Hike Through History
June 2011 Issue
June 2011 Digest
This summer, put a little spring in your step by discovering the
treasures Ohio’s rock ’n’ roll city holds. Through September 18, the
Take a Hike! program gives locals and out-of-towners alike the chance to
explore unforgettable aspects of Cleveland through four free guided
walking tours of popular hot spots.
“We started Take a Hike! three years ago to educate people about the
great history of our city,” says program manager Kelly Lange, “and share
plans for its future.”
Since then, more than 5,000 tourists have congregated for the
one-and-a-half-hour-long strolls, which take place weekend mornings and
evenings during the week: On Sundays, see Settler’s Landing, the way
city founder Moses Cleaveland did, when he set up camp in 1796.
PlayhouseSquare, the country’s second-largest performing arts center,
takes center stage on Tuesdays. Cleveland’s rich heritage as a hardware-
and garment-manufacturing hub is showcased every Thursday, while one of
the city’s most magnificent architectural gems, the 121-year-old
Arcade, is the subject of the Saturday sojourn.
During every hike, streets come alive with a colorful cast of Cleveland luminaries from the past, portrayed by local actors.
Lange is thrilled with the comments she’s received from participants so
far. Her favorites came from two native Clevelanders — one woman in her
30s, and the other in her 60s. Each wrote to say that although they’ve
lived in the city their entire lives, they never knew all it had to
offer until they, well, took a hike.
Visitors from around the state and throughout the U.S., as well as
Canada, England and Germany, have made it a point to take the tours,
often going out to dine with their new friends at the conclusion of the
Lange takes her role as goodwill ambassador seriously.
“People who don’t live around here can go back to their family and
friends and tell them that Cleveland is fantastic,” she says, “so they
will want to come for a visit, too.” — Linda Feagler
For more information, visit historicgateway.org or call 216/771-1994.
Petal to Pedal
Coasting down the Greater Miami River Bike Trail
toward Milford, cyclists take pleasure in the pastoral ambiance that
surrounds them: the sparkling Little Miami River, as well as the bright
shocks of butterfly weed and wood lilies that flank the path.
And this summer, trail riders are noticing what promises to be a new
seasonal favorite: bikes as garden art. More than 36 cycles are on
display for Bikes in Bloom, a public-art project in which bicycles,
tricycles and Big Wheels, adorned with flowers and plants, have been
placed at points of interest in downtown Milford and Miami Township.
Mary Anne Crowley, the Greater Milford Events & Arts Council
co-chair, points to the naturescape as inspiration for the display.
“After witnessing Bikes in Bloom in New York, we wanted to bring the
event here where the bike trails are such an integral part of our
community,” explains Crowley. “It just made sense that the idea would
manifest itself in this way.”
Artists have clearly put their creative know-how to work: A combination
of artificial and live silk flowers, blooming vines and vibrant annuals
make this the ultimate in recycling. Visitors are invited to cast a
People’s Choice ballot for their favorite bike by July 23. — Laura Beans
For more information, visit gmeac.org.
The word “zenith,” noted Gregg Mervis, vice president and COO of the
Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau, means the “top.” And with
that, he introduced the bureau’s 10th annual Zenith Awards honoring the
best of the best in the Akron/Summit County region’s travel and tourism
The program, held last month at the John S. Knight Center in downtown
Akron, recognized numerous honorees. Receiving the chairman’s award from
CVB Chairman Gregory R. Bean was Lute Harmon Sr., chairman of Great
Harmon was honored for promoting and encouraging travel and tourism
throughout the region and the state through Great Lakes Publishing
magazines, including Ohio Magazine, Cleveland Magazine
and Inside Business
In accepting the award, Harmon turned the tables on the tourism
officials in attendance, including State Tourism Director Amir Eylon.
“It is I who want to thank you,” Harmon said to the gathering. “I want
to thank you because you get it. You understand the huge importance of
the hospitality industry on our state. You understand its economic
impact as well as its impact on how we are viewed around the country.”
Harmon credited Susan Hamo, president of the Akron/Summit Convention
& Visitors Bureau, for being the first person to teach him about the
industry’s significance shortly after Great Lakes Publishing acquired
Ohio Magazine in 2000.
“She’s very convincing,” he said. “And she was certainly right. I am
honored by the award but, more important, I am grateful that you have
inspired me and accepted me into your fold.”