We recently spent five weeks exploring the Buckeye state, and what a lot to see and learn! A few people asked us why Ohio, with our response being why not? After all, Ohio offers so many gorgeous waterfalls, caves, cliffs, gorges, valleys, scenic countryside, farms. Amish country, rivers, lakes, covered bridges and more! We focused on rural areas this visit, but the cities also have much to offer.
Waterfalls were our number one priority so I’ll begin with them. We chased (or should I say hiked to) many! There are also several you can reach by short walks, if you are not a hiker. Ohio also has a number of natural bridges and really cool cliff overhangs. Lots of fun picturesque moments!
Ohio has more than 125 historic wooden covered bridges, which adds so much character to the scenery! Along with this, a friend gave us a personal tour of her family farm in Lowell, which is a village near Marietta. Fun fact, Marietta was the first settlement in the Northwest Territory in 1788.
We also drove through Amish country. Some Amish still make haystacks the old-fashioned way, which is so neat! We also got to see the classic Amish buggies around!
One day we loaded our bikes on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Train, which runs through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Then we rode the towpath trail along the Ohio and Erie Canal 20 miles back to where we boarded the train. Cuyahoga Valley NP is a bit unusual because it lies between the metropolitan areas of Cleveland and Akron. It was originally 2 separate regional parks. In 1974 Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area was established, and in 2000 it became Ohio’s first and only National Park.
Here we are overlooking the Y Bridge in Zanesville This is the fifth Y bridge built over the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers since 1814. It’s a bridge with an intersection which includes a traffic light. And it’s one of a few bridges in the world you can cross and stay on the same side of the river! It’s hard to see the Y from the picture. If interested, look up an aerial view.
Big Muskie Bucket is located in Miner’s Park in McConnelsville. Big Muskie was once the world’s largest earth moving machine. It crept across the landscape on 4 giant shoes. It was erected on site and operated from 1969-1991. During her lifetime she moved more than 483 million cubic yards of earth to uncover nearly 18 million tons of coal. The bucket’s swing time from filling, lifting, swinging and dumping was approximately 60 seconds. Operation stopped because of new technology and decreased demand for the mine’s high-sulfur coal due to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. She sat idle for 8 years while many tried to preserve her. After all avenues were exhausted she was dismantled and recycled. All that remains is her bucket.
We also ventured up to Cleveland one day. It’s a city we had not visited, so we figured why not check it out since we were so close. Did you know Cleveland had the world's first traffic light or that it was the first city to have electric streetlights? It’s a city known for many firsts including the pop-top can, the cash register, chewing gum and more! We hope you enjoyed reading about our Summer adventures, and as always, happy camping! - Dale & Debbie