Sunday, December 11, 2016

Top 10 OHventures of 2016


While many people will look back on 2016 as being one they wish the could forget (all of the celebrity deaths, the contentious and controversial Presidential race, the national and international catastrophes), it's more important than ever to try to find the light within the darkness! We had a great deal of excitement (both good and bad) happening at OHventures, that we didn't even get to post as much as we typically do. But, it's not the amount of times we post that counts, it's the quality of the posts - and this year, we have a lot of high quality adventures to look back on.

As with every year (see 20122013, 2014, and 2015), I give to you the Top 10 OHventures of 2016. There were many to choose from, but if you needed to see the best of the best, here they are (in no particular order)!

Use this list to start planning some awesome bucket list items to do in 2017.

1. BrewBoat ClevelandPart bike, part boat, and part bar, the BrewBoat in Cleveland is a one-of-a-kind experience that will guarantee to be a hit for you and your adventure-and-beer-loving friends.When trying to find a perfect birthday gift for some family members who "have it all," I decided to get creative and book a reservation aboard the BrewBoat! Follow us on the adventure on the Cuyahoga River.

2. Escape Room DowntownWhile I am usually posting about adventures that exercise the body, escape rooms exercise the mind. They bring people together to use their brains to accomplish the goal under the given time limit, which is a huge adrenaline rush! Join us as we head to the Escape Room Downtown in Canton to tackle "The Missing Detective's Office"!

3. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad: ALL ABOARD! The CVSR can be found in Northeast Ohio, running through the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (the one and only national park in the state of Ohio). The main portion of the railway runs northbound from Akron in Summit County, all the way to Independence in Cuyahoga County.

4. Red Maple InnThis summer, I was invited to stay at the Red Maple Inn, a beautiful boutique hotel located in the small town of Burton in the heart of Geauga County's Amish Country. With unbeatable views of lush green fields, a selection of spacious rooms, and hearty Amish-style breakfast buffets, the offer to stay was impossible to pass up.

5. HalloWeekends at Cedar PointFor the past 20 years, Cedar Point has been hosting HalloWeekends, on the weekends that fall between Labor Day and Halloween. The entire 365-acre park transforms into a spookier, scarier, and more thrilling experience for guests, with pumpkins and cobwebs decorating the queue lines, and ghosts, goblins, and ghouls roaming the midway. For the first time EVER, I finally went to HalloWeekends!

Photos by OHventures

6. SegAway Tours of ColumbusSegAway Tours of Columbus offers a series of tours for anyone interested in uncovering hidden secrets about the city while leisurely gliding through the parkways, riversides, and sidewalks of downtown, Arena District, Short North, and Victorian Village. It was a challenging experience, but one I will never forget. I am hooked on Segways!

7. Findlay Market CincinnatiEven on a Sunday afternoon, the Findlay Market located in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is booming with activity. As Ohio's oldest public market (having been established in 1852), the Market shows no signs of slowing down. With the brightly colored Italian-style architecture, you'll immediately feel in a cheerful mood, ready to explore the Market head on! 

8. Spartan Race OhioThe Spartan Race was one of the greatest challenges I have ever embarked on, and one that was unforgettable and incredibly fulfilling for the adventurous spirit within me. On May 8, OHventures traveled to Cumberland with our friends Matt & Anthony to tackle all of the mud, obstacles, and burpees that make up the grueling course.

9. Winans Chocolates + CoffeesTwo things that most everyone can agree on is delicious chocolate and quality coffee. Winans Chocolates + Coffees, based in Piqua in Miami County, has got you covered! I had the pleasure of receiving some Winans products to review, and it wasn't long until all of my chocolate and treats were gobbled up, and all of my coffee was gulped up! I also got to visit the Winans to Winans Half Marathon in September!

10. RNC in CLE: This year marked an historic time for the City of Cleveland. The Republican National Convention (RNC) was held in town for the first time since the 1930s, bringing in thousands and thousands of visitors from across the country and the globe. No matter your politics, you can enjoy some of the photos that we were able to take during this week in July.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy Holidays From OHventures


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to all of my readers of OHventures! Thank you so much for your continued support in my quest to show everyone just how cool Ohio can be! May the next year bring you an endless thirst for adventure! See you in 2017!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Northeast Ohio WaterFALL Hikes

Chagrin Falls - Photos by OHventures

The roar of rushing water echoing throughout the wilderness is a welcoming sound when hiking through Ohio’s parks and trails. Whether manmade or created by Mother Nature herself, waterfalls provide an element of excitement and wonder to any outdoor adventure. Add to that the changing colors of autumn’s leaves, and you are bound to take your scenic adventures to an entirely different level.

Growing up in Northeast Ohio, my friends and I loved to explore the woods throughout the year, but nothing would compare to the times when we’d hike in autumn. In our expeditions, we sought out many notable waterfalls, which have become some of my favorite landmarks. Here are some of my top picks for Northeast Ohio waterfall hikes:


Chagrin Waterfalls – Chagrin Falls, Cuyahoga County
The waterfalls in the quaint city of Chagrin Falls can be easily found, and they don’t require any hiking boots or gear! These impressive 20-foot high falls are located right in the heart of town square, and can be accessed via a series of staircases. I always take a pit stop to see the Chagrin Falls after having dinner or shopping at the many establishments lining Main Street. The leaves turn golden yellow and fire red during autumn, which provides a beautiful frame for the cascading waters. Just hurry and catch them before they freeze for the winter!

Gorge Metro Park – Cuyahoga Falls, Summit County
The Gorge Trails at the Gorge Metro Park in Cuyahoga Falls are full of remarkable rock formations along some slightly rugged terrain. A boardwalk and wooden staircase were recently installed to make the hike less advanced. The unmistakable sound of crashing water can be heard while on the majority of the 1.8-mile path. The falls you see are primarily due to a manmade dam, but you can also spot some natural cascades, known as the Big Falls (pictured above). You can take a detour out of the woods and spot the Little Falls, located in downtown Cuyahoga Falls. These waterfalls is how the city received its name.

Cascade Falls – Nelson Township, Portage County
As a teenager, my friends and I often visited Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, located along U.S. Route 422 in Portage County. The rocky cliffs proved to be a challenging endeavor, and the nearby quarry gave us a place to cool off in the summer. When the leaves changed, color, we would still head to the park, but stick to hiking. We’d explore the exciting rock formations, like Devil’s Icebox and Indian Pass, and we’d always uncover the gorgeous Cascade Falls. Surrounded by mossy rocks and russet leaves, the 50-foot tall Cascade Falls is a slender, less robust waterfall than the others on the list, but is striking nonetheless.


Brandywine Falls – Northfield, Summit County
By and large, the most picturesque and the most breathtaking of all of the waterfalls I have visited in Northeast Ohio is Brandywine Falls (pictured above). Located in northern Summit County (in between Akron and Cleveland), Brandywine Falls are approximately 65-feet tall, with rushing waters encapsulated by bright orange leaves in the autumn. When frost and ice form, the flow of the water changes as well, making for an interesting sight to see. These falls are a very popular spot for photo shoots, be it for a wedding, engagement, or just because (which is exactly what I did with my dog this fall). There is a small 1.5 mile hiking trail that leads to the falls, as well as a wooden observation deck, which is always bustling with visitors.


Lanterman’s Falls – Youngstown, Mahoning County
As a student, we took countless field trips to Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, where we could go see Lanterman’s Mill and its accompanying waterfalls! Our teachers would take us here so we could learn how the water from the creek is used to power the gristmill to grind grain. We would always tour the mill and take home some grain products that were made on site! The waterfall next to Lanterman’s Mill is only about 15 feet tall, but it works in conjunction with the mill and a nearby covered bridge to create a beautiful backdrop.

There are countless other waterfalls in Northeast Ohio (and the state as a whole) to check out in the fall (or any time of the year). Some other good ones to check out are Buttermilk Falls in Brecksville, Cuyahoga County, and Paine Falls in Painesville, in Lake County.