Your summer “playlist” should include more than great music. It should consist of memorable adventures with family and friends.
The landscape of Southeast Ohio, specifically Guernsey County, threads together an amazing tapestry of forested hills, open meadows, misty valleys, and clear streams. It is home to some of Ohio’s largest lakes and state parks, not to mention an international wildlife center and more.
Your summer playlist should begin with Salt Fork State Park, Ohio’s largest state park. It is surprisingly located only a 15-minute drive from downtown Cambridge. The park boasts 17,229 acres with 14 scenic hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate. It also has the largest inland beach in the state (there are nearly 3,000 acres of water), a four-star golf course, a mini-golf course, 200+ campsites, and the Salt Fork Lodge, which itself has 53 cabins and 148 rooms (and yes, it’s overlooking the lake at just the right point). Visit http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/saltfork.
Another perfect spot to explore is Seneca Lake. Thirteen miles southeast of Cambridge, Seneca Lake is Ohio’s third-largest inland waterway. It has all the lake activities you might expect, including fishing for bluegills and bass, boating, waterskiing, swimming, and camping. And for hikers, a portion of the Buckeye Trail runs through the park. Brand new this year at the marina is a new 500-foot seawall and a new deck that extends the pleasure of outdoor dining. Visit https://senecapark.mwcd.org/.
The area is also home to The Wilds. It is one of the world’s largest and most innovative wildlife conservation centers. Visitors may board a guided safari tour to see and learn about endangered species living in open-range habitats. Horseback, fishing, and zipline safaris are also available. Visit www.TheWilds.org.
Rocky Fork Recreation has 850 acres of outdoor opportunities if you seek family fun and games. This features paintball, guided horseback rides, canoeing, hiking trails, mini-golf, a pizza sub shop, etc. It is open seven days a week and year-round. Visit Rocky Fork Ranch Resort here.
Deerassic Park Education Center’s brand-new Welcome Center is a one-of-a-kind facility, and it will be a favorite for visitors. The center has packed as much Ohio native wildlife information as possible into this brand-new, 5,400-square-foot space. Every display has been designed as hands-on, interactive, informative, and fun. Special events are scheduled throughout the year, including field trips for classrooms and youth groups. While there, experience the Ohio Whitetail Deer Hall of Fame. Visit www.DeerassicClassic.com.
Finally, take a stroll with your family or an invigorating 12-mile bike ride enjoying the solitude and beauty along the Great Guernsey Trail. This paved, low-grade path offers an unforgettable natural setting as you disappear into the serene woods. Travel over three bridges; stop for an ice cream cone, or make it a great workout. Visit www.guernseycountycdc.com.
Plan your trip at VisitGuernseyCounty.com.