My Town Destination: Guernsey County OH
Trip Type: Weekend Trip
Date of Visit: 6/13/19-6/15/19
Town Ambassador/Contact: Debbie Robinson |Phone:740-432-2022 |email:firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s summertime, and that means family vacations, and outdoor activities. Families often search for a great place where kids are constantly entertained and happy, but having a destination that meets everyone’s needs can be hard to find, especially if you want to stay on budget. Guernsey County offers a little piece of yesteryear, with family and budget friendly activities, giving a chance to slow down and take advantage of family life from its lakes, lodges, and charming small towns.
Grab Your Beach Towel and Camping Gear
When you think of Eastern Ohio, you probably don’t immediately think of beaches and boating, but that is not the case in Guersney County. Upon arrival, My Town embarked on its first adventure at Seneca Lake. Seneca Lake Park has over 4,000 acres and is the third largest inland lake in Ohio. In addition to being a beautiful State Park, it offers new camping and cabin accommodations, including a family friendly beach.
Ohio Beach Time
The beach at Seneca Lake Park is very inviting for kids. The big balloon type obstacles beckon you to get in the water (which is the perfect depth for kids). Seneca lake also boasts a great campground and outdoor programs all season, including fishing and hunting. For more information click here. If you don’t own a boat, you can rent one for the day, and take advantage of stopping at Dockside– the best place to eat on the lake! If you get a rainy day, take advantage of the fish hatchery, a great place for kids to learn and explore fish species. Seneca Lake is an incredible place to travel for the day or the week. Bring your bikes and camping gear, or just lay on the beach for the day while your kids play.
Salt Fork Lodge
Check in at Salt Fork Lodge was a family moment not to forget, as this was a My Town Family trip, the kids were flipping for this room. See video here. The first night we explored the beautiful grounds, checked out the indoor and outdoor pools, and signed up for the Bigfoot Night Hike. Yep, Bigfoot is a huge deal at Salt Fork, a living legend! That evening we had a great dinner at Timbers (located inside Salt Fork Lodge), and retreated to play games in front of the iconic stone fireplace.
Boat Up To Stone House
A great way to spend a day at Salt Fork, is to rent a boat at Sugartree Marina and take it over to the Stone House Museum. This is the Ancestral Home of the Benjamin Kennedy Family built in 1840. Now part of Salt Fork State Park, and run by volunteers, this home on the water offers a glimpse into the past, and is a great family boat trip!
In The Wilds
A family “must do” if you are visiting Guernsey County is a visit to The Wilds. “The Wilds is a private, non-profit conservation center located on nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed mine land in rural southeastern Ohio. It was created as the conservation center of the future by a group of civic leaders, political leaders and zoo professionals who believed that a serious scientific approach was required to find solutions to environmental concerns.”(thewilds.org/history)
The Wilds now does everything from open air safari tours to overnight stays and educational programming. My Town did the open air safari tour, in which we had several animals (especially the ostrich and camels) come right up to our bus. The kids absolutely loved the experience of getting to see the animals in a natural environment. A group of any size or age would love this experience.
Living Legends and Drama
Bigfoot, Salt Fork, and Living Legends were mentioned together above, what is the connection? Salt Fork State Park happens to be Bigfoot Central. With several Sasquatch siting’s in the area, the park now is home to the Ohio Bigfoot Conference, and several other fun events throughout the season. When staying at the lodge, you can sign up for Bigfoot Night Hikes, or Creature Weekends where you learn how to collect evidence. In addition, you can purchase all kinds of Bigfoot merchandise, the gift shop even has a Bigfoot wine!
From Living Legends to Living Drama, Guernsey County is also home to Ohio’s only outdoor passion play! For forty-five years The Living Word Outdoor Drama has been wowing audiences with its beautiful performance of the Passion. This moving two-hour performance, will have you mesmerized by the detail of the costumes, and the grandeur of the sets. Over the years, this nonprofit organization has grown to the beautiful amphitheater you see today. This is truly a unique experience you can only get Guernsey in County.
You cannot come to visit Guernsey County without spending time in Cambridge. Here you can explore the town’s history of Glass and Coal. The best places to go for Cambridge’s unique past are the Guernsey County History Museum, Mosser Glass, and The National Museum of Cambridge Glass. Check out this article on how coal built Guernsey County here. While exploring, visit the wonderful shops and restaurants of downtown Cambridge. Most especially, make time for local favorites like Theo’s and Kennedy’s Bakery, both family owned for generations!
A trip to Guernsey County will be one you will remember because of how it makes you feel. There are many options to choose from, but the pace in Guernsey County is a little slower, and a little friendlier. The experiences are those of time well spent, not a flash in the pan, making Guernsey County a small town destination.
The Unique, Interesting, Yours, of Guernsey County
What is it about a town that makes it special? A local attraction, a family-owned business that has been there forever? A piece of history you can’t find anywhere else, or a book store with just the right vibe? Here are a few of the Unique, Interesting, Yours of Guernsey County.
Orr’s Drive In -Long time local favorite located in Byesville, with the best strawberry ice cream cone you have ever seen! Great place to go after a trip to the Wilds.
The Living Word Outdoor Drama- Only Outdoor Passion Play in Ohio running June-September, now in its 45th season.
Dockside Restaurant- Located at Seneca Lake Marina- Beautiful views, and a local favorite for food and fun.
MTT Antique and Market Finds
Great Antique Shops and Farmers Markets are familiar sights in small towns. This can include Thrift Shops, Local Eats, and the like! Here are some great MTT Antique and Market Finds from Guernsey County.
Mosser Glass– Another town staple started by Orie Mosser, Mosser Glass began when the Cambridge Glass Company closed in 1954. Mosser’s beauty and craftsmanship are known internationally. After a tour of the production facility you will want to take home everything in their showroom, making this a very unique Market Find.
McKenna’a Market- Great wine, old world foods, and local deli- Also part of a family of three businesses locally owned in downtown Cambridge.
My Town Today has started a referral section of each article. It’s based on the fun of visiting a town, and finding out what town the majority of its citizens would recommend for My Town to visit next.
The referral for this entry is: Oberlin, OH. Stay tuned for My Town Today to pop up there soon.
Guernsey County Photo Gallery Click Here: