Embark on an outdoor adventure in Ohio's Amish Country
by Ohio's Amish Country
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Ohio's Amish Country provides the perfect location to get out, get into nature and just get away from it all. If you're looking for a little bit of outdoor adventure, you can certainly find it right here. There are plenty of activities to do, including riding horses, zip lining through the trees, breathing the fresh air or going for a refreshing dip in a nearby lake. It's all here in Amish Country, so go wild and have a little fun in the sun.
There's plenty to do and see during your stay in Amish Country, so why not find something exciting? Go for a high-flying adventure in Loudonville at Tree Frog Canopy Tour, northern Ohio's only zip lining canopy tour, where guests can enjoy an adventure of a lifetime as well as get a bird's eye view of Mohican country cruising through the trees. Tree Frog Canopy Tours offers fun for those seeking a thrill, with sky bridges, rappels and seven zip lines. Tours last up to three hours, making Tree Frog Canopy Tours a must for anyone visiting the area.
If you love being on the water, enjoy the sunshine at Loudonville Canoe Livery. Take the whole family, or go it alone, enjoying your time among nature at it's finest while canoeing through Mohican Country. Conveniently located right in downtown Loudonville, the Loudonville Canoe Livery offers various canoeing and kayacking packages that range from a couple of hours to a couple of days. Tubes and rafts, primitive camping and customized, catered trips are also available.
Mohican State Park is another stop to visit while in Loudonville. The 1,110-acre park and the adjacent 4,525-acre forest provide ample opportunities for visitors to explore Ohio's most unique and beautiful natural settings. Visit Clear Fork Gorge, hemlock forest and the Mohican River whether you're staying in a lodge, cottage, campground or just visiting for the day. Offering six hiking, two biking, three bridle and a mountain bike trail as well as equestrian trails, Mohican State Park has something for you no matter what your preferred mode of transportation. Go boating, catch a largemouth bass, bag the biggest buck, or bring your snowmobile, while you explore the grounds that were once used for hunting by the Delaware Indians.
Obviously, if you love the outdoors, it's a natural fit for you to visit Ohio's Amish Country. Natural Fit Outdoor Adventure in Glenmont, nine miles south of Loudonville, offers the state's newest outdoor experience - recreational tree climbing. The goal of Natural Fit is to provide an environmentally friendly method of ascending into the tree tops, utilizing techniques once reserved for the professional arborist. Climbing trees is a favorite past time for many people, and this stop will help you feel like a kid again. Tree climbs are guided for both adults and children, and anyone, regardless of age, can learn the proper techniques from trained staff members.
Killbuck Marsh State Wildlife Area, a U-shaped glacial outwash valley just outside of Shreve, is a sprawling 5,671-acre area. A wildlife management plan provides both maintenance and protection to the area's most precious landscape, but visitors are welcome to explore, as well as fish, trap and hunt the varying species throughout the land. Killbuck Creek flows through the area and supports good populations of northern pike, carp, suckers and bullheads, while wood duck, muskrat, cottontail rabbit and raccoon are populous on land. Beavers have become numerous, as well as other furbearers, waterfowl, fish, frogs and turtles. A walking-only trail is also available along the abandoned B&O Railroad, through the center of the area. You'll see it all at Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area, where adventure always awaits.
Brown's Lake Bog State Nature Preserve is a 99-acre National Natural Landmark owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy - Ohio Chapter. Located two miles south of Shreve, Brown's Lake Bog is one of a handful of sites in Ohio boasting a kettle-hole lake bog. Learn about the Glaciated Allegheny Plateau on which the bog sits, as well as the local ecology and properties specific to the kettle-hole lake during your visit.
You've probably seen the safari-like signs along the roadways as you travel through Amish Country for this next stop. Rolling Ridge Ranch boasts sprawling farmlands full of unique and exotic animals. Become a kid again as you feed kangaroos, peacocks, zebras, llamas and more from a horse-drawn wagon, but also take the time to walk through the petting zoo, seeing the smallest of animals, including baby ducks, skunks and sheep. Located east of Bunker Hill, you'll come across Rolling Ridge as you take back roads through the countryside, clearly marked by their trademark signs.
There's a special, local activity that will help you experience Amish Country from a fun perspective. If there is a better way to see the rolling hills and pastures than on a horseback ride, it has yet to be found. The Amish Country Riding Stables are located at the Guggisberg Swiss Inn of Millersburg, so if you’re a guest, you’re already there. Eric Guggisberg, an experienced horseman, conducts guided horseback rides. In the winter, as the weather permits, they also offer romantic sleigh rides through the snow-covered grounds.
Perhaps you just can't get enough of the beautiful countryside in Ohio's Amish Country. You won't want to miss something completely unique to this part of Ohio - The Holmes County Trail. This surefire way to leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind, the recreational trail is the nation's first to accommodate Amish buggies and now has 15 miles of it's 29-mile trail open from Fredericksburg to Killbuck. Bring your bikes, rollerblades or tennis shoes for a little outdoor exercise, or utilize the adjoining buggy and equestrian trail. The trail boasts itself as a great place to connect and reconnect with each other surrounded by nature's most beautiful landscape.
For the avid hunter, Dutchman's Hunting Paradise is the place to be. This guaranteed hunt isn't as easy as it sounds on rugged acreage southeast of downtown Millersburg. Although big trophy bucks are lurking around all corners of Amish Country, it's still a challenge to see who can bag the biggest. Fair chase rules apply at Dutchman's, but no permits or licenses are required. Packages, which include food and lodging, are available, as well as velvet hunts in August and September.
Because you'll have undoubtedly had an exciting day outside in Amish Country, take a seat and enjoy an evening race at nearby Hilltop Speedway, found south of Millersburg and east of Killbuck. Showcasing the best in dirt track racing, including the Holmes Tire Late Models, modifieds, Guerne Heights Mini Stocks, street stocks and Atom Pest Control Trucks, a Saturday night out at the track is a great way to spend your time in Amish Country. Originally opened in the 1950s, guests to Hilltop can hear the roar of the engines as they sit and chat with race fans about the best in local racing.
Operated by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, Atwood Lake Park is a picturesque must-see in Ohio's Amish Country and a great way to spend your morning. Atwood Lake is an easy drive from wherever you are, providing a close getaway vacation. As one of the state's top lakes for sailing and pleasure boating, Atwood Lake also offers wide, sandy beaches, vending area, changing room with showers, playgrounds, picnic areas and shelters. More than 500 camp lots, as well as an activities and nature center, hiking trails and special events, such as the Alive Christian Music Festival and Atwood Fall Festival, will keep you busy as you spend your weekend by the water.
South of Bolivar is the Fort Laurens State Memorial, Ohio's only Revolutionary War-era fort, where you can enjoy vast parklands and take a moment to remember the heroes that have gone before us. Continue your journey south, however, and find the Canal Lands Park Trailhead, currently the southernmost Trailhead on the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail. There are 2.9 miles of Towpath Trail, where the earthened ground beckons hikers to explore the same territory where America's history unfolded.
Perhaps you prefer transportation on two wheels, as opposed to your two feet. Right off I-77, you'll run into Adventure Harley Davidson in Dover, a full service dealership for all your motorcycle needs. Harley enthusiasts come for miles to shop the 38,500-square-foot showroom full of beautiful bikes and accessories. With more than 100 new and pre-owned motorcycles and rentals available, pick up a ride for the weekend and enjoy the hills of Ohio's Amish Country while feeling the wind in your face. Events are hosted throughout the riding season, so check it out for a fun time with all your fellow bikers.
The Norma Johnson Conservation Center is the perfect place to take in a little fresh air and let the stress melt away, as you walk one of the several beautiful trails available on the 303-acres of land. Numerous birds and wildlife can be found at the Norma Johnson Center, all of which will appear in their natural habitats, undisturbed. Five ponds, a wetland, suspension bridge, boardwalk, footbridge, bluebird trails, duck boxes and so much more dot the landscape, and fun-filled days are often planned throughout the year, providing activities, exhibits and chances to learn more about the world around you.
Did you know Ohio's first village is located right in Amish Country? Stroll through Schoenbrunn Village and experience it as seen through the eyes of those who founded the settlement. First settled in 1772 by Moravian Missionary, David Zeisberger, Schoenbrunn means "beautiful spring" and with plenty of grassy meadows and areas to walk, it's the perfect stop to enjoy any season of the year. Schoenbrunn Village is the home to 60 dwellings that once housed 300 Delaware Native Americans and Moravian missionaries, as well as the original cemetery, known as God's Acre. Special events are held throughout the year at Schoenbrunn, including Lantern Light Dinners, Easter sunrise services, the annual Colonial Trade Fair and the Lovefeast each Christmas.
Take in a drama in an outdoor amphitheater, a perfect complement to your time spent walking through Schoenbrunn. Written by Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Paul Green, Trumpet in the Land is an unforgettable experience that brings to life the Ohio frontier during the Revolutionary War, and is a must-see performance when visiting Ohio's Amish Country. Performed in the same hills from which this story is born, Trumpet is a thrilling and passionate story of a peaceful people's influence on the war and the tragic events that encircled the founding of Ohio's first settlement, Schoenbrunn. Local actors take to the stage to bring the story to life, illustrating David Zeisberger and his Christian Indian followers as they struggled to preserve their peaceful settlement. Another equally popular show is The White Savage, written by local Joseph Bonamico, who secured a part recently in the Hollywood movie, Old Fashioned, as it filmed in the Tuscarawas area in 2011. The story of Simon Girty, who was labeled The White Savage because of his alliance with the Native Americans, showcases the conquests and ferocity that spread through the colonies in the late 18th century.
Spend your morning on the links with a rousing game of golf at one of the area's golf courses. Nestled in the scenic hills of Amish Country, there are courses available that will challenge you, both physically and mentally, as you make your way through the fairways. Most courses are just minutes away from local lodging and shopping, making them the perfect stop to get your day going.
The Wilderness Center in Wilmot is a fun stop for families, couples, friends and anyone looking for a little nature. This nonprofit nature center and land trust holds educational and exciting programs throughout each month of the year, including planetarium shows, bird watching and wilderness walks. Bring your puppy for a hike along one of the six wilderness trails, totaling 619 acres, explore the mature forest and evergreen plantations of the Zoar Woods, or take the kids to the nature store, where you'll find eco-friendly and creative science kits, demonstrating electricity, mechanics and solar energy, as well as a bookstore filled to capacity with nesting boxes, beautiful feeders, bird baths and more. Several buildings on the grounds also house observation rooms, meeting rooms, exhibits, and the Fred F. Silk Planetarium.
Maybe you love nature on a more extreme level. Apple Creek Trails offers the best BMX dirt jumps in the state, so if you brought your bike, you're going to want to stop here. Everywhere you turn, there's a jump in sight, from huge doubles to easy rollers. Always changing, each experience is a new and exciting one at Apple Creek Trails. Don't forget your helmet, and be sure to attend Jump Jams in June for some good old fashioned camaraderie and a whole lot of summer fun.
One of the area's gems is a great place to spend some time in Amish Country. Secrest Arboretum, located on the campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, has various theme gardens and amenities, with paved walkways, seating areas and a diverse collection of woody and herbaceous plants. No matter what day or time you're stopping at Secrest, the entire family will be able to "learn, explore, wonder and connect." Founded by Edmund Secrest over 100 years ago, guests enjoy beautiful and expansive outdoor laboratories and display gardens, illustrating style, color and texture within plant habitats. This stop is also perfect for the avid gardener to obtain his or her own ideas for home as well.
One stop at Ramseyer Farms in Smithville and the kids, as well as the adults, will be laughing for days. The fifth-generation family farm in the heart of Wayne County believes in the importance of quality family time outside in the fresh air. Learn about Ohio cities, famous Ohioans, fun sports info, Ohio presidents, and a whole host of interesting Ohio facts inside the Ohio Corn Maze, or wind your way through the Mystery Maize or Mini Mystery Maize. Activities abound at this fun stop, including feeding the farm animals, shooting potatoes in the spud slinger, wandering through the giant corn mazes and milking Bessie the cow, among so many more. Hayrides are provided to the public during corn maze hours as a part of the admission fee, and travel through parts of the farm’s 700 acres of scenic fields and woodlands.
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