Next, wet your whistle on locally brewed creations at Wadsworth Brewing Company, 126 Main Street, Wadsworth, Ohio.
Click here for your Medina County Golf Courses and Breweries Itinerary.
Summertime means longer days and more time to do the things you love. Have the ultimate outdoor adventure this summer in Grove City.
Explore Central Ohio’s Scioto Grove Metro Park along the picturesque Scioto River. Follow the winding river as you hike along miles of trails. Scioto Grove is the first park in the U.S. to be sponsored by outdoor retailer REI, which helped to fund the creation of a backpacking trail along the river with five campsites. The REI River Trail allows visitors to experience an overnight backpacking trip close to the city.
Awaken your senses at Gantz Park as you walk through the Gardens of Yesterday, Today, or Tomorrow, where you can learn about horticulture through time, including how plants were used for fragrance, medicine, dyes, and culinary purposes. Then, venture through the arboretum to learn about different tree species.
Get up close and personal with nature at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, where you can see a herd of free-range bison roaming restored prairie fields. Then, learn about the history of the land at the state-of-the-art Nature Center, which features an interactive 52-foot living stream.
For your next adventure, paddle down the Big Darby Creek River, a National and State Scenic River. Begin your trip at Trapper John’s Canoe Livery, where you can rent a canoe or kayak. Then, enjoy a leisurely ride down the river and see if you can spot any unique animals or plants along the way–it’s a highly preserved riparian ecosystem with tons of biodiversity.
If you want something more relaxing, don’t miss out on Circle S Farm’s Sunflower Season, which kicks off July 10th through mid-August. Walk amongst an expansive field full of beautiful sunflowers. And don’t forget to grab a pair of shears to cut a bouquet to take home to decorate the dining room table.
Quench your thirst and satiate your hunger at Grove City Brewing Company. With seasonally crafted beers and an expansive menu, you’re sure to find something to satisfy the appetite you’ve built up after a day of adventures. Or head next door to Plum Run Winery, where their vintages come from the only working vineyard in Franklin County. Have a flight or a food and wine pairing while you enjoy beautiful summer weather on the patio.
Ohio isn’t too bad when it comes to unique pizza parlors. While in town, stop by Visit Grove City to grab the 3rd volume of the Pizza Trek. Make your way through the Pizza Trek by eating at the participating businesses. Once you’ve visited six of the eight pizza places, come back to the visitors’ center to collect your prize!
Whether you’re into backpacking, green living, nature walks, or kayaking, Grove City is a place where you are free to roam. Plan your Altogether Adventure to Grove City and book your stay now!
Amphicars, the only civilian amphibious passenger automobile ever to be mass-produced, will visit Grand Lake again this year during the Celina Lake Festival, July 28-30, 2023. The International Amphicar Owners Club is scheduled to participate in the annual Amphicar Splash-in at the Celina Lake Festival on Friday evening, July 28th, and the Grand Parade on Saturday, July 29th. Always a crowd favorite; everyone loves seeing these little vehicles drive on land and then splash into the water and become a boat.
3,878 Amphicars were built in Germany from 1961 to 1968. Of those cars, 3,046 were imported into the United States. It is believed that less than 600 sea-worthy still exist today. The Amphicar has a top speed of 7 mph on water and 70 mph on land. An Amphicar is moved in the water by its twin nylon propellers. A special two-part land-and-water transmission built by Hermes (makers of the Porsche transmission) allows the wheels and propellers to be operated independently or simultaneously. The “land transmission” is a 4-speed-plus-reverse unit similar to those found in old Volkswagen Beetles. The “water transmission” is a 2-speed offering unique to the Amphicar featuring single forward and reverse gears. In the water, the front wheels act as rudders.
All Amphicars are convertibles originally offered in only four colors: Beach White, Regatta Red, Lagoon Blue, and Fjord Green (Aqua). You will find many today that have been customized with paint and accessories. Some of the more unique ones include one adorned with Pink Flamingoes, one painted to resemble the Bat Mobile, and another to resemble a huge Rubber Ducky. When new, an Amphicar sold for between $2,800 and $3,300, depending on the year. Currently, you can find Amphicars listed for sale with prices ranging from $35,000 to $99,000, depending on the condition.
Each year 30 to 40 International Amphicar Owners Club members bring their vehicles for an appearance at the Celina Lake Festival. You will begin seeing the cars on Tuesday and Wednesday of the festival week as they drive around town and cruise along the lake. Their official festival appearances include a Splash-In on Friday evening, and you can also see them on Saturday as they participate in the Grand Parade. Other events during the Celina Lake Festival include Fabulous Fireworks over the Lake, a Collectors Car Show, Craft Fair, a Kids Fishing Derby, the Lake Festival Pet Show, the Lift-aThon, and great live music from Another Round and 127 North. Click HERE for more information and for the complete schedule of Celina Lake Festival events. For a complete listing of summer festivals and celebrations in the Grand Lake Region, check out Seemore.org.
Yoder’s Bakery and Furniture has established its roots in rural Adams County, Ohio’s Wheat Ridge Amish Community. This family-owned and run business was formerly Keim Family Market. It provides much of the same folks came to expect from the Keim family over the decades. But the Yoder family is already making a name for itself.
Yoders has already made lasting bonds with its customers and earned recognition for their kindness and helpfulness, which has been at 2621 Burnt Cabin Road off SR 32 in Seaman, Ohio, for decades.
Many in the area make this a routine shopping experience, but just as many make it a pilgrimage shopping experience. That is to say, they make it a memorable trip to gather furniture, bulk foods, and baked goods and relax for an extended stay, often having a deli picnic under the mature shade trees overlooking the playsets kids are trying out. The wooded hills are a gorgeous backdrop for this Amish oasis at the edge of Appalachia.
In addition to the picnic tables, folks gather along the benches and chairs sprinkled down Yoder’s two porches which seem to stretch forever. The lunch crowd is eager to taste Yoder’s fresh deli sandwiches and warm-from-the-oven baked goods. And to wash it all down is an old-fashioned cream soda. Afterward, the kids test the playsets and trampolines. Parents and grandparents watch while they talk under the majestic shade trees, browse the indoor and outdoor furniture, or walk the aisles of bulk foods, seeking ingredients not found in big box stores. It’s a place where shopping is relaxing, and the stay is extended.
This cherished destination-shopping experience is an authentic, one-of-a-kind Amish variety store and Wheat Ridge Amish community staple. A visit to Yoder’s is a throwback to a more simple and peaceful time, and it combines a unique experience with hard-to-find offerings.
Inside, visitors are treated to everything from fresh-made donuts to handmade dining tables. Feel the warmth and enjoy the aroma coming from the bakers’ ovens. Bakers are seen in plain sight rolling dough and preparing scrumptious baked goods every morning. As soon as the goodies hit the store shelves, customers grab them up to bring home …if they make it that far. The bakery is known for its donuts, fruit pies, cookies, loaves of bread, and cinnamon rolls, to name several specialties.
For those who arrive midday, there’s a full-service deli with a tasty variety of meats and cheeses to cater to any appetite. In addition, steaks are now offered as well. Look for the weekly special. It’s common to see license plates in the parking lot from counties in Ohio and Kentucky, near and far. And coolers being packed with meats and cheeses for the long ride home.
The chef in the family will enjoy a trip to Yoder’s to tackle that list of unique ingredients needed for those cherished recipes. There are aisles of hard-to-find goods with the Yoder label. In addition, traditional tin cookie cutters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Yoder’s jams and jellies, flour, and so much more fill the shelves with old-time candies and a great selection of sugar-free foods. A camping favorite is popcorn you can pop over the fire pit.
The rustic warm store also has a wonderful selection of odds and ends, from nostalgic wood toys, gorgeous wicker baskets, Amish-made quilts, and scented candles. They also carry the ever-popular choices of Christian wall hangings by P. Graham Dunn.
The indoor furniture selection fills the final third of the main store. If a child needs a new computer desk, look no further. If Dad needs an easy chair, you’ll find it here. And if mom wants a dining set like no other, this is the place. Yoder’s also has stools, benches, hutches, gliders, bedroom sets, and more. Whatever is bought here is not likely to be purchased anywhere else. And if a new gazebo, shed, or patio set is needed, Yoder’s can deliver it.
Big Ed’s Soda Grill in Vermilion is a vintage 1930s restaurant & soda fountain. It is housed in a building dating to 1892 and was originally a dry goods store. Whether you’re traveling Route 6 along the Lake Erie coast or making a special trip to experience Big Ed’s (and the lighthouse and beach a skipping stone away), be sure to make this iconic stop.
The old-fashioned soda fountain features fresh hand-pattied burgers and delicious hand-spun milkshakes. Enjoy a taste of the past, complete with nostalgic fountain treats such as phosphates, egg creams, old-fashioned sodas, and a classic setting that would make Hollywood take note.
As soon as you step through the door, you feel like the world stopped, and you got off at yesteryear. The walls are like a time capsule of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s cans, bottles, containers, and other memorabilia and artifacts. The decor of the booths, tables, ice cream counter, and everything else emphasizes old-fashioned style, a friendly and comfortable atmosphere, and memorable lunch or dinner. Plus, the smiles from the staff are infectious.
Whatever you choose to eat, whether it’s a burger, hot dog or soup, no doubt you’ll be pleased. But before you ask for the check, make room and time to enjoy the best darn rootbeer float in Ohio!
Click here to plan your visit.
By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun
Deerassic Park’s brand-new Welcome Center is a one-of-a-kind facility that is sure to be a favorite for visitors of all ages. The center has packed as much Ohio native wildlife information as possible into this brand-new, 5,400-square-foot space. Every display has been designed and built to be hands-on, interactive, informative, and fun.
While here, guests will increase their knowledge of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and much more while also learning about the history of Deerassic Park. With a mission to reconnect youth and their families with outdoor activities and recreation, the park provides youth and families with exceptional outdoor education opportunities.
No trip to Deerassic Park would be complete without getting a chance to view the live deer herd. Deerrassic Park offers two different viewing areas to see Ohio’s state mammals up close and personal.
In addition to the Welcome Center, guests can also tour Deerassic Park’s Whitetail Hall of Fame. Since the park’s inception in 1996, Deerassic has been lucky enough to collect some of the largest whitetails to ever live in the great state of Ohio. The goal of the Hall of Fame is not only to showcase these magnificent animals but also to tell the stories behind them.
The National Whitetail Deer Education Foundation (NWDEF) is headquartered at Deerassic Park. It is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting respect and compassion for the whitetail deer and all of nature through innovative educational programs and events. One of the organization’s main goals is to help youth reconnect with the outdoor world and to help reverse the trend of declining youth participation in outdoor activities. Throughout the year, NWDEF and Deerassic Park host a variety of day camps for all ages and interests.
Deerassic Park Education Center and the NWDEF wouldn’t be able to provide learning opportunities for youth and families without their primary fundraiser, the Deerassic Classic Giveaway and Outdoor Expo, held on the first Friday & Saturday of August. This two-day event is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for supporters of quality outdoor education to enjoy themselves while providing the funding needed to provide the parks programs throughout the year. The event begins on Thursday Night with a campground kickoff party and concert. On Friday, the gates open, and everyone enjoys the vendors, stage shows, and the Big Buck Bonus Drawing. On Saturday, the main events are raffles and prize drawings, with an evening concert and fireworks.
Learn more about Deerassic Park Education Center at https://deerassic.com. There is no admission fee.
For more information, contact the Cambridge/Guernsey County VCB office at 627 Wheeling Avenue, Suite 200 in downtown Cambridge, call 740-432-2022, email email@example.com, or visit VisitGuernseyCounty.com.
Something wicked lurks underneath the active Sandusky County Courthouse.
Prisoners saw little daylight; the same goes for those who tour this dark but fascinating look at past incarceration in Ohio’s Sandusky County. Along the subterranean corridors, you may feel a chill. It may be a draft, or it may be a paranormal encounter! No matter, the Sandusky County Historic Jail & Dungeon Tours in Fremont, Ohio, will haunt you.
The tour features an 1840s Dungeon, an 1890s Jail, and Gallows. The guide has excellent storytelling to share, explaining the significance the this unusually preserved historic structure. Open the door, and you can almost taste the stale air trying to escape from the 1800s. Visitors today have reported hearing footsteps on the limestone floors or even having their hair or shirt tugged by something unknown or unseen.
There was a cluster of prisoner escapes over a short period of the mid-19th-Century. So, a dungeon was dug to contain better the criminals being held for trial. Kerosene lamps or candles provided their only light. Convicted murderer George Thompson was the first inmate to be cast into the dungeon while awaiting execution in the gallows that remain for all to see. A decade later, the dungeon was closed due to the dreadful environment. And there, history rotted until 2013, when the Sandusky County Convention & Visitors Bureau opened the crypt for tours.
The 1 ½ hour tour requires a group of 20 or more. Visit https://www.sanduskycounty.org/jail to make a reservation or find scheduled public tours, including paranormal and flashlight tours, which may be offered throughout the year but sell out fast. This tour is not recommended for children. On the Jail & Dungeon Flashlight Tour, guests will get a flashlight, and no other light will be on. There’s also a Dungeon Descent Event. Modern technology will be used on this tour to explore the spirit world.
On the ride home, I hope the only thing coming with you is an exciting conversation about the tales of mystery and mayhem from the cells and gallows of the Sandusky County Dungeon Descent Tour.
By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun
OHIO’S HAPPY PLACE: YELLOW SPRINGS
Rejuvenate in a small town with a big smile – Yellow Springs, Ohio. It’s where folks go to be happy. Cheerful shop keepers chat up good times for their customers whom they just befriended. Pedestrians take notice of the blend of inviting aromas in the air trying to plan their lunch. And the facades around town highlight a creative flair.
It is no wonder the town originally lured nineteenth-century travelers with the Yellow Spring and its curative waters. Today, much of the menus around town are filled with farm-to-table foods. A diversity permeates the culture here that mixes rural countryside with a touch of urban excitement to mingle into a peaceful coexistence.
Chock-full of pure authenticity, Yellow Springs is a destination for the artist, foodie, hiker, performer, or plain curious.
Plan your escape to “Ohio’s Happy Place” at https://www.greenecountyohio.org/.
Photo provided by
Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Tuscarawas County’s history begins with settlers exploring the Ohio frontier and arriving in the springtime of the year 1772. They experienced the lush beauty, recognized the fertile soil surrounding the Tuscarawas River, and established Schoenbrunn Village, its name meaning “Beautiful Spring”. Today, Historic Schoenbrunn Village welcomes you to walk in the footprints of those first Ohio residents and to visit the reconstructed first church and first schoolhouse on that early Ohio frontier. The original cemetery in the village honors the lives of the 600 plus residents that resided there, including Delaware Indians who became Christianized through the teachings of Moravian missionary David Zeisberger, the leader of the village.
Following a daytime tour of Historic Schoenbrunn Village, plan to attend the live, outdoor drama, Trumpet in the Land, Ohio’s longest-running outdoor historical drama, in the evening. July 2 kicks off their 52nd season. After a 2020 hiatus last summer (due to an abundance of caution surrounding the pandemic), general manager Margaret Bonamico said, “We are glad to be back; our cast and crew are looking forward to presenting a summer schedule designed to appeal to anyone looking for a wide variety of entertainment options.“
Trumpet in the Land is an epic outdoor production using song, dance, comedy, drama, and fiery pyrotechnics to tell the inspiring story of the founding of Schoenbrunn, Ohio’s first settlement during the tumultuous Revolutionary War.
The Trumpet cast performs other shows throughout their abbreviated season, which concludes August 14. Show patrons will enjoy performances of: A Grand Night for Singing; The Sound of Music; 25 Years of Broadway; and Greased Lightning. For more information or tickets, contact the Trumpet in the Land Box Office at 330-339-1132.
Tuscarawas County is in the middle of the lush rolling hills of Appalachian Ohio. Its treed terrain reminded early Swiss immigrants of their homeland in Switzerland, and soon they established dairy farms for their Swiss Cheese operations, many of which were in the Sugarcreek area. Current Amish residents now farm those same fields creating a confluence of culture and heritage for travelers to experience. Spend time in downtown Sugarcreek strolling past the murals decorating the facades of many of the buildings that depict life in Switzerland. Enjoy the music from the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock at its band The Hilltoppers as they perform on the top and bottom of every hour! Afterwards, immerse yourself in the local history as you examine the hand-carved Brick Wall Sculpture, and explore the Amish and Swiss exhibits of the Alpine Hills Museum located in the downtown area as well.
See the Amish life in a new light on stage at the Ohio Star Theater. This beautiful theater is just outside Sugarcreek on the campus of the Carlisle Inn, and Dutch Valley Restaurant and Bakery. This season, theater attendees will be delighted by the musical performance of “The Best of Me”. Being Amish wasn’t easy at times for Rachel Miller. Crooked quilts, burnt homemade bread, and a small, quiet town have her longing to trade in “Amish apple dumplings” for the “Big Apple” in hopes of becoming a Broadway star. Knowing nothing of acting other than a few shows she had seen on the bakery’s TVs, will Rachel find out that the lights of the concrete jungle don’t hold a candle to the life on the farm she wanted to leave?
You’ll laugh a lot and cry a little as you follow an Amish girl, a fading Broadway star, and a handsome stranger in their quest to find the best of themselves. For more information and tickets, contact the Ohio Star Theater at 855-344-7547.
You will be amazed at the artistry of Ernest “Mooney” Warther, another Tuscarawas County legend. Using a pocket knife he found and a discarded piece of bone, Mooney created his first carving at a tender young age. As time went on, his carvings advanced to exacting scale-size replicas of steam locomotives. His works have been valued as priceless by the Smithsonian Institute. While you are at the museum, be sure to stroll through the Swiss-style gardens, which have recently been awarded a Level 1 Arboretum status.
The Dennison Railroad Depot Museum is housed within the original 1873 Dennison Depot; other museum exhibits are housed in train cars giving visitors a natural feel for train travel in the early years of transportation. The true legacy of the Dennison Railroad Depot is in the stories of the 1.3 million US troops who traveled through. They were greeted with smiles, cookies, and coffee through train car windows while the engines were quickly refilled with water before the young soldiers continued their journey to the WWII war front. A family-friendly visit to the museum leaves a lasting impression on all who learn the museum stories.
Round out your visit to Tuscarawas County with a carousel ride at Tuscora Park! It’s memorable fun for the whole family! Did you know that Jeremiah E. Reeves constructed Tuscora Park for his family in the early 1900s? Now owned by the City of New Philadelphia and operated by a local non-profit organization, this community cornerstone continues to entertain visitors as it has for over 100 years. Visit the JE Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum to learn more about this early philanthropic entrepreneur.
With so much experience in the county from legends to downtown shopping, its wineries and breweries, mural, trails, and local dining, plan to stay a few days to create your own legendary experience truly! For more information contact: www.TravelTusc.com or 800-527-3387.
When August rolls around, folks are sure to think of going back to school. But if you live in Bowling Green, Ohio, the last hurrah before textbooks and exams is the Tractor Pulls!
People travel from all over the world to visit and take part in the festivities at the National Tractor Pulling Championships. For 54 years, Bowling Green has been locally and internationally known to be the home to the National Tractor Pulling Championships (NTPC). Since 1962, when the first speed pull was introduced to Wood County, it has become a staple for this small town. Starting out with just 20 members, this well-known event did not gain its full popularity until around the late 1970s. Through new technology and dedication from the organization, this once small institution has now grown to have 225 members and 9 directors leading them all. With these organizers, it is easy to see how this weekend creates memories and tons of fun.
This jam-packed three-day event holds five sessions of exciting and riveting pulls. Anything from Four Wheel Drive Trucks to Super Semis can be seen competing to bring home those big trophies. As the largest tractor pulling championship in the world, who wouldn’t want to go out and enjoy all the fun? With over 2,100 campsites and about 65,000 people, it is the perfect weekend to end the summer.
Sit outside with friends and family, get some good food, and watch the Blue Shirts put on a show. With the unfortunate cancellation of the event last year, there is no better time to visit the Wood County Fairgrounds. Choosing to stay at the campground is the perfect way to experience the weekend in all its glory. With the sights and sounds within walking distance from the arena, relaxation has never been easier…but that’s not all there is at the Tractor Pulls. Trying out some of the delicious food stands for dinner, jamming out with the live bands, or making a few stops at the merchandising tent are a few ways to make the weekend even better.
Not only are there many things to do, but guests can also help make a difference while doing them. The Make A Wish Foundation of Northwestern Ohio and the Northwestern Ohio Tractor Pullers have partnered together for the past 25 years. The organization has several volunteers run throughout the stadium with collection buckets to help raise money. They also put on an auction for the families where vendors donate several items to get the whole community involved. This relationship has been able to grant 24 children their desired wish and give many families a weekend they will never forget.
The National Tractor Pulling Championships is definitely the place to be this summer. Experience some exhilarating pulls, enjoy some delicious food, create some long-lasting memories, and support a great cause all while doing so. The NTPC will take place at the Wood County Fairgrounds in Bowling Green, Ohio.
You don’t have to be born on a ranch to be born as a cowboy or cowgirl. One of the most accomplished ranches in the nation is in Medina County, Ohio. And it was started by a couple – Denny and Eileen Thorsell – who grew up as city kids in Cleveland. That said, they paid their dues in Texas and other western states before returning to the Buckeye State, and so did their kids.
Today, Creekbend Ranch in Burbank, Ohio is home to some of the best bulls and bull riders in the country. But it was a long and dusty ride before these professional rodeos in Northeast Ohio became a part of the largest sanctioned bull riding association. …Click here to read more.
My Photo of the Month
Did you know that Sidney, Ohio is the trailhead for the Great Miami Riverway, the longest paddle/pedal trail in the United States? This 99-mile water trail connects 19 communities along the Great Miami River beginning in Sidney and ending in Hamilton, Ohio. Designated by the United States Department of Interior as a National Water Trail, this distinction has been given to only 21 other trails in the country.
Now is the perfect time to plan your float. The Sidney to Piqua leg of the water trail is tranquil and scenic. Beautiful old growth oak, hickory, and poplar trees line the riverbank. Waterfowl and other species common to the riverway are prevalent. Small mammals and many varieties of fish are constant companions on your journey. Paddle enthusiasts will love this stretch of the Great Miami River. For a video preview, CLICK HERE.
Before you launch, why not fuel up with a hearty breakfast or tasty lunch in downtown Sidney. Local favorites include The Spot Restaurant and Alcove for breakfast. Lunch options offer the aforementioned plus Murphy’s Craftbar & Kitchen, BK Rootbeer Stand, Lee’s Chinese Cuisine, and Chilly Jilly’s.
For something fresh from the field or orchard, how about a stop at the Great Downtown Sidney Farmers Market? The market is open Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. till Noon where you’ll find the finest home grown, homemade items anywhere. Select market Saturdays feature live entertainment and other surprises you’re sure to enjoy.
For every recreation preference, the possibilities are many in Sidney. Visitors can select from 8 carefully prepared travel itineraries or build their own from a long list of things to see and do. Additional information about the many fine attractions in west-central Ohio can be found on the web site of the Sidney Visitors Bureau at www.VisitSidneyShelby.com. Sidney Ohio… We’re waiting for you.
A return to a new reality means a return to a simpler time, one in which many may reflect, restore, and rediscover the past to appreciate the way forward. Things that were once important may no longer be so, but at the core, heritage remains along with a yearning to discover it. Tucked into the foothills of the Ohio Valley lies a quaint and cozy village that brings to life the way of the world on the Nineteenth Century Ohio and Erie Canal. Turn back time and explore at Historic Roscoe Village.
While traveling has been put on the back burner for much of the country, Roscoe Village has been doing its part to achieve a responsible restart to ensure that the safety of guests and staff is the top priority. Many practices have been put into place throughout the village to maintain physical distancing while remaining social and indulging that inner travel bug. Occupancy levels at each historic building have been limited. It is requested that masks be worn by all of the village’s interpreters telling the tales of the historic canal town’s humble beginnings. In addition, all of the high touch point areas are regularly disinfected. Guests are encouraged to wear masks, too, but this is not a requirement while taking the tour or walking through the village.
While enjoying the tour, experience the renderings of life before a world of modern medicine while examining Dr. Maro Johnson’s office and his beautifully appointed home. Visit the craftsman’s house and see firsthand the workings of a master weaver demonstrating the art of loom weaving. The scent of earth and fire fills the air during the demonstration of forging techniques at the village smithy. And participate in a classroom lesson at the one-room schoolhouse.
New this season is the hands-on Hay Craft Learning Center. Experience the life of a craftsperson and try a hand at candle dipping, quilt square making, leather and tin punching, postmaster mail delivery, weaving, rope making, and more. Walk away with the perfect keepsakes and memories which may last a lifetime.
Stroll down the brick-paved sidewalks and discover an array of artisans and decadent sweets. There are 15 interesting shops and delicious eateries along the way. The entire village is landscaped for the enjoyment of visitors to open their eyes, walk a little slower, and take in all of the beauty that the gardens have to offer.
Don’t miss a relaxing glide on the Monticello III canal boat ride. Visitors are transported back in time while a team of draft horses pulls the canal boat along a restored section of the Ohio and Erie Canal. Listen to the captain as he tells tales of canal life in the 1800s. It is sure to be a highlight of the trip!
Make plans to attend the Annual Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival when Historic Roscoe Village celebrates the season of harvest. The streets are lined with craft and food vendors, traditional live music, and rich history on display. For all of the details on the attractions, shopping, dining, and upcoming events in Historic Roscoe Village, visit RoscoeVillage.com or call 740-622-7644.
This story is from a past edition of OhioTraveler
As warm weather returns to northeast Ohio, so do the Oberlin Heritage Center’s popular outdoor history walks. All ages can enjoy time outside and learn more about Oberlin’s unique history with the Freedom’s Friends: Underground Railroad & Abolitionist History Walk. This 90-minute guided walking tour will be offered every Saturday at 11am during the months of July and August. Prior to the Civil War, as many as 3,000 African Americans passed through or lived in Oberlin after escaping from slavery. Tour participants will hear powerful stories about Oberlin’s famous freedom seekers and those known to have helped them make their way to freedom on the Underground Railroad.
Tickets for individual history walks must be purchased in advance and are $6 for adults, and free for Heritage Center members, college students and children accompanied by adults. (Even when tickets are free, reservations still must be made in advance.) The Freedom’s Friends History Walk, as well as several other walking tours that focus on different themes in local history, also are available to groups of eight or more at other times by appointment. Descriptions of all themed history walks may be found at www.oberlinheritagecenter.org.
Summer also is an ideal time to experience the Heritage Centers self-guided tablet tours that are convenient and adaptable to individual interests. Simply borrow an iPad from the Oberlin Heritage Center between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, and learn about Oberlin in a “do-it-yourself” format. The Freedom’s Friends tour allows participants to move at their own pace through town and campus to learn about local monuments and discover new stories connected to Oberlin’s abolitionist history. The Picture the Past: Historic Downtown Oberlin tablet tour covers a one block radius extending from the corner of Main and College Streets and is filled with fun facts, historic photographs, and more! The fee is $5/hour or $20/day per tablet, with a 20% discount for OHC members.
Younger folks and the young-at-heart can also take part in some old-fashioned outdoor playtime at the Little Red Schoolhouse all through the summer months. The Heritage Center will have classic games such as ring toss, jump rope, hoops & sticks, spinning tops, and more available FREE during OHC’s open hours, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors just need to sign them out at the Monroe House (73½ South Professor Street) for use on the Heritage Center grounds. It’s a great way to unplug, relax, and enjoy fresh air and fun with family or friends.
All year round, the Heritage Center also offers the “Upstairs/Downstairs Tour” which includes stories from Oberlin’s 1833 founding through the turn of the 20th century set within the beautifully preserved Monroe House (1866), the Jewett House (1884) and the hands-on Little Red Schoolhouse (1836). These tours are offered every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and walk-ins are welcome. The “Sneak Peek” Oberlin Origins Tour – a mini-version of the full tour for those who have less time yet still want to hit the highlights – is available Tuesday through Saturday on a walk-in basis between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. These tours are free to OHC members, children and college students; otherwise $6/adult for the full tour or $3/adult for the mini-tour.
For reservations or to obtain more information about any of the Heritage Center’s tour experiences, please visit www.oberlinheritagecenter.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (440) 774-1700.
This month’s feature video showcases
Hillsboro, Ohio and Highland County
family adventures and fun featuring an Amish community, cascading waterfall, great parks and outdoor retreats, wildlife, boutique shopping, unique dining, historical sites, and so much more!
Enjoy the show.
Visitors are coming to Delaware County, Ohio, in search of long weekend getaways, history, art, outdoor sports and more. Now they are asking about a newly introduced adventure, the Delaware County Vine & Bine Trail. And they want to know: Vines? Sounds like a wine trail…but, what is “bine?”
The Vine does indeed refer to the type of stem on which grapes grow. The Bine in the title references the stem on which hops grow. Delaware County has developed quite a presence in the craft wine and craft beer industries. The owners of the wineries and breweries on this trail are blazing their own paths into unique and intriguing ales and vintages. They’re also finding people are more than willing to follow their visions and efforts…they are, after all, pioneers of this growing county industry and they excel at what they do.
The Vine & Bine Trail, which runs between the cities of Delaware and Powell, for now, is self-guided and can be started at any establishment (or Trail Host). Hosts provide visitors with background on and stories of their award-winning offerings. All of the wineries and breweries have interesting stories about their how and why they came into being, and what led to the names of various beverages. These people are dedicated to their crafts, and they love to tell you about their place, and their remarkable products!
Found on the Vine & Bine Trail are light and refreshing vintages, hoppy IPAs, full-bodied reds, sours, lagers, stouts, dessert wines, sangrias…something to please every palate. Some of the ear-catching names will entice visitors to try them. But the proof is in the glass, that these are worth coming back for again and again: Mr. Prince (a semi-dry red blend); Ill Monk; Trail Break; The Great Stoutdoors; Sweet Blanco Sangria; Reserve Syrah; Jetta’s Flying Snot; I Can’t Feel My Pants; English Flannel; Double RB Hazy; Autumn Harvest; Nouveau; Pacer; The Baron; Call me a Cab; Big Spender. Visitors can add their own list of favorites on the back on the Trail brochure, where a place for notes has been reserved. No matter where visitors begin their Trail, they will find incredible local flavors, hosts that love what they do, and memories that will habitually bring them back to Delaware County.
Visitors will be glad to find they can make their Vine & Bine memories last in a very tangible way: they can go home with favorites from their time on the Trail. Some breweries can their beer, and growlers are available at each taproom. All of the wineries also bottle their diverse vintages for enjoying later. Restaurants in the county also have taps dedicated to Delaware’s breweries…so visitors can pair a brew with their meals.
While the Vine & Bine Trail can be traversed any time of year, summer is a great time to start it. Many hosts have live music, special events, and a variety of food offerings throughout these warm months. Sip on your favorite red, white, or brew while getting to know your neighbors, relive old times with friends and family, and make new memories. Visitors will find that many of the offerings change seasonally, so they leave time for a fall or winter excursion as well.
It’s a great time to visit Delaware County and take in local seasonal drink and fare. And with this Trail available all year ‘round, travelers can make plans – or a last-minute decision! – to drop by, relax, and spend some time checking out the fruits of the vine… and bine!
And it can be found in Historic Zoar Village. A peaceful, three-acre garden in the center of the 18-century German village is considered by some to be Ohio’s Eden. The incredible beauty of the garden and the story behind the design give some credence to that idea.
The village of Zoar, Ohio was founded in 1817 by a group of about 300 people fleeing persecution by the state-sponsored church in Württemberg, Germany. After a couple of difficult years in a new land, the village residents decided to form a communal society so that everyone would be taken care of, regardless of age or physical ability. Their way of life lasted for around eighty years, making Zoar one of the nation’s longest lasting communal settlements.
For the Separatists, the Zoar Garden was a public manifestation of their faith. It was laid out geometrically in a very specific manner to represent the New Jerusalem as described in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 21. Visitors to the Garden today will see the same layout, carefully preserved for more than two centuries.
A large spruce tree in the center represents Christ, or everlasting life. It is also known as the “Tree of Life.” Surrounding the spruce are twelve smaller trees representing the Apostles of Christ. Radiating out from each small tree is a path representing one of the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel. An outer path that covers the perimeter of the Garden represents the world. Smaller paths crisscross the area between the outer path and the radiating paths. The story goes that these smaller paths represent the many paths people take during their lives, and the many ways they get sidetracked and lured away from a direct path to God. But no matter what paths a person chooses, there is always a way to get back to a path that leads to God and eternal life with him in Heaven.
Fruits, vegetables, and culinary and medicinal herbs were grown in the garden for the village residents. But it was primarily lush with flowers. It provided residents and visitors with a beautiful place to relax. This “lustgarden,” or “Garden of Happiness” was being touted by travelers who made their way to Zoar as early as 1829.
The Society of Separatists of Zoar disbanded in 1898, as outside influences brought to the village by way of the Ohio & Erie Canal and the advent of railroad travel. When the Society dissolved the center tree in the garden died. In the early 1900s, the garden was plowed under and for many years there were no flowers. Fortunately, the Garden was brought back to life, returning the beauty and tranquility of the original Garden of Happiness for both residents and visitors to once again enjoy.
Over the years, the Zoar Garden has become a favorite place for many young couples to tie the knot. It’s also a peaceful place for the local library to hold story time during the summer months.
The Zoar Garden is part of the Historic Zoar Village tour. Visitors to the village will find that the best time to view the Garden is between June and September. Hours of operation in the village vary by season, and the best way to make plans is to hop on their web site at https://historiczoarvillage.com/. The $10 tour ($4 for kids 5-12, free for 4 and under) includes the Garden and the beautiful Garden House, along with as many as six to seven other museums on any given day. If you do decide to visit, just remember that deer like to visit the garden as well, so please close the garden gate behind you.
Traveling isn’t only about the destination, it’s also about the journey. Every week, I am fortunate to experience something new as “The OhioTraveler.” But the exploration is also one of thoughts. Whether behind the wheel, on a trail, or water, my mind may wander.
I took this photograph of a relatively unknown waterfall near Hillsboro, Ohio. Later, in a notebook where I log my mileage, I jotted down the words overlaying the photo above.
Over the past 15 years, I have filled a drawer with such thoughts, inspired by the places I’ve visited. Soon, this collection will be published in book form. If you are interested in more writings like this, please email email@example.com.
Enjoy Outdoor Fun & Small Town Charm
Summertime and Atwood Lake have combined to bring families, friends, and blossoming romances an escape that will one day beckon a grin and the question: “Remember when…?”
Every visitor leaves as a storyteller, whether they are a kid, teen, young adult, parent, or grandparent. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been here once or dozens of times; the world just seems to brighten up. Along these shores, there doesn’t seem to be a worry in the world. The only pressure here is in a beach ball.
Activities on the water, in the water, or next to the water are just a few of the attractions. Whether it’s boating, fishing, swimming, dining, wine tasting, shopping, touring, or sleeping, the possibilities are as endless as the pebbles of sand at the beach. …Click here to read the full story.
Some of Ohio’s most interesting hand-built creations can be found right in someone’s backyard. Two of these artistic anomalies are the Temple of Tolerance in Wapakoneta and the Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield. These creative exhibits are open for self-tours all year (guided tours may be scheduled) and are completely free of charge. Both were created for the enjoyment of others. They stand as testaments of human creativity, proving that the work of a single person is capable of becoming an inspiring exhibit of art.
The Temple of Tolerance was created and is maintained by Jim Bowsher. Jim made the temple as a sanctuary of acceptance to bring people together. Built-in the middle of his backyard, the Temple of Tolerance consists of thousands of rocks, each individually photographed to preserve their unique backstories. The temple has a gathering place populated with benches and a fire pit. It took Jim an astounding 18 years of designing and hauling rocks to construct this outdoor masterpiece. Jim’s work also includes the massive eight-foot-tall tube on his property containing one bullet shell for every fallen soldier from Ohio since 1812. These shells were collected from Wapakoneta, New Bremen, and the Moulton Gun Club, all working together to make this feat possible. Jim made these unbelievable works with the intention to bring people together, and since the word has spread of his backyard wonder, it seems he has done just that.
The Hartman Rock Garden (Play Video) is another example of incredibly complex stone structures built simply in someone’s backyard. Harry George “Ben” Hartman is the man responsible for this creative art exhibit. Ben started learning mold-making at the young age of 16, and after being laid off in the Great Depression, he needed to find a way to keep himself active. After constructing a fishing pond in his backyard, Ben spent the following 12 years making new additions to the rapidly growing display. After Ben and his wife Mary passed away, the Kohler Foundation purchased and restored the rock garden and passed ownership on to the Friends of the Hartman Rock Garden, who keep it open to this day. The garden contains over 50 structures made of thousands of stones, including a replica of The White House and other themes of history, religion, and patriotism. The rock garden also has many flowers, plants, and figurines, all bringing the spectacle to life. Its long life of changing ownerships, and aided by generous visitor donations, the Hartman Rock Garden seems to defy time.
The Temple of Tolerance and Hartman Rock Garden are both tributes to the amazing things that can be achieved with nothing but passion for an idea. They both started off as nothing but an idea, but through years of development and labor became complete personal displays of ingenuity. Their completely original and innovative designs have been intriguing enough to bring people together from across the country. Sometimes the most interesting places to go are right in your neighbor’s backyard.
Plan your visit to these two Ohio backyard wonders. The Temple of Tolerance is located at 203 S. Wood St. in Wapakoneta, Ohio (Map It). For more information, call 419-738-4474. Hartman’s Rock Garden is located at 1905 Russell Avenue, Springfield, Ohio (Map It). For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hartmanrockgarden.org.
By Dominic Satullo
From canoeing to zip lining, an aerial adventure park to a round of golf, horseback riding and more; camping to castle or resort. Those are just a few adventures to look forward to in Mohican. Enjoy the year-round events and festivals that bring out the kid in everyone. Discover why Mohican rocks!
Summer is alive and well. The Fourth of July Weekend brings in a great crowd for a weekend full of events. Antique fair, The Loudonville Car Show, live entertainment and of course, fireworks. The 18th Century Colonial Trade Fair returns in August at Wolf Creek Grist Mill. Learn from participants and vendors in period costumes and tents on the history of the area and life back then. Live canon demonstrations and more to entertain kids of all ages. Every Saturday until October is the Live Birds of Prey at Mohican State Park Lodge. Free and open to the public, get up close to Ohio’s natural winged predators. The Mohican State Park’s naturalist also offers regular hikes and programs that are also free and open to the public. Landoll’s Mohican Castle is offering regular live entertainment to its guests dining at the Copper Mug Bar & Grille.
As autumn sets in, make sure to join on the Mohican Bluegrass Festival and Oktoberfest. The Mohican Bluegrass Festival hosts the best of Bluegrass Music in an outdoor venue with food, vendors and of course music. Oktoberfest is one of the area’s most popular event that brings in old-world style German atmosphere with live music, food and over 100 kinds of foreign and domestic beers. October will continue the fun with the Loudonville Street Fair. This free street fair five days full of family fun and entertainment.
Mohican 5K Run/Walk begins and ends along the bike path of Wally Road. The Mohican 5K Run/Walk benefits the Loudonville-Mohican bike path with proceeds helping to maintain the area’s bike path.
Plan to stay for a week or weekend. With over 4,000 campsites, private cabins, a castle, resort, and more. Take a stroll through downtown Loudonville for shopping and dining. Visit DiscoverMohican.com for more information or find them on Facebook – Discover Mohican.
For the first time, Northern Ohio Railway Museum offers
trolley rides on a Cleveland streetcar over 100-years-old
Enjoy streetcar rides at the Northern Ohio Railway Museum. A regular feature at the Museum is guided walking tours. New this year on the tour is a visit inside a restored 1954 Cleveland Transit System Rapid Transit car. Admission to the museum is free but a fee is charged to ride the streetcar.
Now, the public may ride a streetcar on the museum’s demonstration track (weather and car availability permitting). Tickets may be purchased in the museum store and are good for all day riding. The rides will commence on the hour beginning at 11am, with the last ride of the day occurring at 3pm.
On the tour, visitors will see a diversified collection of streetcars, interurbans, and rapid transit equipment from the Northern Ohio region. The oldest trolley car in the collection dates back to 1895. It was purchased by an area trolley tycoon that later became a famous Cleveland mayor. Visitors get to see the equipment that built and maintained the streetcar system. Learn the story of how photographers and dancers permitted these utilitarian cars to serve their employer in ways their designers never imagined.
The story of trolley freight is told through rare artifacts. Discover how the interurban became the farmer’s friend and gave him easy access to larger cities for his products. See the last wooden interurban car to leave Cleveland in 1938. Learn how a sleepy streetcar line built to promote real estate, morphed into a pioneer rapid transit line that still operates today. Finally see a 1970 rapid car that served the first Airport Rapid Transit Line in the western hemisphere. Many other fascinating stories abound at the museum and can be found on the tour.
A unique feature of the tour is a visit to the restoration shop. See how these grand treasures of our past are painstakingly disassembled and restored to like-new condition by skilled craftsmen and women. At present several projects are underway in varying stages of completion. Conditions permitting, visitors will have the opportunity to see the restoration underway and have the work being done explained.
The Northern Ohio Railway Museum’s mission is to collect, preserve, restore, display, and operate streetcars and other electric railway equipment for the education and enjoyment of the public. The museum owns forty-two acres of land in southern Medina County, including two miles of the former Cleveland and Southwestern interurban railroad. At this site the museum has built over a mile of track and three large buildings to house its collection of historic trolleys, interurbans, and rapid transit cars, most from the northern Ohio area. Five pieces of the collection have been restored and others are currently being restored.
In addition to the public tours, the museum has speakers available for civic and other community groups. The Museum’s state certified educator is also available to work with schools, youth, or civic groups on educational initiatives. Operation Lifesaver presentations are also offered by the Education Department. For further information on these public service programs, please contact the museum.
This excerpt is from a past edition of OhioTraveler
Have an Urban Adventure in Grove City
Summertime means longer days and more time to do the things you love. Spend time outdoors and have an urban adventure this summer in Grove City.
Explore Central Ohio’s Scioto Grove, which is situated along the picturesque Scioto River. Follow the winding river as you hike along miles of trails. Scioto Grove is the first park in the U.S. to be sponsored by outdoor retailer, REI, which helped to fund the creation of a backpacking trail along the river with five campsites. The REI River Trail allows visitors to experience an overnight backpacking trip, while still being close to the city.
Get your game on in Grove City at LVL UP Sports and Kickmaster Footgolf. LVL UP Sports is a paintball adventure park featuring unique paintball fields and courses, including wooded courses, themed fields, and x-ball. Kickmaster Footgolf is the first dedicated footgolf course in the U.S. Never heard of footgolf? It’s basically golf, but played with a soccer ball. There will even be glow-in-the-dark footgolf on Friday and Saturday nights.
Awaken your senses at Gantz Park as you walk through the Gardens of Yesterday, Today, or Tomorrow, where you can learn about horticulture through time, including how plants were used for fragrance, medicine, dyes, and culinary purposes. Then, venture through the arboretum to learn about different tree species.
Get up-close and personal with nature at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, where you can see a herd of eleven bison roam restored prairie fields. Then, learn about the history of the land at the state-of-the-art Nature Center, which features an interactive living stream. For your next adventure, paddle down the Big Darby Creek River, a National and State Scenic River. Begin your trip at Trapper John’s Canoe Livery, where you can rent a canoe, kayak, or inner tube. Then, enjoy a leisurely ride down the river and see if you can spot any unique animals or plants along the way–it’s a highly preserved riparian ecosystem with tons of biodiversity.
After your urban adventure, quench your thirst at Hop Yard 62, a craft beer taproom boasting twenty one rotating taps. Visit them on a Friday night, when they have live music and a food truck or check out their other unique events during the week. Or head to Plum Run Winery, where their vintages come from the only working vineyard in Franklin County. Have a flight or food and wine pairing while you enjoy beautiful weather on the patio. The winery will soon have a new neighbor–the Grove City Brewing Company, so stay tuned for even more craft beer coming to Grove City!
Whether you’re into backpacking, green living, paintballing, footgolf, bison, or kayaking, Grove City is a place where you are free to roam. Plan your urban adventure trip to Grove City and book your stay now!
Great Mohican Pow-Wow is a national standout in Native American Pow-Wows. It features accomplished musicians, custom dancing and colorful ceremonial dress. Adding to its authenticity, the event is nestled in secluded wooded hills creating the perfect backdrop to this beautiful annual celebration. Entertainment dazzles with fire-starters, tomahawk throwers, storytellers, hoop dancers, colorful ceremonial dress and more. In addition, there are Native American foods to enjoy and original creations by more than 40 traders, artisans and crafters. These wares include pottery, bead working, quill working, fur trading, wood and bone carving, leather work, basket weaving, clothes making and jewelry. Complete information is available at mohicanpowwow.com.
This excerpt is from a past edition of OhioTraveler
If you are cruising the countryside in scenic Geauga County, there’s a new view to take in.
In Pleasant Hill, Ohio, at Merrit Road and Aquilla you can’t help but notice a most colorful sight, a beautiful new Barn Quilt adding to the popular Geauga Barn Quilt Trail.
The 8ftx8ft quilt square was a gift to this county home from the Geauga County Farm Bureau.
“We felt the county home farm was a part of our county’s agricultural history and that it should be showcased with a quilt,” said Ed Rumburg Geauga County Farm Bureau President.
The pattern is entitled “Laced Star” and was mutually decided on by Rumburg, Karen DiCola, Pleasant Hill Home Administrator; and Reba Dykes who painted the quilt.
The property has been owned by the county since 1839 when the Geauga Commissioners bought the original tract of land, for $2,400 and spent an additional $698 to build the first home. (It was in 1816, that county commissioners were given the authority to build “Poor houses.”) A portion of the original building still stands but is now used for storage. The original farmhouse that was on the property when purchased also still stands and is used as office space.
In the early days, County Homes, known as “Poor Houses”, and later as “Infirmaries”, were working farms with residents helping with daily chores. As times changed, more & more social service programs became available to those in need and County Homes evolved to become either assisted living type homes or nursing homes. Pleasant Hill has chosen to provide assisted living type services.
In the 1880s, the original building began to deteriorate. By 1885, it was approved to build a new, red brick building at the same location. There have been additions, renovations. Pleasant Hill Home is committed to offering a welcoming, homey place to live for Geauga County’s residents.
Ironically the placement of the Barn Quilt makes it very visible to everyone, except the residents of Pleasant Hills Home, but Karen DiCola has already got that covered. She has purchased a smaller Barn Quilt Square also painted by Dykes to beautify their chicken coop so residents can see it as they do chores and stroll the grounds. This one a patriotic red, white and blue to give the roosters reason to stand up and crow!
The county home is located at 13211 Aquilla Rd, or where Merrit ends in Aquilla. To find out more about the Geauga County Barn Quilt Trail, or to get a Barn Quilt on your barn or business, click here.
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
Transport yourself back in time to when flying was a wonder and a joy to behold. You can see the fine details of the landscape below – things you never noticed from a plane before because everything is up close and personal. Feel the wind on your face, and smell the flowers and fields below. The roar of the engine is all you can hear. Easy to fly … rugged and sturdy … and above all else, dependable … WACO earned the right to rank with the greatest airplanes ever built. The result was an aircraft that offered thrilling levels of performance together with luxurious accommodation. This is what WACO airplanes were designed for.
Founded in 1921 as Weaver Aircraft Company and located in Lorain, OH, the WACO Aircraft Company relocated to Troy in March 1923. It was the first aircraft company to use assembly line production and shock strut landing gear. Leading all civilian aircraft production at a ratio of two to one from 1927-1929, the company had sales distributors in 24 countries worldwide. The United States government became the prime contractor of WACO Aircraft Company’s troop/cargo gliders (CG-4A) used extensively during World War II. The company also managed the United States Army’s glider program for 15 companies that produced gliders nationwide. The last WACO, model W “Aristocraft” was built in Troy in June 1947.
The WACO Air Museum and Learning Center is located at 1865 S Co Rd 25A in Troy, OH and is Miami County’s best-kept secret. The WACO Aircraft Company was the largest manufacturer of civil aircraft in the country in the late 1920’s and early 30’s and was the region’s largest employer. The museum is dedicated to the preservation of the WACO Aircraft Company and the employees that made it great during the Golden Age of Flight. WACO is located right in the middle of the Aviation Trail which goes from Dayton to Wapakoneta, where there are numerous sites of interest.
The Learning Center strives to promote STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) through its many programs for students throughout the year. Lectures of aviation interest held each month draw quite a crowd. The highlight of the entire year is a photographers dream with the WACO Homecoming and Fly-In. This is the opportunity for WACO’s to return to their origins. Many other vintage aircraft also fly in to be part of the weekend celebration. There will be a children’s tent on Saturday with lots of activities. The Barnstormers radio control group thrill the crowd with a demonstration of their power and agility. A group of Model A cars will also be on hand to view and photograph. WACO bi-plane rides will take place all weekend.
Some of what you will see at the museum:
WACO is handicap accessible and has 2 wheelchairs on site. Group tours are also available and can be scheduled by calling 937-335-9226. Visit http://www.homegrowngreat.com/ for more information about WACO and the surrounding area.