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By Jack R Perry
Originally published in Hills Living Magazine, April 2016
I was born in Ohio and have retired in Ohio after living in Virginia, Illinois, Arizona and Kentucky. Ohio isnÕt Montana, Utah or California but I can tell you we have lots to do if youÕre a nature lover, sports fan and even love going out for dinner. We have the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) that preserves and reclaims the rural landscape along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. You can Ski in the Winter and attend concerts in the Summer. Lots of hiking trails and many beautiful waterfalls to visit, the most notable is Brandywine. You can even ride an old steam engine through the Park.
We have over 140 covered bridges to visit. We are second in the nation in the number of covered bridges. Ashtabula County Ohio has 17 covered bridges and an annual covered bridge festival. You can even Trout Fish under a covered bridge. Many of OhioÕs covered bridges are deteriorating, but many are being rebuilt for new generations to enjoy. Be sure to visit a few or all of them. You can find out more about OhioÕs Covered Bridges in my book ŌThe Covered Bridges of Ohio Covered: A Photo GuideÕ or you can see them all on line at fineartamerica.com
One of OhioÕs major resources is Lake Erie, a natural playground for boating and transportation. We have Cleveland Metro Parks, also called the Emerald Necklace because of their beauty. Ohio has miles and miles of bicycle trails running along the Tow Path of the old Ohio & Erie Canal. The Towpath trails will take through the CVNP. Rural Ohio makes a wonderful Sunday drive. You can visit wineries, see unique 16 sided barns or even Mail Pouch Barns. These wonderful old barns are deteriorating fast, so donÕt delay. DonÕt forget the Ohio River on our Southern border and the Mighty Muskingum which divides Ohio in the middle in Southern Ohio. Old 19th century Inns & Mills still exist where you stay the night right on the river. Years ago Ohio was a major producer of soft coal from surface mines. The land has now been reclaimed and is called the AEP ReCreation Land. ReCreation Land is a 60,000-acre outdoor recreation area. You can fish with over 350 stocked lake/ponds, camp at over 380 campsites or mountain bike. The 1200 mile Buckeye trail runs though the ReCreation Land. DonÕt forget to visit Miners Park and see the ŅBig MuskieÓ Bucket. "Big Muskie" was the largest dragline ever built for surface mining coal. The skies are so dark there you might even catch a glimpse of the Milky Way on a clear night.
These are just a few of the places I love in Ohio. I have included photographs of some of the places I have mentioned for your enjoyment on my website for viewing or purchase. You can find many more of my photographs from around Ohio and other great outdoor places I love on my website at fineartamerica.com. Watch for my more in-depth articles and photographs of some of my favorite places in Ohio and others states.