April 2014 Issue
Great Ohio Road Trips
Spring is here, summer is on the horizon, and we’ve all been stuck entirely too long indoors. It’s time to gas up the car, roll down the windows and hit the road.
Linda Feagler, Kara Kissell, Kelsey Smith, Hallie Rybka and Jim Vickers
Lighthouses, a historic freighter and a new nautical museum offer insight into how Lake Erie shaped our state.
Toledo to Mentor | 157 miles
Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline stretches 312 miles, making it a prime avenue for a long summer drive. Our Great Lake once served as a water source for the Erie Native American tribe and later helped guide early frontiersmen as they made their way across a then-wild northern Ohio. It became a means of access for settlers from New England and, after the Industrial Revolution, proved vital for shipping raw materials. “The Great Lakes was and still is important to the steel industry,” explains Dante Centuori, director of creative productions at Great Lakes Science Center. “A large part of the U.S. and Canadian steel industry is concentrated around the Great Lakes.” A leisurely drive along the meandering shoreline from the the new National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo to the Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Lighthouse offers insight into our state’s nautical past.
1. The National Museum of the Great Lakes:
The new museum set to open April 26 teaches visitors about the Great Lakes through interactive exhibits and is home to the S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker
museum ship. “We’re different than other maritime museums because we look across the Great Lakes,” says executive director Christopher Gillcrist. “It’s the only place you’ll see artifacts from all five of the lakes.” 1701 Front St., Toledo 43605, 440/967-3467, inlandseas.org
2. Marblehead Lighthouse State Park:
Marblehead is home to the oldest continually operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes. “There’s a lot of history here, and you have the opportunity to go up in the lighthouse,” says park manager Mike Monnett. “During sunrise and sunset there are beautiful views of the islands.” 110 Lighthouse Dr., Marblehead 43440, 419/734-4424, marbleheadlighthouseohio.org
3. Steamship William G. Mather:
The William G. Mather
transported goods across the Great Lakes for 55 years. Now moored outside the Great Lakes Science Center, the ship serves as a floating museum. “The interior is restored to different eras so you get a taste of what it was like in different time periods,” says the science center’s Dante Centuori. “You can go to the lower guest lounge and it’s like it was in the ’20s.” Seasonal hours, 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland 44114, 216/694-2000, greatscience.com
4. Headlands Beach State Park:
Home to the longest beach on Lake Erie, millions of visitors flock to this state park each year. “It’s one mile of natural sand,” says park manager Phil Vichosky. “It’s the largest natural sand beach in the state of Ohio.” It offers places to picnic and hike and is bordered by two nature preserves. 9601 Headlands Rd., Mentor 44060, 440/466-8400, parks.ohiodnr.gov/headlandsbeach
5. Fairport Harbor:
West Breakwater Lighthouse: This lighthouse at the mouth of the Grand River was lit in June 1925. Today, a private citizen owns the landmark. “This is one of the few working lighthouses,” says owner Sheila Consaul, who offers tours and an annual open house. The National Weather Service also has a weather station inside. 9601 Headlands Rd., Mentor 44060, fairportharborwestlighthouse.com
A trip to southeast Ohio offers ways to experience nature and adventure like few others places in the Buckeye State.
Hocking Hills tour | 35 miles
Deep gorges and hulking rock formations get a lot of the attention. But the Hocking Hills region is also home to plant and animal species that make the place unlike any other part of Ohio. “Hocking Hills is where Northern Canada meets Southern Appalachia,” explains Hocking Hills State Park naturalist Pat Quackenbush. “If you’re down in the gorge, it’s going to remind you a lot of [Canada] — like hemlocks, birch trees, those species there — but when you come up out of the gorge into the hills, you go into Southern Appalachia, [a] Smoky Mountains-type hardwood forest … You can get Tennessee all the way to Canada in one hike.” Couple that with outdoor adventures such as ziplining, and you have getaways that will transport you to a wild, more natural place, no matter the level of adventure desired.
1. Cantwell Cliffs:
This most remote of Hocking Hills State Park trails offers two options when visiting the nearly 150-foot cliffs: Traverse a loop along a narrow path at the base of the cliffs or take on the trails along the rim. The trails are undeveloped, forcing visitors to take their time. “[It’s] not just a hike,” says Mimi Morrison, guide and owner of Touch the Earth Adventures. “It is about absorbing the quiet nature that is there.” Hocking Hills State Park, located off St. Rte. 374, Rockbridge 43149, parks.ohiodnr.gov/hockinghills
2. Conkle’s Hollow:
Sandstone walls rise nearly 200 feet at this state nature preserve that features a half-mile, wheelchair-accessible concrete pathway leading to a waterfall. There’s also a longer upper-rim hike accessed via stairs that offers stunning views of the surrounding forest. “What makes these gorges unique is the fact that they are a microclimate that is always cooler than outside the gorge,” notes retired naturalist Paul Knoop lives right next door. “There are plants and animals that live in these cool spots that won’t live outside the gorge.” 24858 Big Pine Rd., Rockbridge 43149, ohiodnr.gov
3. Old Man’s Cave:
The most-visited spot in Hocking Hills State Park is home to four waterfalls and must-see rock formations. “You get a little bit of all of the best geology in the park at Old Man’s Cave,” notes naturalist Pat Quakenbush. Broken Rock Falls is found at the end of a trail off of the Lower Falls. It is a less-hiked area for those seeking solitude at this busy spot. Hocking Hills State Park, located off St. Rte. 664, Logan 43138, parks.ohiodnr.gov/hockinghills
4. Ash Cave:
Any visit to the Hocking Hills should include a stop at this huge natural amphitheater created by a rock overhang. Like Conkle’s Hollow, a paved path provides visitors easy access to the natural wonder. Shawnee and Wyandot Native Americans once held ceremonies here. Much later, a Baptist minister brought his congregation and delivered his service from the 15-foot pulpit rock. “There is [so much history] and it’s amazing to see,” says Eric Hoffman, nature photographer and Friends of Hocking Hills board member. Hocking Hills State Park, located off St. Rte. 56, South Bloomingville 43152, parks.ohiodnr.gov/hockinghills
5. Hocking Hills Canopy Tours:
Head into the air to experience the wildlife and flora from above at this zip-line spot. “You get that thrill and that adventure of being up there 80 feet in the air zipping,” says tour guide Brian Snider. “But then there’s being able to learn about nature and the history of the area while you’re up there.” Groups of two to nine people zip along 10 zip lines and across five bridges, ending with a 25-foot rappel. 10714 Jackson St., Rockbridge 43149, 740/385-9477, hockinghillscanopytours.com
From famous masterworks to a museum celebrating the music that shaped our lives, the arts thrive in northeast Ohio.
Cleveland to Akron | 45 miles
The names Severance and Rockefeller still adorn Cleveland’s cultural hub of University Circle. But the Cleveland Museum of Art and Cleveland Orchestra, which call the roughly one-square-mile district just east of downtown home, weren’t the only institutions shaped by the wealth that made art a priority in northeast Ohio during the 20th century. The Akron Art Museum and MOCA Cleveland have also been delighting arts patrons for decades. “There’s a wealth of world-class talent and performance in our community that’s very accessible,” says Jill Snyder, executive director of MOCA Cleveland, the city’s contemporary art museum. Founded in 1968, MOCA moved to its new $27.2 million home in the city’s Uptown District two years ago. The museum is a short walk from both University Circle and the city’s Little Italy neighborhood.
1. MOCA Cleveland:
The newest building on Cleveland’s cultural landscape, MOCA showcases cutting-edge contemporary works inside a 34,000-square-foot structure that is itself a work of art. Current exhibitions include “DIRGE: Reflections on [Life and] Death,” spotlighting works that explore mortality. “MOCA’s iconic building and nationally recognized exhibition program help position Cleveland as a beacon for contemporary art,” says executive director Jill Snyder. 11400 Euclid Ave., Cleveland 44106, 216/421-8671, mocacleveland.org
2. Cleveland Museum of Art:
This free museum houses works spanning the globe. A recent $320 million expansion and renovation brought with it a new and innovative experience that blends art and technology, enabling visitors to explore the history of each piece in the collection and create their own iPad tour. “Masterpiece after masterpiece, you can walk through 6,000 years of art history,” says interim director Fred Bidwell. “You can’t help but be moved by the beauty.” 11150 East Blvd., Cleveland 44106, 216/421-7350, clevelandart.org
3. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum:
Elvis’ motorcycle is in the building. So are Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche and Michael Jackson’s rhinestone-studded glove. Dedicated to preserving the history of the musical geniuses of our time, the Rock Hall spotlights more than 2,000 artifacts and special exhibitions that have included Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones. “Rock ’n’ roll changed the world,” says Meredith Rutledge-Borger, associate curator. “The [museum] offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to understand why the music is the soundtrack of our lives.” 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland 44114, 216/781-7625, rockhall.com
4. The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center:
It’s hard to beat a picnic dinner and music by one of the world’s best orchestras. Although Severance Hall is its home, the Cleveland Orchestra’s summer series at Blossom Music Center, located next to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, has been a tradition since 1968. Get in tune with nature July 3 through Labor Day with Broadway and Hollywood favorites or programs of Beethoven, Liszt and Rachmaninoff. “The opportunity to hear a live orchestra in the open air in a great acoustical setting is very special,” says concertmaster William Preucil. 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls 44223, 216/231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com
5. Akron Art Museum:
Showcasing art produced between 1850 and present day, the 85,000-square-foot museum features more than 5,000 works, with a strong focus on contemporary painting, sculpture and photography. Highlights of the collection include American Impressionist and Tonalist paintings, as well as works by Chuck Close, Helen Frankenthaler and Andy Warhol. “We have an amazing collection of artists who created some of the best examples of modernism and contemporary art,” says executive director Mark Masuoka. 1 S. High St., Akron 44308, 330/376-9185, akronartmuseum.org
Let the romance and nostalgia of trains take you on a trip back through time.
Nelsonville to Cleveland | 207 miles
Perhaps it’s because so many have disappeared into the mists of history, or that the idea of newer and faster is losing its luster. Whatever the reason, the intrigue of traveling by train has never waned. “Our love affair with locomotives is as strong as ever,” says Mark Warther, who conducts group tours on trains through the Colorado Rockies, California, England and Scotland. Clearly, his passion is genetic: Warther’s grandfather, Ernest Warther, carved the 64 intricately detailed wooden trains on display at the Warther Museum in Dover — just one of the attractions in our state that pay homage to the rail era. “There’s a longing for nostalgia and the desire to go where your car can’t,” adds Warther. “Not to mention the fact that many of us found a train under the tree on Christmas morning that became one of the most treasured gifts we ever received.”
1. Hocking Valley Scenic Railway:
The vistas of southeast Ohio are yours for the picture taking aboard this scenic railway. Visit the Nelsonville Depot, filled with a century’s worth of photos and tools. Then, settle into mid-20th-century coaches for a relaxing 24-mile sojourn. Themed excursions include trips to Robbins Crossing pioneer village to watch blacksmiths and candle makers at work. “Kids of all ages love reliving history amid an area that’s unsurpassed in beauty,” says railway engineer Chris Burchett. 33 E. Canal St., Nelsonville 45764, 800/967-7834, hvsry.com
2. Dennison Railroad Depot Museum:
G.I.s traveling on troop trains during World War II relied on the Dennison Depot for a little TLC. From March 19, 1942, to April 8, 1946, 3,987 volunteers staffed the Salvation Army Servicemen’s canteen around the clock, serving a meal and a much-needed smile. “We welcome our visitors just as we did on the home front in the 1940s,” says museum director Wendy Zucal, “and that includes offering them a cup of coffee on the house.” 400 Center St., Dennison 44621, 877/278-8020, dennisondepot.org
3. The Warther Museum:
Ernest Warther whittled away his spare time from 1913 to 1968 by carving model steam locomotives out of walnut wood, ebony and ivory. His creations are celebrated today at the museum bearing his name. Don’t miss the 8-foot-long replica of the Lincoln Funeral Train, which he completed on April 14, 1965, the centennial of the president’s assassination. “My granddad believed the steam engine was the greatest invention of his time,” says Mark Warther. “Our legacy as a family is to preserve his work.” 331 Karl Ave., Dover 44622, 330/343-7513, warthers.com
4. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad:
The diesel engines and cars of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad once saw the miles roll by as part of the Seaboard and Santa Fe lines. Today, passengers can relive the golden age of train travel on excursions through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. “We depict the wonders of what this method of travel used to be like for those who remember it, as well as for new generations,” says CVSR conductor Tony Hart. Ticket office: 1630 Mill St., Peninsula 44264, 800/468-4070, cvsr.com
5. Midwest Railway Preservation Society:
Each week, volunteers congregate to breathe new life into the 70,000-square-foot B&O Roundhouse in their quest to return it to the way it looked in 1907. Other pieces of history being restored here include a 1918 Grand Trunk Western 4070 steam engine. “These massive pieces of steel are magnificent and make the rest of the world look tiny,” says society trustee Steve Korpos. Tours are available on Saturdays and new volunteers are welcome. 2800 W. Third St., Cleveland 44113, 216/781-3629, midwestrailway.org
Although no major battles were fought here, our state played a pivotal role in the Civil War and the effort to bring an end to slavery.
Columbus to Point Pleasant | 141 Miles
It was the war that defined us as a country and showed the world that our fervent belief in freedom was unwavering. Ohio’s connection to the Civil War is pivotal: More than 300,000 men from our state served and, of those, 35,000 died in battle or from wounds or disease. Historic sites throughout the Buckeye State offer enthralling lessons about the conflict.
“Ohio’s significance during the Civil War is an example of how important the state was to the country,” says Mark Holbrook, a Civil War re-enactor and the former marketing manager of the Ohio History Center in Columbus. “We had a thriving economy and effective political leaders. And we had more miles of railroad track than any other, which was vitally important to move troops and equipment. ... Had things gone the other way, we would probably need a passport to go to Tennessee.”
1. Ohio History Center:
Dedicated to preserving all facets of our state’s past, the center poignantly showcases Ohio’s role in the War Between the States. Uniforms, muskets, diaries, drums and bugles are on display. The “Follow the Flag” exhibit features a dozen of the actual banners carried by Ohio soldiers, some still steeped in the aroma of gunpowder. “Combined, these artifacts help us get to know the people who came before us a little better,” says Mark Holbrook. 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus 43211, 614/297-2300, ohiohistory.org
2. Kelton House Museum & Garden:
Located on the outskirts of downtown Columbus, the 162-year-old homestead that belonged to store owner Fernando Kelton and his wife Sophia is the epitome of Victorian elegance. But descend to the basement, and the heart of the house emerges: It was here the family hid slaves seeking freedom along the Underground Railroad. Costumed docents recount stories of hope and heartbreak. “It’s as though the Keltons just walked out the door,” says director Georgeanne Reuter. 586 E. Town St., Columbus 43215, 614/464-2022, keltonhouse.com
3. Camp Chase:
The gravestones are stalwart tributes to the 2,260 Confederate soldiers lying beneath them. Named for former Secretary of the Treasury and Ohio Gov. Salmon P. Chase, Camp Chase was a training ground for volunteer infantrymen and a prisoner-of-war outpost. More than 150,000 Union soldiers and 25,000 Confederate captives passed through the gates. “We honor and remember those who served here, as well as those who remain here,” says Dick Hoffman, Hilltop Historical Society board member affiliated with Camp Chase. 2900 Sullivant Ave., Columbus 43204, 614/276-8045, hilltopusa.tripod.com
4. Harriet Beecher Stowe House:
The Cincinnati home of the celebrated abolitionist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
looks as it did when she lived there during the 1830s. Books on politics penned by the author and her father are on exhibit, as are copies of Stowe’s best-selling novel — translated into more than 70 languages. “Harriet is a shining example of how one person can make a big difference to improve the lives of millions,” says Caitlin Tracey-Miller, program director. 2950 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati 45206, 513/751-0651, stowehousecincy.org
5. Ulysses S. Grant Birthplace:
He entered the world in a one-room cottage. But as the Civil War hero and future president grew in stature, so did his birthplace. Tourists now visit to see artifacts such as the wallet Grant carried into battle and the locket containing a snippet of his hair that was worn by his wife Julia. “This is the humble beginning of the great man who dedicated his life to Lincoln’s vision of a new birth of freedom,” says site manager Greg Roberts. 1551 St. Rte. 232, Point Pleasant 45153, 800/283-8932, ohiohistory.org
From baseball’s first professional team to the place where sports legends are remembered for all time, these spots embrace our competitive nature.
Cincinnati to Cleveland | 297 miles
Celebrating sports excellence is part of who we are. Whether one hopes to relive the heyday of the Big Red Machine or step up to the line with National Football League legends, both can be done within an afternoon’s drive of each other. These spots provide us a look into the past, offering a view that goes beyond wins and losses. “[These places] provide tremendous forums in which the compelling stories and cultural contributions … can be remembered, celebrated and explored,” says Chris Eckes, chief curator and operations manager of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum. See, it really does matter how you play the game.
1. Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum:
The Cincinnati Reds dominated in the 1970s when the Big Red Machine won back-to-back World Series titles, and the team’s hall of fame and museum next to the ballpark offers a look at the long history of baseball’s first professional team. World Series trophies, autographed baseballs and 81 hall of fame plaques tell the team’s 145-year story, while interactive exhibits provide visitors an up-close look at the game, including what it’s like to hurl a baseball from the pitcher’s mound. 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati 45202, 513/765-7923, cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/hof
2. Woody Hayes Athletic Center:
The atrium of The Ohio State University football team’s practice facility is a hidden gem. National Championship, Big Ten Championship and Heisman trophies are displayed alongside rings and photographs. “That lobby from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. is a public lobby,” says associate sports information director Jerry Emig. “People can come and go as they please.” 2491 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus 43210, ohiostatebuckeyes.com
3. Jack Nicklaus Museum:
Jack Nicklaus stands at the pinnacle of golf’s greatest players with 73 PGA Tour wins and five PGA Championships. His hometown museum is filled with artifacts and a gallery highlighting his golf course design work. “About 2,000 of his items are on display ... by far the most anywhere in the world,” says curator Steve Auch. 2355 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus 43210, 614/247-5959, nicklausmuseum.org
4. Pro Football Hall of Fame:
The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2013 renovation expanded the place to 118,000 square feet and brought new interactive exhibits. “I’ve been here 17 years and … probably 90 percent of the museum has changed,” says collections curator Jason Aikens. While visitors can now make the call in an instant-replay booth, there’s also a rich and continuously updated lineup of artifacts, including every Super Bowl ring. 2121 George Halas Dr. N.W., Canton 44708, 330/456-8207, profootballhof.com
5. Progressive Field:
Once upon a time, it was known as Jacobs Field, and it was here that the Cleveland Indians saw 455 consecutive sell-out games between 1995 and 2001. Baseball fans can take an hour-long tour of the beautiful ballpark, from the radio booth to the dugout. “The home dugout is always a big draw,” says Indians communications coordinator Joel Hammond. “It gives people a chance to sit on the bench and stand at the rail where their favorite players stand.” 2401 Ontario St., Cleveland 44115, 216/420-4487, indians.com
From iconic eats to commanders-in-chief, our state is packed with places that offer a deeper appreciation for Ohio. Here’s our checklist of 20 spots to look out for when you’re on the road.
These stops celebrate the history and fame of some of our state’s great tastes.
The famous ice cream was born in Cincinnati, but check out this Columbus location to see the company’s signature French Pot production process. Kids will love the ice cream-themed indoor playground. 2555 Bethel Rd., Columbus 43220, 614/442-7622, graeters.com
The burger chain’s original Columbus spot closed in 2007, but a new 4,300-square-foot restaurant near the company’s headquarters keeps its spirit alive with memorabilia, including the Olympic torch Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas carried in 1996. 4555 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., Dublin 43017, 614/799-2347, wendys.com
• Montgomery Inn:
Comedian Bob Hope began ordering Montgomery Inn barbecue sauce for his own home after visiting the rib spot’s original location in 1977. Today, the secret recipe is the same one co-founder Matula Gregory first used in the 1950s. 9440 Montgomery Rd., Montgomery 45242, 513/791-3482, montgomeryinn.com
• Slyman’s Restaurant:
Since 1963, the Slyman family has been piling 12 to 14 ounces of thinly sliced corned beef between rye bread and serving the sandwiches to locals, celebrities and U.S. presidents alike . 3106 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland 44114, 216/621-3760, slymans.com
• The Original Tony Packo’s:
Tony Packo created his Hungarian hot dog in 1932, but his eatery’s fame went worldwide when Toledo native Jamie Farr mentioned it in his role as Corporal Klinger on “M*A*S*H.” 1902 Front St., Toledo 43605, 419/691-6054, tonypacko.com
Ohio men who held our nation’s top office are remembered here.
• Warren G. Harding Home:
Built by the future 29th president in 1891 as a gift for his fiancee, the Queen Anne-style home is filled with objects the couple owned. Among the standouts are the president’s Inauguration Day suit. 380 Mount Vernon Ave., Marion, 43302, 740/387-9630,nps.gov/nr/travel/presidents/warren_harding_home.html
• William H. Taft National Historic Site:
This Greek Revival house where the future 27th president was born in 1857 features an 1854 Chickering piano and photos depicting the statesman’s achievements. 2038 Auburn Ave., Cincinnati 45219, 513/684-3262, nps.gov/wiho
• William McKinley Tomb:
The final resting place of the 25th President, wife Ida, and their two daughters, is an impressive tribute. Completed in 1907, the crypt is comprised of pink granite. A library and museum are also on the grounds. 800 McKinley Monument Dr. N.W., Canton 44708, 330/455-7043, mckinleymuseum.org
• James A. Garfield National Historic Site:
Nicknamed “Lawnfield” by reporters because of the 160 acres it sat upon, the 20-room farmhouse served as a residence and campaign headquarters for the future 20th president, wife Lucretia and their children. 8095 Mentor Ave., Mentor 44060, 440/255-8722, nps.gov/jaga
• Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center:
In addition to his 31-room home, which the 19th president finished in 1889, Spiegel Grove also contains a library comprising 70,000 volumes, including family diaries. The graves of Hayes and wife Lucy are on a small hill at the south end of the property. 1337 Hayes Ave., Fremont 43420, 419/332-2081, rbhayes.org
Turn back the clock at these places where famous names got their start.
• Bob Evans Farm:
Known as the Homestead, this is where Bob Evans and his family lived and operated a sausage shop that went on to become the first Bob Evans restaurant. Today, it’s home to The Farm and Homestead Museum and hosts an annual Bob Evans Farm Festival. 791 Farmview Rd., Bidwell 45614, 800/994-3276, bobevans.com/ourfarms/bobevansfarm
• Clark Gable Birth Home:
This Cadiz museum is an authentic reconstruction of “Gone with the Wind” actor Clark Gable’s childhood home, complete with furnishings from the time period. On display are several of Gable’s personal belongings, including a sled from his youth and his 1954 Cadillac. 138 Charleston St., Cadiz 43907, 740/942-4989, clarkgablefoundation.com
• Edison Birthplace Museum:
This museum is the home that Thomas Edison lived in for the first seven years of his life. It has been restored to look as it would have in 1847, featuring some of the family’s furniture and Edison’s early inventions. 9 N. Edison Dr., Milan 44846, 419/499-2135, tomedison.org
• Thurber House Museum:
The one-time home of author, humorist and New Yorker
cartoonist James Thurber is now a museum and nonprofit literary center. Guests are invited to sit at the table and play the piano at this living museum, where visitors can touch items on exhibit. 77 Jefferson Ave., Columbus 43215, 614/464-1032, thurberhouse.org
• Hawthorn Hill:
The Wright family lived in a Dayton home at 7 Hawthorn St. until 1914, and much of the thinking that went into the first airplane happened there. Although that house has been moved to Michigan, you can still tour Hawthorn Hill, the mansion Orville Wright called home for 35 years. 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton 45409, 937/293-2841, daytonhistory.org
Take in the scenery at one of these state parks filled with natural beauty
• Adams Lake State Park:
Located in the bluegrass region of southwest Ohio, this area’s prairie ecosystems counts more plant species than anywhere else in Ohio. A hike through the state nature preserve offers rare sightings of Indian paintbrush, 10-foot Prairie Dock and Blackjack oak trees. 14633 St. Rte. 41, West Union 45693, 740/858-6652, parks.ohiodnr.gov/adamslake
• Beaver Creek State Park:
A scenic paddle takes canoers under arching trees, through swift currents and over gentle rapids. This stream valley in the Appalachian foothills is the only one in the United States in which evidence of all four major glacial periods can be seen. 12816 Sprucevale Rd., East Liverpool 43920, 330/385-3091, parks.ohiodnr.gov/beavercreek
• John Bryan State Park:
The Little Miami River flows alongside hiking trails flourishing with more than 100 tree and bush varieties and 340 wildflower species. The river intensifies near the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, plunging 130 feet over layers of bedrock. 3790 St. Rte. 370, Yellow Springs 45387, 937/767-1274, parks.ohiodnr.gov/johnbryan
• Malabar Farm State Park:
Nearly eight miles of hiking trails take visitors through wildflower lowlands and old-growth forests at this working farm. The seasonal produce stand offers farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, and the barn’s gift shop sells grass-fed beef year-round. 4050 Bromfield Rd., Lucas, 44843, 419/892-2784, malabarfarm.org
• Maumee Bay State Park:
The swamp and marsh wetlands are home to a vast array of species. From the 2-mile-long boardwalk, visitors can spy painted turtles or some of the more than 300 species of birds spotted along Lake Erie. 1400 State Park Rd., Oregon 43616, 419/836-7758, parks.ohiodnr.gov/maumeebay