September Archives

My Most Memorable Diner in Ohio

My parents moved from the big city of Cleveland to what was then the sleepy farm town of Avon Lake before the I-90 freeway stretched that far west. Mom took a break from being a secretary while my sister and I were preschoolers. Dad drove Lake Road daily to get to his tool and die factory job in The Land. There and back, he’d see the alluring roadside family diner in Rocky River – Bearden’s, advertising their famous steakburger – always fresh, never frozen! – since 1948.

We were the signature blue-collar household from back in the day. Eating out was a true treat. And we only did it once per week, on Friday, for supper. There was always an air of excitement when we’d pile into the car without our seatbelts, roll down the windows, and feel the crisp breeze coming off Lake Erie, waves glimmering in the golden hour.  Mom and Dad would laugh—argue—laugh in a weekly ritual that washed away their stress and paved the way for a weekend to get lost in. It usually started with the lit-up sign appearing through the windshield, luring my sister and me to cross the territorial imaginary line in the middle of the backseat to take in the ceremonial view, smile, and then retreat to our corners, saying, “Eww, don’t touch me!”

Inside, we always grabbed a booth, plopped down, and waited for the waitress (always the same lady) while the model train wowed my sister and me with its loops around the dining room from overhead. We never needed a menu. We ordered the same thing time after time. Dad got the steakburger with everything, fries, and Coca-Cola. Oh, and a side salad. The rest of us got the Kiddie Special – yes, even Mom. She said the proportions were more to her liking. Afterward, Dad ordered shakes all around.

For this hour per week, life was never better.

Try it. Bearden’s is still there—now a cool, cheerful, remodeled retro 1950s roadside diner that’s been kid-friendly since 1948!

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun 

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OhioTraveler’s Drive-in Theater

Welcome to Ohio’s virtual drive-in movie theater. Ohio tourism videos are always playing. A new feature is added every other week. Tune in and see the coming attractions or what’s playing now on a social media platform near you. It’s a great way to visit before you go by watching entertaining videos on Reels, TikTok, YouTube Shorts, etc. Be sure to follow us on your favorite channels and share the fun.


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Ride the Rails This Fall

Step back in time on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway this fall.

Family fun is only a train ride away on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. Passengers will make tracks to history when they ride this historic tourist railroad located in Nelsonville, Ohio, near the Hocking Hills.

The HVSR is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that offers historic train rides between Nelsonville and Logan along a former Hocking Valley Railway section. The Nelsonville area was once rich in coal mining and brick production.

This fall, the railroad will offer diesel-powered historic train rides every Saturday and Sunday through the end of October. The popularity of fall colors even prompts the addition of extra trains on Thursdays and Fridays throughout October. The railroad’s fully operational steam locomotive, No. 3, is slated to pull steam specials on Nov. 4 and 5 and should be sporting a recently purchased 5-chime whistle.

Aside from its regular trips, there will be several themed trains this fall, including a pizza and pop train on Sept. 8 to honor a deceased volunteer, an elegant dinner train on Sept. 23, a caboose train on Oct. 7, and a Halloween train on Oct. 28. For the Halloween Train, passengers of all ages are encouraged to come in costumes. Some of the railroad’s volunteers might even be in costume. Children can “trunk or treat” after the ride and visit the haunted train car.

The railroad also has some trains in store for the holiday season. The popular Santa Trains will begin on Nov. 25 and run on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in December before Christmas Eve. Aboard the heated train, passengers will be visited by Santa Claus, who will also distribute candy canes. Some friends may even join Santa. The train will be decorated inside and out. The popular New Year’s Eve Train is also back this year. Passengers will have the option of either riding a car with wine and cheese (21+) or one with pizza and pop. A fireworks display at midnight will help usher in 2024.

Reservations are highly encouraged or required for the railroad’s specialty trains and can be purchased at either or (855) 32DEPOT. Folks should watch the railroad’s Facebook and Instagram accounts for any additional dinner trains, steam specials, or other specialty trains that may be added throughout the year.

Passengers on the HVSR are treated to vintage passenger cars from various railroads. The cars were built between 1916 and the early 1960s. One car was built for branchline trains, while three others were built for commuter trains. Some of the railroad’s cars were built for long-distance trains and currently feature air-conditioning. There is even a 1950 dining car used on the dinner trains. Three passenger cars are former freight cars converted to open-air cars.

The railroad owns six vintage diesel locomotives and one steam locomotive. The diesel locomotives were built between 1944 and 1957, and three are currently in operating condition. One diesel, Chesapeake and Ohio No. 5833 is identical to locomotives that operated in Nelsonville during the 50s and 60s. In April, the HVSR purchased a 1956 diesel switcher from an industry in Columbus, Ohio. The locomotive will soon be moved to Nelsonville by rail and will receive some minor repairs upon arrival. Once repaired, it will begin a new career hauling passengers.

The railroad’s steam locomotive, No. 3, was built in 1920 for Beech Bottom Power Company in West Virginia and was in service until 1968. The locomotive was donated to the HVSR in 1982, and its restoration commenced 19 years later. The volunteer-led restoration was completed in 2015.

Aside from the steam locomotive, restoration projects have ranged from rebuilding a diesel locomotive to restoring passenger cars. The current major shop project is converting an ex-Canadian Pacific coach into a table car for use on the dinner trains.

The railroad’s history dates to the mid-1800s as the Nelsonville area’s coal industry developed at a fast pace. The Hocking Canal could not keep up with the coal industry’s rapid development. Ground was broken for the railroad in Columbus in 1867, and it reached Nelsonville in 1869. The railroad’s arrival helped bring an economic boom to the coal-rich region. Nelsonville once had over 40 mines and mining communities. Brick production was also a prominent industry in the Nelsonville area that thrived with the railroad. On board the train, passengers will see several historic sites, such as brick kilns, a canal lock, and an old company town named Haydenville. Haydenville was named after industrialist Peter Hayden, who incorporated the Haydenville Mining and Manufacturing Company to produce clay products from rich clay. Many company houses are still standing and can be seen from the train. A round silo brick house and the Haydenville Methodist Church can also be seen from the train. The Church incorporates more than 24 types of brick and tile pieces.

This fall, plan to step back in time aboard the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.

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Daytrip & Weekend Getaways

September is a wonderful time to Visit Coshocton, Ohio! Just a short drive from Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, Coshocton is perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway.

The Flint Ridge Knap-In is coming to Coshocton County Fairgrounds September 1 – 4, 2023! This popular event attracts skilled flintknappers from around the country. During the weekend, attendees can watch flintknapping demonstrations, participate in workshops and classes, and browse vendors selling flint and related supplies. The Flint Ridge Knap-In is a great opportunity to learn more about the ancient art of flintknapping, see skilled artisans at work, and connect with others interested in archaeology, history, and primitive skills. For more information, visit Flint Knappers.

The Sip and Stay Thursday Package is a great way to safely experience local wine and beer in Coshocton County. Available only on Thursdays throughout September and October, this affordable package includes a standard room and free hot breakfast for two guests at Coshocton Village Inn & Suites, vouchers to four locations, and transportation provided by Cork & Tap Excursions. Guests will visit Wooly Pig Farm Brewery, Raven’s Glenn Winery & Restaurant, Baltic Mill Winery, and YOLO Winery. Reserve your package, call Coshocton Village Inn & Suites at 740-622-9455. Availability is limited. Details may be found at

Coshocton’s Three Rivers Wine Trail includes seven wineries and a brewery, all within a scenic drive of one another. Get a friend to be your DD on this self-driven trail, or hire Cork & Tap Excursions to drive while you enjoy the Wine Trail! Be sure to pick up a free passport and have it signed at each location to earn your FREE exclusive Three Rivers Wine Trail T-shirt! Each location is individually owned, so that hours will vary. Follow the Three Rivers Wine Trail Ohio Facebook and Instagram to catch the Wine Trail Weekend Lineup posted every Thursday; all the live music, food trucks, and special events will be listed there.

Historic Roscoe Village has something for everyone along its charming brick-lined street. The Living History Tour is a can’t-miss experience when visiting Coshocton. This self-guided walking tour immerses you in the history of an early Ohio and Erie Canal town. Kids of all ages can try vintage craft-making like candle dipping, weaving, and rope making as a part of their tour experience. The village is also filled with locally owned shops, restaurants, and a nationally accredited museum to complete the day. Historic Roscoe Village’s Fall Homeschool Days are September 7 – 8, 2023. Kids can spend the day meeting the blacksmith, broom-maker, doctor, doctor’s wife, weaver, and teacher. The day also includes visiting the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, five different crafts, and a Monticello III Canal Boat ride. Details may be found at

Beer Maze and Wine Your Way Out at Coshocton KOA are annual favorites for the over-21 crowd. These exclusive events take tasters through the twisty rows of McPeek’s Mighty Maze’s 5-acre corn maze. In hidden corners, discover the secret treasures of the maze: Ohio-made craft beer or Ohio-made wine! You may never want to find your way out. Finish the night with food trucks, live music, and your favorite beer/wine at the cash bar. The Beer Maze is one day only, September 9, 2023.

Wine Your Way Out is September 16, 23, and 30.

Our Town Coshocton’s last 2023 Summer Concert series concert is on September 17, with 7 Bridges, an Eagles Tribute Band. The concert is free to the public.

For those looking ahead to cooler weather and fall colors, save these dates for upcoming events in Coshocton County:

  • Harvest Days at Schumaker Farms: Every Saturday & Sunday in October
  • McPeek’s Mighty Maze: October 7, 14, 21, 28
  • Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival: October 20 – 22
  • Fall Farm & Foliage Tour: October 21 – 22
  • Roscoe Christmas & Candlelighting Ceremony: December 2 & 9 has all the details about events, attractions, shopping, and dining. Call today to request your free information package at 800-338-4724.

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Northeast Ohio Fall Family Fun

There’s nothing like a brisk hike in the woods through the crisp autumn air and maybe taking part in a festival or visiting a farm to recharge your batteries. And there’s no place better to do it than Medina County.

Enjoy the Foliage

The Medina County Fall Foliage Tour, a county tradition since 1968, enables participants to drive the route themselves. Held during the second full weekend of October, each year, the tour highlights up to fifteen places, including farms, agribusinesses, historical societies, special events, and other venues.

Visitors interested in putting their hiking boots to good use can trek through Medina County’s many parks. Explore Hubbard Valley Park’s placid lake and woodsy trails or the Susan Hambley Nature Center at Brunswick Lake.  You can enjoy the beauty of Lake Medina Park’s 105-acre lake or stroll along the nature trails in River Styx Park, where hundreds of neo-tropical songbirds migrate each year from Central America. Allardale Park offers a variety of hiking trails rated from easy to moderate to difficult that can put your pulse in the aerobic zone.

Attend Fall Events

What better way to spend a gorgeous Fall Sunday than strolling through charming towns while browsing handcrafted and vintage goods? It all happens on October 8th – so mark your calendar! Start your day in Medina at the Heart & Home Marketplace in Medina Public Square from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Shop goods by local craftspeople while enjoying live music, food trucks, yard games, and lots more.

Then head to Seville for A Gathering in the Village from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Held by Rustewelle Design House, the event will feature vintage wares, baked goods, homegrown products, plantings, decor, jewelry, and clothing.

Have Fun on the Farm

Medina County’s local farms are great fall destinations. In Valley City, you can explore Beriswill Farms and its pumpkin patch, corn maze, and farm market. And maybe even put in an order for a side of beef to get you through the coming winter! To pick your own pumpkins, peaches, and apples, visit Richardson Farms in Medina.

When ready for an activity-packed adventure, head to Mapleside Farms in Brunswick for their Pumpkin Village and Fall Festivals. Starting mid-September and running through October, Mapleside’s Pumpkin Village is 100 acres of family fun, including a giant jump pillow, corn mazes, hayrides, and a 311-foot super slide.

Explore the possibilities in Medina County at

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Lehmans Fall Fun

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 nationwide.  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

Marvel at the non-electric appliances like wood heating and cooking stoves; shop in the year ‘round Christmas store; enjoy the toy room and food samples in the pantry; appreciate the oil lamps and lanterns; and spend time in the massive housewares department that has been recently remodeled.  Enjoy snacks, sandwiches, desserts, and specialty drinks at Lehman’s Café, conveniently located in the center of the store.

Kick off fall with the best of family fun at Lehman’s!  For details on all the events hosted by Lehman’s, please visit

Freeze Drying Workshop
September 2, from 2 to 3 pm, $25 per ticket

Want to learn more about freeze-drying? In this class, Learn from Cari Dunn of “Simple Humble Homesteading in Ohio” what freeze drying is and how the Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer works.  Cari will also cover what can and cannot be frozen, how to store freeze-dried food, and how long it lasts. Cari will also share tips for running your freeze dryer more efficiently and troubleshooting common problems. And, of course, enjoy some samples!  Get tickets at

Fall Festival
September 16, from 10 am to 3 pm, free

Enjoy fall festivities and seasonal foods at Lehman’s Fall Festival.

It features free activities for the children from 10am – 3pm like face painting and pumpkin decorating, watch fall-themed demonstrations, and indulge in seasonal favorites in Lehman’s café.   Taste some treats cooking on the grill and register to win a gift basket.

Honeytown, the popular local folk band, will perform in the store for free from 10 am to 1 pm.   Their toe-tapping instrumental and vocal music is always a crowd favorite.

Cow cuddling?  Yes, please! Ever see a cute cow and just want to give him a cuddle? Well now you can from 10am – 2pm ($5 per group photo). Meet Hoss; this sweet, beautiful bovine will be at Lehman’s to interact with customers. Come take a picture, pet, or cuddle Hoss the Cow. He will even have merch for sale!

Be sure to check out the newly remodeled housewares department during your visit. With new fixtures (yes, those lights are made from pressure canner lids!), new floors, and products, this area has everything you need for baking, cooking, food preservation, and an impressive assortment of cast iron.

Outdoor Expo
October 7, from 10am to 3 pm, free

The great outdoors will be celebrated at Lehman’s on October 7, 2022. Welcome to the second annual Outdoorsman Expo.

Engage with key vendors who will be featuring their practical products and tools.  Register for gift baskets, enjoy food samples, and take advantage of special pricing for this one-day event.

You can also watch seasonal demonstrations and learn from the experts about maple syrup, beekeeping, bird watching, cooking over an open fire, making cider from freshly picked apples, and more.

Meet the Artist is free from 9:30am to 2pm.

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 need to see them in person!

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Your Ultimate Fall Adventure

It’s time to dive into a season of thrilling fall adventures! Grove City, Ohio, is the perfect destination for all your fall adventure needs. From classic autumn festivities to exhilarating paintball games and serene kayaking trips, a weekend getaway while staying in one of the city’s 18 hotels is just what you need.

Grove City Pumpkin Trek: A Celebration of All Things Fall

The pumpkin is the quintessential fall icon, and what better way to honor it than by participating in the annual Grove City Pumpkin Trek? Spanning two months, September 1st through October 31st, this citywide endeavor will give you all the autumn vibes. Here’s how it works:

  • Get your “Trek Guide” from any participating store or the visitor center, like the Grove City Guide + Gear (note: limited hours, so do check in advance), or utilize the online passport to streamline your experience.
  • Every fall-themed purchase from a listed business earns you a certain number of points.
  • Once you’ve reached a particular point threshold, you can then redeem your points for three different prizes, worth different amounts of points. Stop by the visitor center to claim your prize while supplies last!

Whether you’re into pumpkin-infused delicacies, unique home decorations, or deliciously scented fall candles, the Pumpkin Trek promises something for everyone’s taste.

Digital Delights: Pumpkin Trek

Taking a modern spin on the traditional trek, this year introduces the digital version of the Pumpkin Trek. No app download is needed, making your journey smoother and more accessible. However, printed trek cards are still available for those who cherish the tactile experience. Access the digital platform at The 2023 Pumpkin Trek is active from September 1st to October 31st, with prize redemptions open until November 22nd. Check out the digital pass at

Participating Businesses: Grove City Guide & Gear; Grove City Nutrition; Transcend Coffee; Strawser’s Ice Cream, Pop & Candy Shop; Columbus Keto; The Garden Bar; Broadway Fireplace & Décor; Cimi’s Bistro; Kirk’s Farm Market; Creekside Café; and Circle S Farms.

LVL UP Your Game at Valken Village

Thrill-seekers, this one’s for you! Visit LVL UP Sports Paintball Park, home to the Midwest’s largest paintball castle, Valken Village. This unique, multi-tiered castle offers diverse gaming experiences. And with various custom structures peppered throughout, you’re in for a paintballing treat. And if you’re up for it, scaling the 100 ft walls could just give you that winning advantage.

Admire the Scenic Beauty of Scioto Grove Metro Park

Elevate your view and see prime fall foliage from a bird’s eye perspective at the park’s designated drone field. The REI River Trail offers a 1.8-mile urban backpacking trail for those inclined towards terrestrial adventures. Perfect for novices or those looking for a brief starlit escapade. Pitch a tent at one of the tent pads and make the most of the outdoors. Note: For details and reservations, visit

Paddle Away at Trapper John’s Canoe Livery

If water adventures are more your style, embark on a canoe or kayak journey from Trapper John’s Canoe Livery to explore the National Scenic Rivers, the Little and Big Darby Creeks. Choose from five diverse self-guided trips and let nature steer your course. It’s another great way to enjoy the fall colors while getting on the water one last time before colder weather rolls in.

Pizza Trek: For the Culinary Explorer

For those whose cravings lean towards the culinary, Grove City has a cheesy, crispy, and utterly delicious adventure – the Grove City Pizza Trek. This unique experience is designed for pizza aficionados, families, and anyone looking to indulge in one of the world’s favorite dishes. As with the Pumpkin Trek, the Pizza Trek comes with its own set of rewards. Each slice you savor or pizza you purchase will get you closer to earning a prize. Collect enough stamps, turn in your trek at Visit Grove City, and walk away with a free Pizza Trek souvenir.

Grove City awaits you this fall!

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Southern Ohio Fall Getaways

Highland County, Ohio, is a favorite destination for day trips, weekend getaways, and extended vacations in the foothills of Appalachia. Located within 65 miles of Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus, visitors can enjoy an unforgettable weekend away after just a short drive on any of the five major state roadways that connect in the center of the county.

Active visitors will truly enjoy all the opportunities that await in Highland County. With two state parks, nature preserves, and many walking trails, there is something for everyone who enjoys outdoor adventure. Highland County offers boating, fishing, or kayaking options in one of the creeks or lakes. Bike paths, disc golf, recreational parks, and golf courses are popular spots among residents and visitors.

Fall brings a variety of fun-filled, family-friendly activities within the borders of Highland County. Karnes Orchards is a family-owned fruit orchard and on-site market specializing in apples and cider. B Williams Farms LLC near Leesburg offers a variety of family-friendly activities at their farm. They have pumpkins, gourds, and mums for purchase and various activities for kids.

Highland County trails offer a variety of skill levels, and fall is a perfect time to experience the beautiful changing leaves while hiking through breathtaking views. Fallsville Wildlife Area allows hikers to experience a spectacular waterfall display. Both state parks, Rocky Fork State Park and Paint Creek State Park, invite outdoor enthusiasts to meander the trails through mature woodlands and open meadows. Fort Hill, in southern Highland County, boasts 11 miles of trails among the home of several impressive prehistoric Indian earthworks. Highlands Nature Sanctuary is home to a variety of trails for all skill levels on the 2,800-acre preserve. Hikers can study stunning rock formations, ancient trees, and a variety of species of stunning wildflowers.

Overnight accommodations in Highland County range from adventurous camping to luxurious bed-and-breakfast cottages or cabins in remote wooded areas. Stay a night, stay a week, but be prepared to relax and refresh, as Highland County is a gateway to a getaway in Southern Ohio. Lodging options are available for as few as one guest and multiple families. There are also fall camping events at Rocky Fork State Park, Paint Creek State Park, and the Highland County Fair that are always fun for guests of all ages.

With an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, area restaurants offer a wide range of dishes at reasonable prices for every budget. You can also sample the fresh produce at our local farmer’s markets, take a trip to one of the many Amish or Mennonite stores, or bring the kids (young or old) for small-town sweet treats. A local favorite is Terry’s Ice Cream Dairy Bar in Lynchburg, home to the famous Terry’s Crazy Shakes.

Shopping options include everything from handmade crafts to specialty boutique clothing and cosmetics. Many of Highland County’s shops also include items from local artisans and bakers.

Explore everything Highland County offers by booking your next hike, day trip, or weekend getaway! Additional ideas, sample trip itineraries, a calendar of events, and much more can be found at

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Cornering An American President

Cornering Ohio…

My son looked out his side window and said, “Wow!” He was surprised to see a Washington D.C.-type monument pop into view as we navigated the streets of an Ohio small town – Marion – returning from his college graduation. My son isn’t easily impressed, but he wanted to pull off and explore this lovely 10-acre site. He had nodded off, and when he opened his eyes to see the stunning white marble memorial against the lush green grass and trees framing the grounds, he must have thought we were visiting his sister again in the nation’s Capital.

At the corner of Delaware Ave. and Vernon Heights Blvd. in Marion, Ohio, lies our 29th President and his wife in a wonderous circular monument akin to something you may see in Greece. The marble steps lead to the open-air cloister at its center. Atop the grass are the tombs of our 29th President of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding, and former First Lady Florence Mabel Harding.  Harding lived in rural Ohio most of his life except for his years in the White House from 1921 to 1923.  His presidential term was cut short, and he died of a heart attack. He was a popular president, but his legacy is marred by scandals that surfaced later.

Nearby are the For more “Cornering Ohio” and other blog posts, visit

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun

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Leaf Your Worries Behind

Autumn brings vibrant colors, brisk mornings, and a gentle breeze that rustles through the trees scattering leaves along the countryside. This is the perfect time of the year for fall-loving getaways to the Appalachian foothills! Upon arrival, one of the first things you’ll notice is how these hills surround Chillicothe to provide the perfect background for your autumn getaway. These hills are ablaze during peak leaf color conditions in a kaleidoscope of colors.

The season brings fun in many ways including a weekend of family activities on Hirsch’s Fruit Farm during their annual Apple Harvest Open House. This weekend is filled with everything apple! Tour the orchard to see where the apples are grown and taste a wide variety of them grown on-site, along with their apple cider. There are plenty of activities for kids to participate in on the farm. They can take part in making their own scarecrow, paint a pumpkin, or have fun with a round bale romp just to name a few.

For a spookier feel to get you into the Halloween spirit, tour through several buildings in downtown Chillicothe during the annual Ghost Walk. As you are led through each location on the walk, you’ll hear about the building’s history and the paranormal mystery surrounding it. You can also test your sleuthing skills during Adena Mansion & Garden’s annual Murder Mystery Dinner. Each year features a new mystery that will take you through the mansion and along the beautiful gardens of Adena to meet quirky characters. You’ll use the information you hear from each character to piece together the clues to solve the mystery.

Something new you’ll be able to experience in September will have you soaring to new heights over Ross County with the Fly the Ford event at the Ross County Airport. Take part in the excitement of the 1920s when you fly aboard a Ford Tri-Motor plane that was originally the first luxury airliner in its day. There will be 30-minute flights available throughout the four-day event, and even if you prefer to stay on the ground, you can view the aircraft to see how things have changed in aviation over the past century.

The calendar flips to October; the Halloween season is in full swing with several haunted attractions, festivals, and live entertainment. When Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre goes dark after the season ends for “Tecumseh!” Outdoor Drama transforms into Haunted Mountain. This year features stories from a Vampire’s assistant, his collection of curiosities haunted trail, and his escape rooms. The play that is performed during the event shows an aging, jaded theatre critic recounting his obsession with a young actress leading to a journey into the macabre world of Vampires. If that isn’t enough to scare you, visit The Last Carnival haunted house and trail. This haunt features over 5,000 square feet of indoor scares and over 100,000 square feet of outdoor maze and woods. Make it through the end to avoid becoming part of the carnival.

For some family-friendly fall fun, time your visit during one of the festivals in October. The Chillicothe Halloween Festival takes place in Yoctangee Park in downtown Chillicothe and has tons of activities for the whole family such as bounce houses, escape rooms, live entertainment, and costume contest just to name a few. You can also celebrate the autumn season like a local at Ross County’s oldest festival in Bainbridge; the Fall Festival of Leaves. You’ll be entertained by local and regional musicians, many food options, and a wide variety of vendors. The festival winds down with an amazing parade. Make sure to take one of the Skyline Drives self-guided tours that will take you through the Paint Valley region, providing beautiful fall foliage views.

Unwind and relax as you surround yourself in the beauty of autumn’s colors and feel the crunch of leaves under your feet along 200 miles of trails. Whether you’re looking for a challenging mountain bike trail or an easy-going trek to observe nature wonders, you’ll have a choice of five State Parks, a National Park, and many county and city parks. Visit Buzzard’s Roost Nature Preserve to see a breathtaking view of vertical sandstone and shale cliffs and amazing views of the foliage into the beautiful Paint Creek gorge.

Autumn shows how beautiful it is to let things go, so release your stress and live in the moment! Start planning your visit online at or by downloading the official Visit Chillicothe Ohio mobile app today!

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Welcome Home To Tuscarawas County!

Explore Like A Local
Welcome Home To Tuscarawas County! 

The Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau likes to share with folks that the county is filled with small towns that tell big stories. A case in point is the beautiful village of Sugarcreek where you can dance along with the Oompah-pah band of the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock which performs at the top and bottom of each hour. Afterward, discover the roots of the community at the Alpine Hills Museum and marvel at the artistry of the Brick Wall Sculpture which illustrates the tales of life in this scenic, Swiss heritage village. When you are ready to eat, enjoy local flavors at Park Street Pizza, Dutch Valley Restaurant, or Amish Country Donuts to name just a few of the local Sugarcreek favorites.

Bolivar stories go back to the construction of Fort Laurens- Ohio’s only Revolutionary War Fort. Learn the drastic measures the brave soldiers took to serve on the Ohio frontier at this volatile time. After taking in the history, enjoy browsing the antique shops in downtown Bolivar and feed your appetite at Canal Street Diner or Sublime Smoke. If you are ready for a cold brew, stop by Lockport Brewery and enjoy a handcrafted beer.

National Historic Landmark District, Historic Zoar Village has a big story to share! Known as America’s most successful Communal Society, residents began to call Zoar home in 1817 as residents arrived seeking religious freedom. Enjoy the architecture of the original brick and timber structures, the museums, bakery, and large garden. With special events throughout the year, you may even want to visit during one of their special event ghost tours to hear from one of the original residents! Hungry visitors will enjoy the tasty fare at Donnie’s Tavern or the Tin Shop Coffee House.

Dover has a downtown filled with friendly merchants and locally owned diners- not to mention a hand-crafted candy store, a cupcake shop, and several that provide offerings for your home! When ready to explore, stop by Riverfront Park to ride the artistically created swing or try your arm on their disc golf course! The museum offerings include an original Victorian Home, J. E. Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum; a museum sharing the life story of a master carver, the Warther Museum and Gardens; a museum mentioned in Ripley’s Believe It or Not that tells of stories of those who have passed at the Famous Endings Museums. Don’t leave without a sweet treat from Sugarfuse Bakery or enjoy a meal at Pangrazio’s, Mindy’s Diner, or El Pueblito Mexican Bistro. Dover has more than enough to do for a day or a few!

Travelers looking to add to their wardrobe will enjoy the shops in downtown New Philadelphia whose merchants offer styles for the whole family. With cafes, restaurants, bookstores, and art galleries, you will enjoy this city and its many boldly colored murals. Enjoy a live performance at the Performing Art Center located on the campus of Kent State University at Tuscarawas. Their show season is filled with favorites, headline acts, and even those lesser known, too. Historic Schoenbrunn Village is located on the east end of the city and tells the stories of David Zeisberger and his efforts to share Christianity with Delaware Indians. Downtown New Philadelphia is a food paradise with numerous local dining stops to please every craving – you won’t be leaving hungry!

The village of Gnadenhutten has a tragic story tied to Schoenbrunn Village. After you visit the museum, walk to the local café, Tents of Grace, and browse the home accessory shop just down the block, too.

Have you traveled to Dreamsville lately? Discover Dennison and take a tour of the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum to learn about this famous song’s tie to this Tuscarawas County community and the importance of this iconic American railroad depot. While you are there, enjoy a meal at the onsite Over the Rail diner, too.

Visit Uhrichsville and learn the tales preserved in the Uhrichsville Clay Museum which shares pieces of folk art and stories from American industrialization. Does an afternoon at a water park sound like a cool idea? Don’t miss the Uhrichsville Water Park for a good time with the whole family!

Newcomerstown is proud to share the stories of former residents Cy Young and Woody Hayes! Visit the Olde Main Street Museum while taking a step back in time to see the collections these favorite sons have on display.

Within the scenic rolling hills of the county are grand arts adventures, farm markets, trails, rock climbing, dog parks, and ice cream. Tuscarawas County is located in the heart of Appalachian Ohio and is the gateway to Ohio’s Amish Country. You will be warmly welcomed on your next visit, and exhausted from your adventures here; you will sleep comfortably in one of our many clean, comfortable lodging options!

Visit, call 800-527-3387, or stop by the Welcome Center at 124 East High Ave, New Philadelphia, to learn more.

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Lehman’s Wins Award

Lehman’s Wins 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award
Great Reviews Land it Among Travelers’ Favorites

Lehman’s has been recognized by Tripadvisor as a 2022 Travelers’ Choice award winner.  The award celebrates businesses that have received great traveler reviews from travelers around the globe on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year was, Lehman’s stood out by consistently delivering positive experiences to travelers.

“We are thrilled to win the Traveler’s Choice Award,” said Glenda Lehman Ervin, daughter of company founder Jay Lehman, and Director of Marketing. “The wonderful reviews we receive on Trip Advisor are a cherished part of our brand and we read every single one.”

To see traveler reviews and popular products and activities at Lehman’s, visit Lehman’s (Kidron) – All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go at

Lehman’s has also been voted the Best Destination in Ohio’s Amish Country for five years in a row.  With a robust schedule of family-friendly events every weekend (visit for details) and thousands of new products, Lehman’s hosts visitors from all over the country.   From classes on food preservation to tours of The Tiny House on a Tiny Homestead to goat yoga, ax throwing, cow cuddling, and free festivals, Lehman’s is truly a gem in Ohio’s Amish Country.

Fall is the perfect time to plan a trip to Lehman’s.  Did you know that Ohio’s Amish Country was named one of the top three places in the country to see the beautiful fall foliage by National Geographic Magazine?  Depending on the weather, the best time to see fall color is the first two weeks of October.

About Lehman’s

Why was Lehman’s voted the best place to visit in Amish Country? Why is there “a store nowhere else” like Lehman’s? Because Lehman’s exists to create A Simpler Life for you and your loved ones. With a large assortment of practical, sustainable tools, housewares, appliances, and gardening gadgets, you can begin your journey to a simpler life with a visit to Lehman’s on the Square in Kidron.  The store is open every day except Sunday and is always open at

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Ohio Cheese Tops National Competition

The Cheese Capital of the World once again resides in Ohio!

Guggisberg Cheese Store & Factory, home to the world-famous Original Baby Swiss Cheese, was recently awarded FIRST PLACE at the American Cheese Society Competition. See how their world-renown / award-winning cheese is made Monday – Saturday from 9am – 12pm in the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country.

A trip here is also a trip to a gorgeous countryside of hills and valleys meandering throughout the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country. Visit the factory store and see firsthand how Guggisberg Cheese has become world-famous. Bring a cooler; there are over 60 varieties of cheese to choose from. In addition, the store features a wide variety of authentic Cuckoo Clocks, cutlery, local goods, and more.

The Guggisberg Swiss Inn in Millersburg is a family-owned bed and breakfast that sits on top of a hill surrounded by Amish farms.  Though the inn is in the country it is still only minutes away from all Holmes County has to offer.  The inn is excellent at capturing the essence of Amish living as it is just two miles north of Charm which is said to have more buggy traffic than anywhere in the world.  The inn offers many picnicking and hiking areas and a wonderful view of a large duck pond.

Plan your visit at Guggisberg Cheese (

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Ohio’s 200-Year-Old Lighthouse

Climb the 77 steps to the top

The oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes has been shining its light for 200 years to guide sailors past the rocky shores of Ohio’s Marblehead Peninsula.

Although folks may climb to the top of the Marblehead Lighthouse (and visit the museum) from Memorial Day to Labor Day, it is still a treat to see during the off-season. Marblehead Lighthouse State Park is a perfect setting for a lakeshore picnic, lounging in the grass, or walking the grounds. Come, read a book, skip some stones, and take wonderful photos at this Lake Erie gem.

The Marblehead Lighthouse is located at 110 Lighthouse Drive in Marblehead, Ohio (Map It). The grounds are open daily. Click here for more information.

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A Painting in Topiary

Wouldn’t it be really cool to walk into a painting and be a part of it? You could check things out three-dimensionally to see what the other side looks like.

How about a famous painting? Let’s say, for example, Georges Seurat’s 1887 A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte, which is a depiction of people gathering on a Sunday afternoon at the Seine River in Paris. The original is shown at the Art Institute of Chicago. But the version in downtown Columbus, Ohio offers a totally different experience.

In downtown Columbus’ Old Deaf School Park, artist James T. Mason created the only topiary garden in existence based on a work of art. Elaine Mason was the first of many topiarists to trim and meticulously maintain the living topiaries of 54 people, eight boats, three dogs, a monkey, and a cat. The seven-acre sanctuary is not only a destination for art and nature lovers, but it is perfect for picnics, walks, playing board games, or even tossing a little Frisbee.

Take a stroll to the top of the hill overlooking the masterpiece. There, you’ll see a bronze easel and picture of the original painting by Seurat, who invented the technique of pointillism, using dots of color to create light. Take a step back and see the 3-D version of the picture unveil itself before your very eyes. The tallest topiary is 12-feet. This provides depth from the vantage point atop the hill to keep all the figures in proportion as seen in the bronze relief.

Walk around the landscape and take pictures. Roll out a blanket and catch a nap. Play Frisbee with your dog. This park is everything a park should be. It is meant for a lazy afternoon. Find a shade tree or tall topiary and be still. The breeze, the birds, the flowers will all take hold as you breathe deeper until you feel cleansed.

The park and Topiary Garden are always free and open daily from dawn to dusk. You may enter at 480 E. Town Street, which is a block south of the Columbus Museum of Art. More information is available by calling 614-645-0197 or clicking here.

The neighborhood around has beautiful grand old mansions with lovely architecture. But to park on the street requires feeding the meter unless it’s an evening or a Sunday afternoon.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler – Your Tour Guide to Fun

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“Pieces of Ohio”

Welcome to

“Pieces of Ohio”

There are pieces of Ohio across the continent and beyond. Find them and bring them home to

Take a pic and write a short description of what you found in a museum or on a plaque, etc., and how it connects back to Ohio along with who to credit for the photo. Make sure it is tourism-related.

Pieces of Ohio – In Cooperstown

Pictured here, a “Piece of Ohio” was found at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. This 1893 board game depicts the early use of a baseball player’s endorsement. Here, the Cleveland Spiders catcher Charles “Chief” Zimmer lends his persona to this unusual mechanical baseball parlor game. “Chief” Zimmer, despite modern-day folklore, was not of Native American descent. He was nicknamed “Chief.” According to Wikipedia, the genesis for the nickname is as follows: “Since we were fleet of foot, we were called the Indians. As I was the head man of the Indians, somebody began to call me ‘Chief.’ It stuck,” said Charles Zimmer.

Pick up more “Pieces of Ohio” at

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Fall Adventure in Grove City

After the year we’ve had, life needs an adventure. Shake off the dust and adventure-on in Grove City this fall. With all of the adventures in store, be sure to make it a weekend excursion and find the perfect room at one of 18 Grove City hotels.

Your first adventure should start by celebrating the quintessential icon for fall – the pumpkin. Savor the sights, scents, and flavors of all things pumpkin along the annual Grove City Pumpkin Trek! This three-month-long citywide celebration of pumpkin is easy to enjoy. Print out or pick up a “Trek Guide” at any participating businesses, including the visitor center and resident shop, Grove City Guide + Gear (hours are currently limited, please call for hours and availability). Next,  make a pumpkin-related purchase at any participating business and earn a sticker or stamp. Patronize 60% of the businesses on the trek guide and return to the visitor center to redeem it for a special, limited-edition tee.

From festive home décor to tasting pumpkin donuts or beer, candle-pouring to coffee sipping, the Pumpkin Trek has many stops so that you can make the most of pumpkin season!

Play with friends and scope out the largest paintball castle in the Midwest, Valken Village, located at LVL UP Sports paintball park. A completely original concept, LVL UP’s first castle is gigantic, multi-level, and can be played in dozens of different ways. Experience it for yourself to appreciate the size and playability of New World Kingdom inside of Valken Village.  Sprinkled around the Kingdom are several custom-made structures that make this map one that you can’t leave without trying. Scaling the 100 ft walls is sure to give you a vantage point to “level up” your game.

Want to gain a different perspective? Scioto Grove Metro Park’s designated drone field means you can soar among the scenic autumn foliage. Scioto Grove also offers the REI River Trail – a 1.8-mile-long urban backpacking trail perfect for beginners to the backpacking scene or anyone who wants a quick overnight under the stars. There are multiple tent pads along the way – so you can enjoy nature a little longer by pitching your tent and camping out (For additional information and to make a reservation, visit Backpacking starts mid-April and is available every weekend (Friday and Saturday nights), through to the end of October).

Another picture-perfect spot to enjoy fall is along the water. You can launch your canoe or kayak from two different sites in Scioto Grove Metro Park to enjoy the Scioto River. Venture to Trapper John’s Canoe Livery (where you can bring your own or rent your watercraft) to explore the Little and Big Darby Creeks, both National Scenic Rivers. Select any five self-guided trips of varying lengths and let the water carry you onto your adventure.

If you prefer your adventure a little more cheesy, make your way to Grove City to enjoy the Pizza Trek. Similar to the Pumpkin Trek, the Pizza Trek means eating a feast of pizza to earn a free Pizza Trek tee. With Grove City’s abundance of delicious pizza, pizza night never tasted so good! Find all the “knead” to know details at 

So, start exploring and adventure on in Grove City.

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New Ohio Literary Trail

Photo courtesy of Ohio History Connection and Ohioana LibraryPhoto courtesy of Ohio History Connection
and Ohioana Library

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

The Ohioana Library Association introduced the Ohio Literary Trail, a program that will shine the spotlight on Ohio’s unique role in shaping culture and literature worldwide.

Ohioana compiled the trail map with more than 70 sites across the Buckeye state, paying tribute to the authors, poets, illustrators, libraries, and creative influencers of the written word who have called Ohio home. Tourists planning a literary-themed outing, as well as Ohioans who want to discover literary treasures they never knew existed in their own backyard, will find it here.

The Ohio Literary Trail celebrates Ohio’s diversity through an eclectic range of literary greats who influenced feminism and women’s rights, Black history, religion, LGBTQ+ rights, and American culture through literature.

Hosted online by the Ohioana Library Association, the Ohio Literary Trail is organized by the state’s five geographic regions. The downloadable map provides links to every destination, with details, directions, and background information.

For a true literary celebration that unites readers and writers, the Ohio Literary Trail features five annual festivals in each region of the state: the Ohioana Book Festival in Columbus, Wooster’s Buckeye Book Fair, Books by the Banks in Cincinnati, the Ohio University’s Spring Literary Festival in Athens, and Claire’s Day in Northwest Ohio. These major events feature authors, illustrators, poets, and more with fun activities for everyone. The link to each festival shares schedule updates.

According to Ohioana Executive Director David Weaver, “Ohio’s contributions to literature is something every Ohioan can be proud of. And as Ohio continues to influence the literary world, the Trail map will continue to be updated with new destinations that invite discovery and inspire the next generation of writers.”

The Ohio Literary Trail can be accessed at:

The Ohioana Library Association collects, preserves, and celebrates Ohio literature and other creative endeavors. Through its collection, publications, Ohioana Book Festival, and Ohioana Awards (scheduled for October 15 at the Ohio Statehouse), Ohioana connects readers and Ohio writers and promotes Ohio as one of America’s great literary centers. Ohioana celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2019. For more information, visit: 

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Butler County Donut Trail Expands

Popular Trail Adds New Shop, Donut Concierge, & Savings Pass to Broaden Experience

The Butler County Visitors Bureau has officially welcomed a new shop to the popular Butler County Donut Trail. The Donut Dude located in Liberty Township is now the 13th Donut Trail location, bringing the total to a full baker’s dozen. In addition, the Butler County Donut Trail has added a “Donut Concierge” and the “Extra Sweet Savings Pass” to bring even more fun to the experience.

Featuring specialty donuts like a Jalapeno-Cheddar Fritter and cereal-inspired flavors as well as traditional varieties, The Donut Dude has quickly become a popular stop. “The Donut Trail is something I knew I wanted to do before we even opened,” said Glen Huey, Owner of The Donut Dude. “Donut Trail visitors are fun-loving folks, and they enjoy donuts immensely. Smiles grow bigger when people enter our shop and it’s a special feeling when you are the ones who are responsible for those smiles.”

To help Donut Trail travelers plan their adventure, trained donut experts now staff the “Donut Concierge Desk.” Helpful guides are waiting to assist in planning routes, suggesting iconic donuts at each location, and answering any other Donut Trail related questions that arise. A Donut Concierge can be reached Monday-Friday from 8:30AM-5PM at 888-410-6994.

The Butler County Donut Trail now has a partner savings pass program. Launched today, the Extra Sweet Savings Pass features over 30 local businesses including attractions, restaurants, spas, and hotels offering discounts to customers wearing their Donut Trail T-shirt. The digital pass is complimentary to all and available at

The Butler County Visitors Bureau launched the Donut Trail in January 2016. Since its inception, over 25,000 people from all 50 states and 23 countries have completed the Donut Trail, bringing in over $5 million in economic impact into Butler County, Ohio.

“The Donut Trail continues to bring incredible attention and visibility to Butler County,” said Mark Hecquet, President & CEO of the Butler County Visitors Bureau. “We’re excited to welcome The Donut Dude to the fun and look forward to helping plan more adventures with our Donut Concierge Team and Extra Sweet Savings Pass. We know people love our donuts and we look forward to helping them find many more incredible experiences in Butler County. ”

For more information on the Butler County Donut Trail, or to download the passport, please visit

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Running Shoes and Lederhosen

Are Needed for “Grand” Events this Month

Lace up those running shoes, and get ready for the annual Grand Lake Marathon . This fast, flat, Boston Marathon qualifying course begins and ends at Lake Shore Park in Celina, Ohio along the shores of beautiful Grand Lake St Marys.

Rookie or experienced runners, escape the concrete jungle and head to the countryside to enjoy a quick loop around the Grand. It’s almost as if Grand Lake was designed to have a Marathon around it…the course is that smooth & flat! While in the country, enjoy friendly, entertaining groups cheering the runners on. For short distance runners, there will also be a Half Marathon, the Grand Lake Marathon 5K, or runners can even choose to do a relay option with their running buddies. There is also a Senior Marathon and a kids’ run. The Grand Lake Marathon truly has a race for everyone and every caliber of runner.

Enjoy music along the journey. When runners get to Lakeshore Park they will be greeted by family, friends, and fellow runners. There’s a terrific after-party filled with music, drinks, great local food, and brews at the annual Taste of the Marathon! The entire community is encouraged and invited down to Lakeshore Park from 10am-2pm on race day not only to watch and support the participants as they cross the finish…but to also enjoy in the celebration with some great live music while sampling local delicious eats and ice-cold brews from different restaurants around the Greater Grand Lake Region. And it’s all at one convenient location. Also, enjoy bounce houses for the kids… and check out the new Splash Pad & Playground while in the Bryson Park District! Complete details for the Grand Lake Marathon are at

The following weekend is the time to put on lederhosen and do the “Chicken Dance” at the region’s largest German heritage festival, the Minster Oktoberfest in Minster, Ohio.  This annual celebration attracts more than 60,000 people each year and is rated as one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the nation.  From singing and dancing to the taste of hearty German foods, the annual edition of this event will provide a fun-filled time for all. Topping the list of free entertainment this year includes popular bands such as The Klaberheads, Autobahn, Zinzinnati Beir Band, Reflektion, Karmas Pond, & Steve Rosenbeck!

Mark your calendar, come to Oktoberfest, and watch the spectacular gala parade, featuring colorful floats and marching bands.  Take part in the beer tray relay, the 10K run, the Jug Hoist and a number of other games and competitions. Enjoy the car show, the arts and crafts booths and the Miss Oktoberfest Pageant.  German heritage or not, everyone usually does the Chicken Dance before the evening is over.  For more information, check out for a complete schedule of events.

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Flock to Delaware County This Fall

Visitors flock to Delaware County, Ohio in autumn for many reasons: cooler temps, great events, fall colors and flowers. And visitors can still enjoy being outdoors!

The big headliner to start Delaware County’s fall is of course the Delaware County Fair and the Little Brown Jug. Fair week begins with the well-known All-Horse Parade. It features horses, ponies, wagons, carriages, even cowgirls and marching bands, but not motorized vehicles! It’s a three-mile circuit, starting and ending at the fairgrounds. It’s quite the crowd-pleaser.

The Delaware County Fair begins that weekend and leads into the Little Brown Jug on Thursday, which is the third and final race in the triple crown of harness racing. Said to take place on the fastest half-mile track in the world, The Jug attracts visitors, owners, horse enthusiasts, and the curious from across the country and beyond. Jug attendees can place friendly wagers on their favorites, or just enjoy the races and the crowd. Later in the evening, finding great dining throughout Delaware is a cinch. There are restaurants to satisfy every palate.

Also, county visitors like to take in other events such as the Powell Octoberfest or Powell Street Market; Farmers’ Markets in Sunbury, Delaware and Powell; and the Delaware State Park Fall Festival or the Harvest Fair at Stratford Ecological Center. The Powell Street Market has something for everyone in the family. Afterwards, visitors can go to one of Delaware County’s nearby Preservation Parks to explore habitats, farm life of the past, and just enjoy the change of the season.

Powell’s Oktoberfest is for those visitors over the age of 21. It features all the best fall faire: craft beverages, German food, and live music. This is a ticketed event. Travelers should plan accordingly.

Visitors coming at the end of October who want to explore the arts and have a bit of fun can check out The Arts Castle Haunted Castle Tour. Other activities include walking tours of Downtown Historic Delaware and the Ross Museum of Art exhibits on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus.

Of course, the attraction for outdoor enthusiasts really comes in the first three weeks of October: peak fall colors! They can take in the colors at the Alum Creek State Park Fall Fest, which also has a Haunted Trail and other activities. Another option is to enjoy the 57th Annual Ohio Gourd Show and learn about the different types of gourds with demonstrations, crafts and workshops.

If visitors come for a weekend of beautiful fall foliage, they can rent a kayak or canoe and really see the leaves from a different point of view. Several venues rent equipment on the weekends throughout October. Visitors may also enjoy camping in one of the state parks. It’s the chance to be close to the beautiful colors and on the water one more time before winter sets in.

Delaware County is a great place for an adventure this fall. Plan the right excursion and plenty more information regarding accommodations, activities, and attractions at

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Fall Fun and Excitement

in Ross County

As summer begins to fade into autumn, the fun and excitement don’t stop in Ross County. Fall activities have grown significantly over the past several years for this southern Ohio destination nestled in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Region. Visitors to Chillicothe and Ross County can expect to find festivals, Halloween thrills, and the natural beauty of the region as the trees begin to show their colors.

The fall festival season begins with the timeless art of spinning tales to entertain audiences during the annual Southern Ohio Storytelling Festival in September. Highly acclaimed national and regional tellers take the stage to weave their tales and showcase their creativity while leaving audiences wanting more. There’s also the Salt Creek Valley Festival that showcases the community of Richmond Dale and provides the fun atmosphere of a small-town event with sites, sounds and tastes of the area. Hirsch’s Fruit Farm offers their Apple Harvest Open House, a weekend of family fun on the farm. The event gives patrons tours of the orchard, opportunities to pick your own apples, and plenty of children’s activities to keep them busy and entertained.

Festivals continue into October with the newest festival, the Chillicothe Halloween Festival and the oldest festival in the county, Fall Festival of Leaves. The Chillicothe Halloween Festival features a variety of family friendly fun, entertainment, and exhibits, along with a haunted house. While the Fall Festival of Leaves celebrates the beauty of the Paint Valley region with crafts, parade, rides, and plenty of your favorite festival foods all in downtown Bainbridge.

The thrills of the Halloween season begin in September with the annual Ghost Walk in downtown Chillicothe. The Ghost Walk features specific locations that you tour to discover the history and the mystery surrounding each of the stops during the event. During your tour, you may capture something unexplainable in a photo or feel a ghostly touch. In October, Bainbridge hosts its Ghost Walk that features many stops along the way where you will hear stories and meet some historical figures along your journey.

For those wanting the Halloween scares, you can find numerous haunted attractions in Ross County. Begin your adventure by trying to survive the Headless Horseman during Chillicothe’s newest attraction, Sleepy Hollow at Haunted Mountain. This event features a live production of Sleepy Hollow that immerses the audience into the story as it unfolds on stage. Then face your fears along a haunted trail and try beating the clock to get out of an escape room – all controlled by the Headless Horseman. Wrap up your Halloween adventure and experience The Last Carnival. This haunted house and haunted trail encompass 4,000 square feet of indoor scares and over 10,000 square feet of outdoor terror.

Maybe you’re simply looking for a getaway destination before the hectic holiday season begins, Ross County has you covered with plenty of activities for a relaxing weekend. Explore the season by visiting the many historical sites and attractions such as Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Adena Mansion & Gardens, and the Ross County Heritage Center as well as many others. For outdoor recreation and enjoyment, the five State Parks offer activities as well as nearly 200 miles of trails to take in the great outdoors. You may also want to take in a show at one of the historic theatres or enjoy an evening sipping wine at the local winery and vineyard.

When hunger strikes, you won’t have any problems finding a restaurant to satisfy your cravings. Although there are many chain restaurants nearby, you can find the local flavor in downtown Chillicothe and throughout the surrounding communities. Enjoy everything from homestyle comfort foods to gourmet dishes all with unique flair and atmosphere.

At the end of the day, you can rest knowing you will get the best in southern Ohio hospitality with your choice of hotel, cabin or bed & breakfast location. All located just minutes away from attractions, events, restaurants, and outdoor recreation.

Begin planning your trip by visiting the Ross-Chillicothe Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website at or by calling (800) 413-4118. Don’t forget to request your official Ross County Visitors Guide.

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Ohio Presidents


Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

This exhibition features campaign posters, photographs, clothing and other historical items associated with the eight U.S. presidents with Ohio ties, telling the stories of the unique marks they left on the U.S. presidency and their roles in Ohio, U.S. and global history.

The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster displays historical items that tell the collective stories of eight U.S. Presidents with Ohio ties in an interactive exhibition for all ages.

The exhibition, The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies, will go beyond the typical historical and political narratives of the lives and work of former U.S. Presidents William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding to focus on the lesser-known aspects of their lives and contributions to U.S. and global history. The exhibition will foreground Ohio’s important role in the history of the U.S. presidency.

The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies provides a rare opportunity for the state of Ohio to explore our shared history, and to discover the strength and history we bring to the nation as Ohioans,” said Elizabeth Brown, executive director of the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio.

Stephen George, senior advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio History Connection, advised the early planning of The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies, which showcases the period during which Ohio was at the fulcrum of U.S. political and cultural life.

“These Presidents range over the course of 80 years, from 1840, when Ohio kind of asserted itself as an important place on the political map of the United States, all the way to 1920, when we elected our last president, Warren Harding,” said George. “Ohio was really at the center of American culture and American politics for those 80 years. When you study each of these presidents, you get an idea as to where the country was at a given time.”

Within the broader context of U.S. political history, The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies will emphasize some of the stories of Ohio’s U.S. Presidents that often don’t make it into the history books.

The exhibition will focus on not necessarily the typical stories you know about the presidents,” said exhibition curator Christine Fowler Shearer.

Some of these stories show the significant marks that Ohio’s presidents left on the U.S. Presidency and the nation. For instance, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution came into law during the presidency of Ohioan Ulysses S. Grant. Coming nearly five years after the end of the Civil War, that amendment holds that U.S. citizens will not be denied the right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The amendment was ratified in February 1870, during Grant’s first term as president.

Other “surprising legacies” include the inauguration of lighter presidential traditions that continue today. Benjamin Harrison and Caroline Harrison were the first U.S. President and First Lady to have a Christmas Tree in the White House, and Rutherford B. Hayes and First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes started the tradition of the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House Lawn.

The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies will tell the stories of all eight U.S presidents with Ohio ties through campaign posters, photographs, clothing from the presidents and First Ladies and other historical artifacts on loan from seven major historical collections throughout Ohio and in Indiana. A timeline from Benjamin Harrison’s birth in 1833 to William Howard Taft’s death in 1930 also will highlight U.S. and world events, along with personal events of the presidents’ lives.

“In a history exhibition, there’s a little bit of everything, which is what’s fun about it,”  said Fowler Shearer.

“Florence Harding gave a forum especially to women in our country,” said Sherry Hall, director of the Harding Presidential Sites. “Her husband was the first president elected by both men and women. She invited women artists, scientists, athletes to the White House and gave them a forum. She had press conferences, which she called chats, with just women journalists. And she really tried to show that women could be a strong voice.”

According to the Ohio History Connection’s Stephen George, “So many of these First Ladies were pretty remarkable. Mrs. Hayes certainly was one of the very first, if not the first, (First Ladies) who exhibited a great deal of influence over the political tone of the administration of her husband. And we don’t think of President Taft as an extraordinarily vibrant personality, but Mrs. Taft smoked and she enjoyed a cocktail, she was against prohibition, and she really was the driver of her husband’s career.”

Interactive touchscreens Younger visitors to The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies will enjoy the exhibit’s eight (8) interactive touchscreens, chronicling the lives of each of the Ohio presidents. The screens will feature animations and sound effects that bring to life the presidents’ stories. All of the touchscreens will also be collected in a mobile application that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

Classes The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio’s Wendel Center for Art Education will also present classes in conjunction with The Ohio Presidents: Surprising Legacies. Visit for information and registration.

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Zephyr Railcars in the Cuyahoga Valley


Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) marked a major accomplishment in its first-ever capital campaign with the acquisition of four historic Zephyr railcars. This addition to the fleet enables CVSR to provide new programming and experiences within Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including 360-degree views in two of the Vista Dome cars, and offer a new heritage rail experience that exemplifies cross-country travel during the 1940s-1960s.

“The acquisition of the Zephyr railcars was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said President and CEO Joe Mazur. “We not only are preserving history, but giving hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to have one more way to travel through and experience Cuyahoga Valley National Park.”

Dubbed “the most talked about train in America,” the California Zephyr made its inaugural eastbound run on March 20, 1949 with service between San Francisco and Chicago that covered 2,525 miles and took an average of 2.5 days to complete. The train offered an unparalleled leisure travel experience that is perhaps best demonstrated in a 1950s promotional film. The California Zephyr offered sophisticated dining experiences with linens and china; sleeping compartments that ranged from the elegant staterooms complete with bathrooms, showers, drawing rooms, and bedrooms, to the cozier “roomettes”; and Vista Dome cars with windows on every side—including the ceiling—to provide breathtaking panoramic views of the passing mountains, rivers, and countryside. The California Zephyr operated as a passenger train for 20 years, and its 77 cars were later sold to different companies and private owners. Over the years, the majority of these stainless-steel cars have all but disappeared from America’s railways, having been sold off (often to foreign countries), scrapped, or simply left in storage and fallen into complete disrepair.

The four-car Zephyr trainset consists of two Vista Dome cars, a sleeper car and a baggage car. CVSR already owns the Silver Bronco, another Vista Dome observation car that was part of the original California Zephyr trainset. With this acquisition, CVSR becomes one of the nation’s few railroads in possession of four cars from the original California Zephyr fleet.

The Silver Lariat was built in 1948 by the Budd Company for the Burlington Railroad as a dome coach for service on the California Zephyr. A large dining and lounge area seats 42 passengers (36 at tables) and is equipped with a full bar with a freezer capable of storing 200 pounds of ice. From this room, passengers can access the Vista Dome above, which provides panoramic views and seating for an additional 24 passengers at tables. A unique feature of this train car is The Pony Express, a restored original mural by Mary Louise Lawser that was commissioned by the Burlington Railroad when the car was built. Silver Lariat also features restrooms; a full commercial kitchen with two ranges and two half-size convection ovens; registered monogrammed china service; original white damask California Zephyr table linens; and a full sound system with CD, iPod, and PA.

The Silver Solarium was built in 1948 by the Budd Company for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. It was one of the six dome/sleeper/observation cars specifically built for the California Zephyr. Ownership of the car was transferred to Amtrak in 1970 after more than 20 years of service between Chicago and San Francisco, and Amtrak retired the car in 1980. Silver Solarium was placed in storage for decades and fell into disrepair until Amtrak sold it to a private owner. Today, Silver Solarium has been fully renovated and has been operating as a private car, delighting passengers with stunning views from its Vista Dome and observation lounge. The car also features three double bedrooms with enclosed toilets, sinks, and showers that sleep up to 11 guests, a drawing room, and a stateroom. The observation lounge seats 11 in classic railroad lounge chairs upholstered in frieze fabric, and the Vista Dome car seats 24 in booth seating at tables. The Silver Solarium also features a full commercial kitchen with a range that includes a half-size convection oven, an original bar with a carved linoleum façade, and a sound system with CD and iPod. 

The Silver Peak was built in 1940 by the Budd Company for Burlington Railroad and assigned to the Denver‐Ft. Worth “Texas Zephyr.” Originally built as a coach/dormitory/baggage car, the coach area was used as the Jim Crow section of the train. When the Jim Crow laws were found to be unconstitutional, it was converted to a full baggage car. The car is equipped with a great deal of storage space; a workshop section that features an 8‐foot work bench with a drill press, bench grinder, band‐type cutoff saw, table saw, and a variety of power and hand tools; and a commercial refrigerator and chest freezer.

The Silver Rapids was built in 1948 by the Budd Company and served as a transcontinental sleeper car that provided coast to coast transportation for almost 20 years. The car was removed from theCalifornia Zephyr service in the 1960s when most transcontinental sleepers were discontinued, and changed ownership from the Pennsylvania Railroad to Amtrak, which retired it in the early 1980s and sold the car to a private owner. After extensive restoration work that included interior and mechanical upgrades, Silver Rapids is now one of the most versatile sleeper cars in service. The car features eight one‐person roomettes, each with a small sofa, folding wash basin, a vanity and large mirror, and a bed that folds out of the wall. Further down the hall are six double bedrooms, each of which sleeps two (one in an upper berth and one in a lower berth), has its own enclosed restroom with folding sink and outlet, and is equipped with either a long sofa or a short sofa and folding chair for relaxing throughout the day. The six double bedrooms can also open up to form three suites that sleep up to four guests each. Other features include a general public toilet and large shower in the main area and a small galley style kitchen.

The Zephyr railcars will be used for CVSR’s excursions and special events.

“We are committed to preserving and improving our fleet so that visitors from Northeast Ohio and around the world continue to have the opportunity to create shared family memories while experiencing history aboard vintage train cars as they travel through Cuyahoga Valley National Park,” Mazur concluded.

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Love When It All Falls Into Place

Where can you have it all this fall? Clinton County!

Fests – check.  Farms – check. Frights – check. Outdoor delights – check! And the list goes on.

Conveniently located between Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton – Clinton County is inviting. In fact, their motto is, “An open invitation.” You’re invited to check out the festivities, agritourism, spooky and outdoor destinations.

October festivities are as bountiful as the harvest. First up is the Fall Harvest Bash & the Great Pumpkin Bash featuring more than 30 acres of a pumpkin patch, hayrides, corn mazes, live music, and other family-oriented activities. Don’t miss the pumpkin catapult!

Speaking of which, another crowd favorite is the Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival. It may be obvious that it features giant slingshots chuckin’ pumpkins into the air. It also has delicious hot foods, desserts and plenty of hayride and corn maze fun.

In-between festivals, you can always stop by Ray Storer’s place otherwise known as Grandpa’s Pottery. The old barns are a pleasant setting where you can see a potter at his craft. He’ll hand throw a new creation while you wait. Storer’s pottery pieces have been featured and sold at the Cincinnati Art Museum and have been showcased at the Wilmington Pottery and Art Festival.

If you love horses, Clinton County is home to the Buckeye Draft Horse Show, Mid Ohio Dressage Horse Show, Central States Horse Show and the Country Heir Hunter Jumper Horse Show. If you love animals in general, put Horsefeathers Farm on your checklist of fall destinations (Open by appointment only). This is a rare experience. Under the sponsorship of the Cincinnati Zoo, Horsefeathers Farm specializes in the propagation of the endangered Parma Wallaby. You can get up close and even pet the animals. Other Australian animals that guests may interact with include the Emu and Island Bearded Dragon. This is the perfect country setting for a picnic by a pond with swans and a whole lot more. Please note that you must call 513-313-2470 in advance to schedule a visit.

October is also a time for crisp nighttime haunts! The Lantern Light Wagon Ride and Corn Maze are offered on Saturday nights along the old stone roads of a historical farm. Only lanterns light your way. Peer through ruins of what once were the tribal hunting grounds and the tracks of the “Old Sheepskin” line. You’re bound to cross paths with trappers, Indians, frontiersman and pioneer settlers eager to share some tales. This lantern ride is a family-friendly, historically based ghost tour.

If you’re looking to raise the hair on your neck, catch the Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride. There are three attractions at one location featuring Slaughter Hotel, Nightmare Asylum and fire breathing semis chasing unsuspecting victims through the fields. Perhaps you like to slow things down and enjoy the autumn season for its natural wonders. Cowan Lake State Park has hiking trails through the spectrum of color as trees shed their leaves. The lake offers boating, sailing, and fishing. The water may be cold but the beaches are still great for a fall stroll. Campfires and cottages bring family and friends closer to S’mores and stories. The Cowan Lake Fall Campout offers a kids costume contest, movie and popcorn at the shelter house and a campsite contest. Categories for the campsite contest are scariest, best use of lights, best theme or special effects. All weekend long there are contests, games, activities, music, wagon rides and even a pet costume contest. Kids can trick or treat too.

If the evenings become too crisp, take in a hot show at the historic Murphy Theatre in downtown Wilmington. Its old-fashioned, grand marquee still casts its light after 100 years. Legends played in the ornate theatre, rich in architecture and pageantry. In the fall, guests can look forward to a variety of modern acts and movies.

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How About a Little Glamping?

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

There’s nothing like late summer for glamping.  The days are still nice and long, the weather more moderate and the cool, clear nights are perfect for a campfire and star gazing.

According to, “Recently, a global trend has caught fire that offers outdoor enthusiasts an upgrade on rest and recreation. It’s called glamping, a new word for a new kind of travel, defined as glamorous camping.  When you’re glamping, there’s no tent to pitch, no sleeping bag to unroll, no long journey to find a bathroom. Whether you’re staying in a tent, yurt, airstream, pod, igloo, hut, villa, cabin, cube, teepee or treehouse, glamping is a way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury.”

Nowhere in the Midwest is there a better place for Glamping than the Hocking Hills.  Conveniently located in southeast Ohio, just an hour from Columbus, the Hocking Hills are Ohio’s natural crown jewels.

Long known for the multitude of cabins peppered throughout the Hills amongst the region’s famous parks and forests with prehistoric caves, waterfalls, deep ravines and scenic clifftops, the Hocking Hills was a Glamping mecca before it became a global trend.

In addition to the cabins and lodges there are some really unique lodging options.  There’s treehouses, Tipis, Yurts, a Caboose and even Gypsy Wagons.  Enjoy hiking, ziplining, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, rock climbing and rappelling during the day then retreat to a little Glamping in a truly unique setting.

In addition to the lovely, lingering late summer weather there’s plenty of fun and festival activity in September.  Check out the Ohio Paw-Paw Festival at Lake Snowden in Albany.  Test your endurance at the annual Hocking Hills Indian Run.  Pick your challenge at this 60k, 40k, 20k, 10k or 5k trail run departing from the Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center.  Ohio’s largest free air show will take to the skies at the Vinton County Airport.

The Annual Hocking Hills Artists & Craftsmen Show and Sale will be  part of the Hocking Hills Fall Fest in Historic Downtown Logan.  In addition to all the wonderful one-of-a-kind works of art the weekend will include live music, food trucks, kid’s activities and a Chili cook off.  Historic Downtown Logan is coming back to life with new shops, eateries and performance venues, all conveniently located just a short drive from your Glamping headquarters in the Hocking Hills.

How about a little moonlight adventure?  There’s MoonShine Full Moon Zipline Tours, Night Flight Rappelling Adventures and canoeing on the Hocking River under the full moon.

September is still summer so get out and take advantage of the perfect summer Glamping getaway to the Hocking Hills.

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Sweet September Summer

Conkle's Hollow in Hocking Hills

It seems as if summer vacation season gets shorter and shorter. Schools remain in session until well into June and teachers and students are back in the classroom by mid-August. This leaves about eight weeks for the traditional family vacation. Popular vacation destinations are often crowded and prices are at their peak. Thank goodness for September!

For anyone not tied to a school schedule, and there are millions of us, the world is our oyster. Summer weather continues, all the attractions are open and the pace is far more relaxed. September in the Hocking Hills is the perfect destination for a Second Summer vacation. No need to travel far to feel like you’re a million miles from home.

Begin your Second Summer by selecting the accommodations best suited to you. Looking for a getaway with a special someone or maybe just a solo trip? Hocking Hills has a wide variety of cabins, cottages and Inns providing as little or as much seclusion as you desire. Need to immerse yourself in Mother Nature once more before the cold wind blows? Award winning campgrounds, tipis, Gypsy Wagons and camping cottages set the stage for nature’s late summer serenade.

Get the gang together for a football weekend at one of Hocking Hills’ luxury lodges. It’s your own private resort complete with gourmet kitchen for all those game-time goodies, great room with plenty of seating and a big TV for the big game. After the game relax on the deck or around a fire as you soak in the last sunlight of the day.

Once you know where you will lay your head it’s time to plan a few adventures. With more than 50 ziplines the Hocking Hills is the Canopy Tour Capital of the Midwest. If you prefer to stay a little closer to the ground take an all-terrain Segway tour or canoe trip to Ohio’s largest natural bridge, Rockbridge State Nature Preserve.

Trade your in-box for a tackle box and drop a line in Lake Logan. The catch of the day may be Northern Pike, Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Catfish or Saugeye. While you’re waiting for a nibble be sure to watch for eagles and hawks overhead and Blue Heron, swans and ducks on the lake.

Test your endurance at the Annual Hocking Hills Indian Run. This trail run winds through vast wooded areas of the Hocking Hills State Park and Hocking State Forest, crossing streams, deep gorges, shimmering waterfalls and lush forests, leading uphill and down. The Indian Run is the ultimate challenge to a runner’s power of concentration.

When you’re ready to relax tour the region’s four wineries. Enjoy a scenic drive through the Hills as you taste the creations of these local vintners. Stroll through a vineyard, picnic on a patio and enjoy a little live, local music (weekends).

Before long it will be time to park your baby for a winter’s rest so get out and cruise Car and Driver Magazine’s “Midwestern driving roads of choice”. Begin your country cruise at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center where you will find the Hocking Hills Road Tour map featuring multiple routes for maximum scenery while taking into consideration the importance of road quality to you and your baby.

September is for savoring. Savor your Sweet September Summer in the Hocking Hills.

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A Standout in Contemporary Art!


Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati is FREE! And it hits the mark when it says it impacts communities by providing changing arts experiences that challenge, entertain and educate. There is regular changing over of exhibitions throughout this architectural gem called the best new building since the Cold War by the New York Times. Yes, it’s a piece of art in its own right both inside and out and on every floor. A variety of mediums are sure to electrify the senses and forge great conversation. It is a place of genius, innovation and inspiration. And regularly, a whole new world rotates in calling you back for a revisit. Learn more at


This award recognizes Ohio’s standouts in tourism. More details about the award and all award recipients are at

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Ohio County Fairs in September

Ohio County Fairs in September:


Ashland County Fair in Ashland

Brown County Fair in Georgetown

Delaware County Fair in Delaware

Geauga County Fair in Burton

Guernsey County Fair in Old Washington

Hancock County Fair in Findlay

Hardin County Fair in Kenton
Click Here

Highland County Fair in Hillsboro

Hocking County Fair in Logan
Click Here

Mahoning County Fair in Canfield

Montgomery County Fair in Dayton
click here

Morgan County Fair in McConnelsville

Tuscarawas County Fair in Dover

Van Wert County Fair in Van Wert

Washington County Fair in Marietta

Wayne County Fair in Wooster

Williams County Fair in Montpelier

Wyandot County Fair in Upper Sandusky

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Autumn Adventures Await

hocking valley scenic railway

in Southeast Ohio

When thinking of the fall colors, it’s easy for one’s mind to travel to the spectacular, quintessential views of New England and the cool, crisp air of New Hampshire and Vermont. The country roads gently traversing the storied colonial hills of America’s first heartland have been host to many a visitor to the region.

But what if those similar views and similar adventures can be had in a historic area that is hidden right out in the open and just a close day’s drive away? What if Ohio’s own scenic wonderland of Southeast Ohio and the Hocking Hills could take you away to those spectacular fall views?

Traveling to Logan and the Hocking Hills, it’s easy to get lost in the vast areas and myriad of activities available starting September and right on through October. Nearby Nelsonville—and further down U.S. 33, Ohio University’s hometown of Athens—provides very similar results for a traveling couple on a romantic weekend getaway or the growing family taking in the world one mile’s breathtaking view at a time.

It is in a traveler’s great interest to first make a stop at the Hocking Hills Visitor’s Center (Website:; Phone: 1-800-HOCKING) off Ohio Route 664, less than a mile away from U.S. 33 on the north end of Logan. There, friendly volunteers will assist with the area events of the weekend (or weekday—the fun doesn’t end on the weekends!), attractions, parks, shopping and much more. The Athens area also has many events and attractions, and the friendly visitor center operated by the Athens County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (1-800-878-9767) is just as valuable of a resource too.

Some of the more notable events of the region include the 17th Annual Paw Paw Festival, Appalachian Color in the Hills Festival, Ohio Smoked Meat & Barbecue Festival, Annual Hocking Hills Indian Run, The Plains Indian Mound Festival, Starbrick Clay National Cup Show —plus many more!

A drive along Ohio’s “Windy 9,” a curvy, care-free escape through the hill country is, of course, a given—not to mention the views that can be had along the backroads off the state highways. Those county road drives are among the best without question!

But in addition to the obligatory leaf drives, what else is one to do? The area boasts of many activities, including the world-famous Hocking Hills State Parks, providing some of the more amazing natural scenes Ohio has to offer—Cedar Falls, Old Man’s Cave, Rock House, Cantwell Cliffs, Ash Cave. Then there are the man-made (or human-assisted) but still great activities like canoeing the tranquil Hocking River (with two top-notch canoe liveries at your service), cruising the zip lines of Hocking Hills Canopy Tours, biking/walking the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway or Moonville Tunnel Trail, taking in a relaxing guided horseback trail ride, culturally-stimulating art walks, plays and musicals at Stuart’s Opera House—and that’s just scratching the surface.

Another must-do activity while in the region is a train ride aboard one of Ohio’s top tourist trains. The all-volunteer-operated-and-managed Hocking Valley Scenic Railway operates trains every Saturday and Sunday through October before taking most of November off in preparation for an equally-busy season. Following the November hiatus, the trains travel the rails once more before the close of the operating season for the annual—and very popular—Santa Trains and, later, the New Year’s Eve Train—with an impressive fireworks display. In October, the schedule expands out into the weekdays, offering more options to see the leaves via train. The quaint depot is located in the historic town of Nelsonville, once an industrial center of Ohio. Once aboard, the diesel-powered train—a history lesson itself—takes passengers along an approximately two-hour round-trip ride along the Hocking River Valley through Haydenville, another brick and clay tile center. Historic sites, events, anecdotes and the area’s current active industries are pointed out along the way via the on-board live narration. Fares vary on fall trips and special event trains (such as the All-Caboose Train, Labor Day Train, and Robbery Train). The Robbery Train, offered three times throughout the year, is one of the most popular events of the schedule and always sells out. Kids under the age of 3 years old do ride for free on every train (unless otherwise specified). Food and drinks aren’t provided but are permitted on the train. Pets, however, are not permitted except for certified service animals. Group rates are available as well for non-special event trains. A vintage steam locomotive is scheduled to be put back into service soon, so you’ll want to keep tabs on that as well. But for now, it’s safe to assume that one of the equally-historic diesels will be pulling the train during a visit. Many cabooses and other railroad cars, including an impressive snow plow, are also available to see around the depot while you wait for the train. Information on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway can be found at or by calling 740-249-1452. The non-profit group is also very active on social media, including Facebook (, Twitter (@hvscenicrailway), and Instagram (@hvscenicrailway). It’s a lasting experience not to be missed!

Food options are as varied as the area, from fast food to true local establishments, one won’t go hungry for sure. Just a small sampling of local eateries include The Boot Grille, Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery, Kiser’s Barbeque, Avalanche Pizza, Caleb’s Coffee, Casa Nueva, Millstone Southern Smoked BBQ, The Olde Dutch Restaurant, and Tammy’s Country Kitchen. By no means is the list comprehensive but its easy to get a picture of what’s available.

Lodging? Even more plentiful and varied, it’s much easier to just log on to the Hocking Hills Tourism Association’s website ( and the website of the Athens County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

So, that trip to New England this fall? The close-to-home enticement of Southeast Ohio is arguably much more compelling and provides a charming escape with Southern-style hospitality, great cultural events, amazing natural beauty, and a rich history that rivals any region in America. Without a doubt, it is an experience that will have you making this regional visit a late-year vacation tradition for many years to come!

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Ft. Rowdy Gathering


is a Labor Day Weekend Must

Come join a peaceful setting of yesteryear when visiting the Ft. Rowdy Gathering in Covington, Ohio. A depiction of a bustling, small trading village set in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s is what you will experience when you enter the Covington Community Park during Labor Day weekend.

Falling leaves and the smell of open fires lure you to the “Gathering” along with the homemade foods and arts and crafts that will have you wanting to linger throughout the weekend.

If you love good food and a great time, just amble on down to the Fort Rowdy Gathering for the taste sensation of a lifetime. Your nose will enjoy the aroma and your mouth will water in anticipation of the wonderful choice of foods you can enjoy at the Gathering.

You could be one who enjoys lemon shake-ups or strawberry shake-ups served by the Piqua Aikido Club. Or maybe you will be lured to the tent of the Covington Church of the Brethren and the Covington Outreach Association to get a taste of their delicious homemade chicken and noodles along with the great fall favorite, apple dumplings. (Hurry-they sell out quickly!) They also have coffee and hot chocolate and a large variety of cookies and donuts.

If you are looking for a snack, you might want to visit the Covington United Church of Christ booth for a sugar waffle with your beef barbeque sandwich, IBC Root Beer or Cider. French fries, shredded chicken sandwiches, brats burger, mini corn dogs, pumpkin rolls and funnel cakes can be purchased from the Covington Eagles Aux.

St. John’s Church is cooking up cabbage rolls along with mashed potatoes. Take along their fresh fruit cups for dessert. Boy Scout Troop 76 will have brats, metts, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, nachos and cheese and loaded nachos.

Young Life of Miami Co is serving pork fritters, blooming onions, breaded chicken sandwiches, cheese sticks and poppers. Check out their breakfast of gravy and biscuits or the mountain man breakfast. If you like pulled pork sandwiches and chips stopover to A.B. Cole Post 80 American Legion.

Cannons Fast Pitch will be cooking up steak and pizza burgers. If you are looking for something to put on top of your pie or apple dumplings stop by Fort Rowdy’s ice cream booth. They will feature Susie’s Big Dipper ice cream.

As you can see, they try to please everyone’s appetite and avoid duplications so you can have a big choice when it comes to the taste buds. Now there have to be several items mentioned that could lure you down to the Gathering-and they know you wouldn’t want to miss out on any of it.

The Fort Rowdy Gathering is not only a gathering of people but a gathering of crafts also. They strive to bring you a wide variety of talent and interests at this event. There are ceramics of all kinds, country crafts, painted wooden items, angel food cakes, decorative afghans and throws, flower arrangements, blacksmithing, painted pumpkins and gourds, do it yourself sand art, and period trade goods just to name a few.

Free live entertainment will be provided on the festival side, as well as, food vendors from local non-profit organizations and craft vendors. Encampment activities include: Hawk & knife, spear throw, bow shoot, lizard pull, flint & steel, cooking contest, and rolling pin & skillet toss along with many games and contests for the children. Prizes will be awarded at camp meetings. A Sunday morning worship service will be held at the encampment stage.

Authentic demonstrations, contests, games and entertainment add up to fun and enjoyment for the whole family. And the 208’ long portable footbridge will carry you across the scenic Stillwater River to the Mountainman Encampment and a true feeling of the life of a by-gone era.

Covington Community Park is located on St. Rt. 36, just west of St. Rt. 48 north of Covington. The “Gathering” runs all day and offers free admission and parking.

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