As a tourism expert, I have had the pleasure of exploring the breathtaking region of southwestern Ohio extensively. With its rolling hills, picturesque landscapes, and charming small towns, this area offers some of the most scenic drives in the United States. From historic covered bridges to charming small towns and breathtaking natural landscapes, this region has something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the hidden gems of southwestern Ohio.
The Ohio River Scenic BywayThe Ohio River Scenic Byway is a 943-mile route that follows the course of the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Cairo, Illinois.
In southwestern Ohio, this byway offers breathtaking views of the river and its surrounding landscapes. The route passes through charming towns such as Marietta, Portsmouth, and Cincinnati, making it a perfect road trip for those who want to experience the local culture and history. One of the highlights of this scenic byway is the Serpent Mound State Memorial in Peebles. This ancient Native American effigy mound is shaped like a serpent and is believed to have been built between 800 BC and 100 AD. It is one of the largest effigy mounds in the world and is a must-visit for history buffs. Another must-see attraction along the Ohio River Scenic Byway is the John A.
Roebling Suspension Bridge in Cincinnati. This bridge, which was completed in 1866, was the longest suspension bridge in the world at that time. It offers stunning views of the city skyline and is a popular spot for photography.
The Hocking Hills Scenic BywayThe Hocking Hills Scenic Byway is a 26-mile route that winds through the Hocking Hills region of southeastern Ohio. This area is known for its rugged cliffs, waterfalls, and dense forests, making it a paradise for nature lovers.
The byway passes through the Hocking Hills State Park, which is home to several popular tourist attractions. One of the most iconic spots along this byway is the Old Man's Cave, a deep gorge with waterfalls, rock formations, and hiking trails. It is a popular spot for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching. Another must-visit attraction in the Hocking Hills State Park is the Ash Cave, a massive recess cave that is 700 feet long and 100 feet deep. It is one of the largest recess caves in the state and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The Hocking Hills Scenic Byway also passes through the charming town of Logan, which is home to the Paul A.
Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum. This quirky museum houses over 3,400 pencil sharpeners from different eras and countries, making it a unique stop on your road trip.
The Covered Bridge Scenic BywayThe Covered Bridge Scenic Byway is a 50-mile route that winds through the countryside of southwestern Ohio. As the name suggests, this byway takes you through several historic covered bridges that are over 100 years old. These bridges offer a glimpse into the region's past and are perfect for a scenic drive or a photo opportunity. One of the most famous covered bridges along this route is the Harshman Covered Bridge in Clark County.
This bridge was built in 1890 and is one of the few remaining covered bridges in Ohio that still carries vehicular traffic. Another must-see bridge is the Roberts Covered Bridge in Greene County, which was built in 1829 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Covered Bridge Scenic Byway also passes through the charming town of Cedarville, which is home to the Cedarville Opera House. This historic building, which was built in 1888, is a popular spot for live performances and is a must-visit for music and theater enthusiasts.
The Amish Country BywayThe Amish Country Byway is a 160-mile route that takes you through the heart of Ohio's Amish country. This area is known for its picturesque farmlands, rolling hills, and quaint Amish communities.
The byway passes through several small towns such as Millersburg, Berlin, and Sugarcreek, where you can experience the Amish way of life. One of the highlights of this byway is the Holmes County Trail, a 29-mile paved trail that is perfect for biking or walking. It offers stunning views of the countryside and passes through several Amish communities, giving you a glimpse into their traditional way of life. Another must-visit attraction along the Amish Country Byway is the Warther Museum in Dover. This museum houses an impressive collection of hand-carved steam engines and trains created by Ernest "Mooney" Warther. It also features a beautiful Swiss-style garden and a knife factory where you can watch skilled craftsmen at work.
ConclusionSouthwestern Ohio offers some of the most scenic drives and road trips in the United States.
So pack your bags, hit the road, and explore these hidden gems of southwestern Ohio.