Thursday, July 19, 2012

Go South!

I received an email not long ago from a reader that wanted to show their disappointment in the lack of articles featured on OHventures that focused on Southern Ohio. I was given the tip to "Go South!" and explore all of the great things that are in the portion of our state below Columbus by the River. It is true that I have not been able to travel south as much as I have been able to travel in the central and northern parts of the state, but that is not at all because I have preference! I live and work in Columbus and have family in Northeast Ohio, so I often travel to these areas and have a great deal of experiences to share from those parts of the state.

There is much beauty to be seen and a lot of great landmarks, parks, attractions and restaurants in these areas of Ohio and I hope to soon be able to travel there and highlight more of this region on the blog. There's not enough time in the day to go everywhere all at once, but trust me, I will leave no stone unturned, and I accept the challenge to "Go South!" and appreciate the feedback from my reader!

I have compiled a list of 5 Reasons to "Go South!" In Ohio!

1. Chillicothe: This charming Ross County city is an hour directly south on US Route 23 (if you reach Jacksonville, Florida, you've gone too far). US Route 50 runs East to West along the south end of the city. It lies within the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Scioto River runs North to South through Chillicothe. It was Ohio's first AND third state capital (1803-1810 and 1812-1816), and there's much to be done when visiting. Check out the OHventures Chillicothe Travel Guide to read about Hirch's Fruit Farm, Yoctangee Park, Adena Mansion & Gardens, and more!

2. Lebanon: Driving south on I-71, you'll know you are in Lebanon when you hit the tallest bridge in all of the state, the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge, which spans over the Little Miami River in Warren County. Taking the exit off of I-71, you can to rent from Little Miami Canoe and make your way down the river yourself to see this gargantuan bridge and other fun sights. Or, you can go ziplining at Ozone Zipline Adventures, where you can now zip across the river to the historic Native American grounds, Fort Ancient Arcahaelogical Park. After all this, you can grab a bite to eat at the famed Golden Lamb, the oldest and longest running inn and restaurant in the state, where many prominent and influential American figures have dined.

3. The Great Serpent Mound: As I had mentioned in a post about the statewide painting project "The Land We Call Ohio," the Great Serpent Mound is located in Adams County and is a 1,348 foot long, 3 foot high mound that is the longest "serpent effigy" in the United States. It has been dubbed a national historic landmark and is maintained by the National Historical Society. This impressive landmass was created in prehistoric times by Native Americans and has enormous significance on a cultural and astronomical level. The Mound is on the Bucket List, but will require a substantial amount of travel time. For something of such significance, it will surely be worthwhile.

4. Shawnee State Park: The reader who messaged me about going south was adamant that I plan a trip to Shawnee State Park, located near Portsmouth in Scioto County. Surrounded by Shawnee State Forest, the park gets its name from the Native American tribe from the region and is now complete with a golf course, hiking trails, swimming areas, and a marina! It is also home to Camp Oyo (literally meaning Ohio), where the Boy Scouts of America go for a high adventure camp. As this is the inspiration for this post, I will be sure to travel there soon, and encourage others to visit here to experience the splendor and beauty.

5. Marietta Brewing Company: When traveling to Marietta in Washington Countyfor work, I asked locals where the best place would be to grab some lunch. I was given a hearty response of "The Marietta Brewing Company." Located at 167 Front Street, I made my way through the old quaint roadways of this river town to the brewpub, which was easy to spot with the copper plated brew kettles lining the storefront. I had a great burger, fries and salad, and drooled over the beer selections (some with fun southern-Ohio themed names like Mount Builder's Brown Ale, Front Street Pale Ale, and Marietta Barleywine). The brewery can be found right on the river and in between Ohio Riverfront Park and East Muskingum Park, two spots to enjoy before or after your dining and drinking experience.

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