Friday, May 29, 2015

Explore Mohican Country

Photos by OHventures

Mohican Country is located halfway between Cleveland and Columbus. It is an adventurer's paradise, an outdoorsman's dream, and home to some of the most unique attractions in the state! Mohican Country is primarily in Knox County, with parts of Ashland and Richland Counties as well. The hub of most of the action is Loudonville and Glenmont within Knox County.

1. Mohican Wilderness: For a family atmosphere and 1,000 campsites to choose from (the largest campsites in Ohio), head over to the 600-acre Mohican Wilderness. It's a quiet refuge where you can play by day (with a 2-mile horseback riding trail, canoes, kayaks, and tubing), and sleep by night (just you, the stars, moon, and some fireflies)! Enjoy the ever-popular Bluegrass Festival that takes place here annually over a 3-day weekend in September. 

2. Mohican River Swinging Bridge: Located on site of the Mohican Wilderness, be sure to visit the Mohican River Swinging Bridge (pictured above). This will lead you to hiking trails and a nature reserve, all scattered with educational historic markers!

3. Mohican Tree House Cabins: f you ever had a desire to live Swiss Family Robinson style for a day, or if you wanted to bring back childhood memories of the treehouse you had in your backyard, now you can! The Mohicans, located in Glenmont, Ohio in Knox County, have these exciting accommodations available for anyone to stay! Borrowing technology from the zipline industry, the treehouses are constructed upon platforms with heavy-duty bolts and hardware fastened to the trees to ensure safety, and to provide flexibility for when the trees inevitably grow in size over the years. These cabins are nestled in the treetops starting at around 20 feet in the air, allowing for beautiful picturesque views of the Mohican Forest, and providing a peaceful refuge for birdwatching or reading with a mug of coffee.

4. Trail's End Restaurant: Trail's End is a family owned and operated restaurant located literally at the Trails End! After a long day of hiking (or any other adventures in Mohican Country), I recommend coming to Trail's End for one of their signature pizzas made from their homemade dough. You can also come for a lunch buffet, or try one of the great hiking & camping themed foods, such as the "Sleeping Bag" (cheesy garlic bread), "Walking Sticks" (fried pickle spears), and the "Melted Paddles" (mozzarella sticks).  

5. Mohican Adventures: This place has everything an outdoor adventurer could ever imagine or hope for: canoes for rent, cabins, campsites, and an awesome family fun center with go-karts, and best of all, a massive aerial obstacle course (think a small-scale "American Ninja Warrior)! The Aerial Adventure Park opened for the first time in 2014. You pay by the hour, and you have the chance to attempt one of three courses: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Obstacles include cargo nets, ziplines, climbing obstacles, swing bridges, and more - all suspended high above the ground!

6. Mohican River Inn: An affordable, relaxing, comfortable, and cozy way to spend time in Mohican Country is the Mohican River Inn! Here, you can reserve in one of 46 homey rooms starting at just around $159 a night. You can even try a more romantic suite, complete with a heart shaped jacuzzi (pictured above). Come for the friendly party-like atmosphere on Fridays and Saturdays, and visit the old native Smoke Signal mound located at the highest point of the property on Eagle Ridge, overlooking the confluence of the Lake Fork Tributary into the Mohican State Scenic River.

7. Mohican State Park: This extremely popular state park is a massive 1,110 acres with 5 miles of the scenic Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River running through it. The recreational opportunities available to the park visitor include fishing, hiking, picnicking, camping, mountain biking, hunting, horseback riding, backpacking, cottages and a resort lodge. The lodge has an amazing restaurant, Bromfield's Dining Room, which has fantastic views and serves up delicious grub, like the homestyle meatloaf (pictured above). The lodge also offers up adventure packages!

8. Treehouse Canopy ToursZip lining is not for the squeamish - especially when you're talking about the tallest, fastest, and longest zip line in all of Ohio! Tree Frog Canopy Tours in GlenmontHolmes County, holds that title with its highest point at 120 feet, its fastest clocked speed at 52 miles per hour, and over 4,000 feet of pure fun and adrenaline (the individual cables ranging from 145 feet to 1,100 feet long).

9. Mohican Reservation: The Mohican Reservation is popular for its semi-annual Native American Pow Wows that take place in July and September. There are over 10,000 people who come to enjoy dancing, food (Indian tacos and gator bites), drum circles, and camaraderie! The atmosphere is fantastic on this 75 acre campground with over 200 campsites (including 11 large cabins). Come any time of the year, but definitely make a visit to the Pow Wow!

10. Loudonville Canoe Livery: This is Ohio's oldest canoe leasing business, so you know that they are doing something right! You can try the scenic 9-mile canoe ride, or the popular "Lazy Overnighter" which includes 23 miles of canoeing and one night of camping under the stars! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ultimate Beer Run Recap

Photos by OHventures

Peanut butter & jelly. Milk & cookies. Running & beer?!

It may not be a traditional pairing or a match made in heaven, but combining running with beer is definitely a recipe for a good (albeit interesting) time. These are two of my favorite things, so if you throw them together like in the Ultimate Beer Run on May 9 in Columbus, I certainly find it hard to resist.

Team OHventures (Me, Matt, Megan, Matt #2, Jess, Megan #2, & Jim) united in our green & gray OHventures t-shirts, party beads, and oversized neon sunglasses to tackle the challenge of the Ultimate Beer Run head on! The Ultimate Beer Run isn't about who is the fastest or the fittest. It's about good people, good fun, and tons of good costumes! 

Our "costumes" were extremely tame compared to the legions of participants clad in elaborate Avengers get-ups an other hilarious outfits like Wayne & Garth from "Wayne's World" (above) - or my absolute favorite, Indiana Jones being chased by the "boulder" (below)!

The concept was quite a doozy: run a total of 2 miles while stopping to drink a total of 40 ounces of craft beer from local Ohio breweries. Needless to say, this race was not a competitive timed event, but we did have the traditional running bibs to make it seem official. The Ultimate Beer Run Columbus took place at its home base of the Land Grant Brewing Company located in the up-and-coming revival neighborhood of Franklinton in West Columbus. 

Tents were situated outside for each of the breweries: Jackie O's Brewery from Athens, MadTree Brewing Company from Cincinnati, Fat Head's Brewery in North Olmstead, and of course our host, the Land Grant Brewing Company from Columbus! Each runner was given 3 beer tickets and a beer token.

All runners lined up on the street, and at the sound of the horn, we ran around a small loop course (approximately 2/3 mile by my estimations) that brought us right back to where we started. When we got back to Land Grant, we turned in our drink ticket to any one of the 4 brewery tents so we could receive a 10 ounce beer of our choice!

There was no need to chug the beer, so we took our times, enjoyed the brew, then went back around the loop to repeat the whole process. We did this - drinking a beer and running a lap - repeatedly until we were out of tickets! It was a gorgeous 85-degree May day in Columbus, and the race started at 12 noon (when it was the hottest temperature of the day). So, the heat combined with the beer and the running made it very important to also hydrate with water in between runs!

It was definitely a challenge bouncing up and down the roads of C-Bus with frothy brew sloshing around my stomach. But my mind was taken off of any discomfort thanks to all of the great scenery and hilarious costumes that kept me and my teammates cracking up and enjoying ourselves!

After our final lap, it was time to turn in our UBR chip to get our giant mugs of beer! By now, it was only 1PM, so the party was just getting started, with a costume contest, dance-off, and of course a ton of brew. If you want to take part in the Ultimate Beer Run, check out its website to see when it will be stumbling into your town! There are UBRs in Cleveland and Cincinnati, as well as many other cities outside of Ohio (Nashville, Indianapolis, and St. Louis to name a few!).

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

88 Counties In Ohio = 88 Things To Do! (Regional)

The 88 counties in Ohio carve out special parts of the state that are each unique in their own way. The state is incredibly diverse, with the lakeside counties spanning from Lucas to Ashtabula; the "great plains" of Northwest Ohio, including counties like Williams, Henry, and Wood; the hilly Appalachian region with Washington, Athens, and Belmont Counties (to name a few), and of course the heartland including the counties of Franklin, Delaware, Pickaway, and more. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

If it's your goal to visit all 88 counties in Ohio, then this list is for you! Many of these links take you straight to our very own OHventures experiences. But, truth be told, even we haven't made it to each county - yet! So, start your engines and check out this list of one cool thing to do in each of Ohio's 88 counties!

Ashland – Get cheesy at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn – the name says it all! (Ashland)
Ashtabula – Stay the night at The Lodge at Geneva-On-The-Lake – gorgeous views
Carroll – Saddle up for some Horseback Riding at Faith Ranch (Jewett)
Columbiana – Spend the night at the haunted Spread Eagle Tavern (Hanoverton)
Coshocton – Depart on the Three Rivers Wine Trail, including Yellow Butterfly Winery
Cuyahoga – See all of Cleveland from atop Terminal Tower (and take a Day Trip to Cleveland)
Geauga – Give yourself a sugar rush at the Geauga County Maple Festival
Harrison - Paddle through Southeast Ohio thanks to Green Acres Canoe & Kayak Rental
Holmes – Embrace yourself in Amish culture with Der Dutchmann Restaurants
Jefferson - Step back 200 years to the Ohio frontier at Fort Steuben (Steubenville)
Lake - Have a night of luxury at Quail Hollow Resort (Painesville)
Lorain – Take your pups on a jaunt with the Dirty 5K, Walk & Wash (Avon Lake)
Mahoning – Trek the trails of Mill Creek Park to Lanterman’s Mill (and take a Day Trip to Youngstown)
Medina - Celebrate Christmas all year 'round at Castle Noel (Medina)
Portage - Imbibe at Viking Vineyards & Winery (and take a Day Trip to Kent)
Stark  - Run the stairs of the McKinley Monument (and take a Day Trip to Canton)
Summit  - Zoom down the hill of the All American Soap Box Derby (and take a Day Trip to Akron)
Trumbull – Plunge into the waters of Mosquito Lake (and take a Day Trip to Hubbard)
Tuscawaras – Travel back in time by seeing the historic village of Zoar
Richland - Tour the Mansfield Reformatory (where they filmed Shawshank Redemption)
Wayne - Engage in discussion while eating & drinking at First Amendment Public House (Wooster)

Allen – Pig out at Kewpee Burger – the oldest hamburger fast food chain in the world (Lima)
Auglaize - Honor Ohio native Neil Armstrong at Wapakoneta's Summer Moon Festival
Crawford - Gorge on brats & take the "wurst" bike ride at the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival in August
Defiance - See the reconstructed historic town of Auglaize Village, with a military museum 
Erie – Ride the world’s largest roller coasters at Cedar Point (Sandusky)
Fulton - Check out the arboretum & ATV, hiking, & horseback riding trails of Maumee State Forest
Hancock - Go up, up, and away on a Findlay Hot Air Balloon Ride
Hardin - Build Your Own Tour of historic, architectural, and natural attractions in Hardin
Henry - Grab a photo op with the giant can of Campbell's Tomato Soup (Napoleon)
Huron - Gawk at the Christmas lights at the annual Light Up Norwalk Festival 
Lucas – Gorge on hot dogs at the famous Tony Packo’s (and take a Day Trip to Toledo)
Mercer - Tackle the Mad Run - a muddy obstacle run in Fort Recovery
Ottawa – Kayak the waters of Put-In-Bay (and explore the whole island while you’re at it)!
Paulding - Visit the Paulding County Carnegie Library, on the US National Registrar of Historic Places
Putnam - Scuba dive at Gilboa Quarry - the Midwest's Premier Dive Site (Ottawa)
Sandusky - Learn about one of our presidents at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Seneca - See Ohio's Greatest Underground Adventure, Seneca Caverns
Shelby -  Do a nighttime zipline at VanDemark Farm (Sidney)
Van Wert - Hop aboard a plane for a flying tour at the Van Wert Airport
Williams - Check out the Bryan Theatre, local parks, and other fun things in the City of Bryan
Wood - Visit Bowling Green State University and the surrounding area!
Wyandot - Birdwatch at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area, where you can see bald eagles!

Delaware – Take advantage of the state’s largest inland beach at Alum Creek State Park
Fairfield – Zipline over 100 feet off the ground at Valley Zipline Tours (Lancaster)
Franklin – Visit the Ohio Statehouse (and see 100 more things to do in Columbus)
Knox – Stay the night in the Mohican Tree House Cabins (Loudonville)
Licking – Say hello to the Longaberger Basket Building – the world’s largest basket
Logan – Ski the day away at Mad River Mountain (Zanesfield)
Madison  Fish, hike, picnic, and more at Prairie Oaks Metro Park (West Jefferson)
Marion – Visit the epic tomb found at the President Warren G. Harding Memorial
Morrow – Shoot ‘em up at SplatterPark Paintball (Mount Gilead)
Pickaway - Attend the Circleville Pumpkin Show and see the pumpkin water tower!
Union - Scale the steep hiking trails of Clear Creek Metro Park

Athens – Taste some local beers at Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery – a locavore’s delight (Athens)
Gallia - Head "down on the farm" to the Bob Evans Farm Homestead Museum (Bidwell)
Guernsey – Embark on an Open Air Safari at The Wilds (Cumberland)
Hocking – Hike your heart out at Hocking Hills State Park, including Old Man’s Cave
Jackson - Go apple picking and celebrate at the Jackson Apple Festival each year
Lawrence - Spend a day at Lake Vesuvius
Meigs - "Milk" your time in Meigs County by visiting the famous Snowville Creamery
Monroe - Drive along the Covered Bridge Byway on a self-guided scenic tour 
Morgan – Camp at the Wayne National Forest (the only National Forest in Ohio)
Muskingum – Pig out on pasta at Adornetto’s Selected Italian Foods (Zanesville)
Noble - Dine at the Dockside Restaurant overlooking the beautiful Seneca Lake Marina
Perry - Eat breakfast at Dodson's On Broadway (New Lexington)
Scioto - Embark on a journey to Scioto County's Shawnee State Park
Vinton – Immerse yourself in Zaleski State Forest (second-largest state forest in the U.S)
Washington – Hop aboard the Sternwheeler and drink some Marietta beer!

Adams – Sightsee at the Great Serpent Mound – the longest serpent effigy in the US
Belmont - Rock out at the "Superbowl of country music festivals - Jamboree In The Hills
Brown - Soak in the Ohio River at Eagle Creek Landings Marina (Georgetown)
Butler – Plan a trip to Jungle Jim's International Market - more than a grocery store (Fairfield)
Champaign – Explore the deep caves of Ohio Caverns (West Liberty)
Clark - Hike your way through Buck Creek State Park in Springfield
Clermont – Bike the trail corridor of Little Miami Scenic Trail along the Little Miami River
Clinton – Immerse yourself in Pioneer Village at Caesar Creek State Park
Darke - Watch the stock cars race by at the world famous Eldora Speedway (New Weston)
Fayette - Shop the day away at the Tanger Outlets right off of I-71 (Jeffersonville)
Greene - Trek along the Old Woods Trail located at Caesar Creek State Park
Hamilton –  Meet an elephant at Cincinnati Zoo (and take a Day Trip to Cincinnati)
Highland - Mountain bike in Paint Creek Lake State Park (Hillsboro)
Miami – Take a Day Trip to the quaint town of Piqua
Montgomery – Eat at Olive, An Urban Dive (and take a Day Trip to Dayton)
Pike - Travel Pike's Patches Quilt Barn Trail to see all of the quilt barns in the area!
Preble - Go ghost hunting and on other spirited adventures
Ross - Take a day trip to the Ross County seat, Chillicothe (Ohio's first capital)
Warren – Zipline at Ozone Zipline Adventures (Lebanon)!