The “Road to Buxton” on the Shawshank Trail (photo courtesy of Destination Mansfield)

Get Busy Driving the Shawshank Trail this Summer

Ohio’s Shawshank Trail invites fans of the beloved 1994 film “The Shawshank Redemption” to take a road trip that includes stops at 14 filming locations.

On the second floor of Mansfield’s Ohio State Reformatory sits a room that many will immediately recognize as Warden Norton’s office from the beloved film “The Shawshank Redemption,” reconstructed to appear just as it did on screen.

In 1994, the movie hit theaters to critical claim and seven Academy Award nominations, tying the city of Mansfield as well as various other filming locations across northern Ohio to the timeless tale of hope. In response to the film’s popularity, Destination Mansfield launched The Shawshank Trail in 2008, which allows fans to walk in the footsteps of the movie’s  protagonists Andy Dufresne and Red by way of a self-guided driving tour of 14 Ohio locations, including, most famously, the Ohio State Reformatory, which now operates as a tourist attraction.

Excluding the scenes that take place in cells, the Ohio State Reformatory was the backdrop for the movie’s penitentiary scenes, including its prison yard, which is now gone. The scene of Brooks’ hotel room was filmed there too.

“It’s such a unique experience to be able to come into the reformatory and tour many intact areas where your favorite scenes were filmed,” says Dan Smith, associate director of the Ohio State Reformatory.

Fans can begin the more than 100-mile Shawshank Trail at the Reformatory before making their way to downtown Mansfield to encounter Brooks’ bench in Mansfield’s Central Park, visit the pawnshop window at the Mansfield Antiques Gallery or take a selfie outside the Bissman Building (which appeared in the film as both the Brewer Hotel and the front office for the Portland Daily Bugle). They can then travel west to Upper Sandusky to visit the Wyandot County Courthouse and the open-by-appointment Shawshank Woodshop, which houses a museum.

“The Trail attracts visitors from all around the world,” says Jodie Snavely, special projects director at Destination Mansfield. “We’ve had a hitchhiker from England stop in our office and a traveler from New Zealand.”

Fans can also book a seat on the Shawshank Bus Tour, offered by the Ohio State Reformatory, which makes stops at the various trail sites, ending with the “Hollywood Meets History” tour at the reformatory.

Because 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the film’s release there are a variety of activities being hosted, including a 7K run dubbed the Shawshank Hustle, a Q&A session, film screenings and other fun events happening Aug. 9 through 11.

For more information about the Shawshank Trail and events surrounding the film’s 30th anniversary, visit