A shot taken at Strouds Run in Athens. (

Summer 2016 At-a-Glance Guide

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The cicadas have come out of hiding; the thermostat is regularly dipping into the high 70s; and slowly reddening sunburns are starting to appear on the noses and foreheads of those not wise enough to slather on SPF. This can only mean one thing: summer 2016 is here, and it’s already shaping up to be a good one.

Whether you love planning outdoor treks with your pals or roaming the countryside on your lonesome looking for adventure on those long summer weekends; there’s plenty to do, see and taste here in Southeast Ohio.

The beauty of Hocking Hills State Park. (
The beauty of Hocking Hills State Park. (


Let’s start with a directory of the region’s many state parks. (Make sure to bring bug spray, it’s ‘skeeter season, after all!)

Athens County

Strouds Run State Park:

Burr Oak State Park:

Belmont County

Barkcamp State Park:

Coschocton County

Dillon State Park:

Salt Fork State Park:

Gallia County

Crowned City Wildlife Area:

Guernsey County

Salt Fork State Park:

Harrison County

Harrison Lake State Park:

Hocking County

Hocking Hills State Park :

Jackson County

Jackson Lake State Park:

Lake Alma State Park:

Lawrence County

Compass Plant Prairie Nature Preserve:

Crown City Wildlife Area:

Dean State Forrest:

Symmes Wildlife Area:

Meigs County

Forked Run State Park:

Monroe County

Piatt Park:

Morgan County

Burr Oak State Park:

Blue Rock State Park:

Big Bottom Memorial State Park:

Muskingum County

Blue Rock State Park:

Dillon State Park:

Noble County

Wolf Run State Park:

Perry County

Perry State Forrest:

Vinton County

Lake Hope State Park:

Washington County

Howes State Park:


A snapshot from the production of “Trumpet in the Land.” (


Looking for an afternoon that is a bit more organized than regular old hiking or biking? Whether you’re aching to feast your eyes on folks decked out like James (son of Zebedee) or noted Moravian minister David Zeisberger, either one of these outdoor dramas has unique fun in store for audiences this summer.

The Living Word

Description: 42nd season for the religious drama about the life of Christ.

Location: 6010 College Hill Rd., Cambridge (Guernsey County)

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays June 17 to Sept. 24; Crucifixed Youth/Family Rally (August 6, 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.); the Jerusalem Experience (10 a.m. to noon Aug. 27), an interactive children’s program

Admission: $18, or $16 for senior citizens, $6 for children 4 to 12 for The Living Word; admission varies for other shows

Seating capacity: 800

Running time: 21/2 hours for The Living Word; other shows vary

Information: 740-439-2761,

Trumpet in the Land

Description: 46th season for the historical drama about the founding of Ohio’s first settlement.

Location: Schoenbrunn Amphitheatre, New Philadelphia (Tuscarawas County)

Performances: various dates June 17 to Aug. 20; also The White Savage (various dates July 2 through Aug. 13); all shows 8:30 p.m.

Admission: $15 to $20, or $15 to $18 for senior citizens, $8 to $10 for children 12 and younger for all shows

Seating capacity: 1,279

Wheelchair access: yes

Running time: 2-1/2 hours for Trumpet and Fiddler; 2 hours, 15 minutes for The White Savage.

Information: 330-339-1132,


The quaint streets of Roscoe Village. (


Ohio is steeped in history, and you can pop by any of these regional museums to verify that fact. Whether you’re looking for actors in period costume wear or you simply want to check out some local art, any one of these fine establishments will meet your needs.

Roscoe Village

Description: The 1800s canal-era experience features hands-on activities and costumed interpreters.

Location: 600 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton (Coshocton County)

Open: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; call for tour times

Admission: free; a fee for some attractions

Parking: free

Special exhibit: Mudlarked in Roscoe — visitors interact with costumed interpreters as they fill their bills of lading on a scavenger-hunt experience (additional fee, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend)

Information: 1-800-877-1830, 740-622-7644,

Zanesville Museum of Art

Description: The museum boasts an extensive Ohio glass and pottery selection as well as works by Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Picasso, Rembrandt and Rubens.

Location: 620 Military Rd., Zanesville (Muskingum County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays

Admission: $6, or $4 for senior citizens 60 and older and children 10 to 18, free for children 9 and younger and members

Parking: free

Special exhibit: 71st Ohio Annual Exhibition — explore the paintings, glass work, photography, fiber art, textiles, ceramics and other entries for the arts competition (June 11 through Aug. 21)

Information: 740-452-0741,

Kennedy Museum of Art

Description: Ohio University’s art museum, housed in the old grounds of the Athens Mental Health Center. This season the museum has both an exhibition of interdisciplinary art entitled Merging Concepts as well as their permanent collections.

Location: 100 Ridges Circle, Athens (Athens County)

Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Admission: Always free. Donations accepted.

Parking: Several free visitor spots are available, as well as metered parking.

Information: 740-593-1304,


A snapshot taken at The Wilds, a wildlife conservation center located in Cumberland. (the
A snapshot taken at The Wilds, a wildlife conservation center located in Cumberland. (


What says “summertime” more than checking out exotic animals? Very few things indeed! Bring the kids (or just your youngest pals,) to check out the beauty of critters you just don’t see in the wild around here.

The Wilds

Description: A 10,000-acre conservation center in southeastern Ohio features rare and endangered animals living in natural, open-range habitats.

Location: 14000 International Rd., Cumberland (Guernsey County)

Big attractions: experience rare and endangered animals such as giraffes, rhinos, zebras and cheetahs living in their natural, open-range habitats at the conservation center in southeastern Ohio. Zip lines, horseback riding, fishing tours, a lodge, cabins and yurts are available.

Open: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily May through September, weekends only in October

Admission: Safari Transport tour, $20, or $19 for senior citizens 60 and older, $15 for children 4 to 12, free for children younger than 3; open-air Safari tour, $30, all ages; Wildside Tours, $125, reservations required.

Parking: $6

Information: 740-638-5030,



None of the above get your juices flowing? Not to worry, there’s much more in stock for your summertime enjoyment in the Buckeye state.

Wayne County

Buckin’ Ohio Western Experience: May 28-Sept. 17; professional bull riding, Western town recreation, shopping; 8154 Garman Rd., Burbank; 330-624-7205;

Tuscarawas County

Fort Laurens: Open May-October; museum on-site of Ohio’s only Revolutionary War fort, with audio-visual presentations, war artifacts; 124 East High Ave., New Philadelphia; 330-874-2059;

Holmes County

Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center: Open Monday-Saturday; interpretive tour, Conestoga wagon, one-room schoolhouse, local arts and crafts; 5798 CR 77, Berlin; 330-893-3192;

Stark County

Pro Football Hall of Fame: Open daily; tour, interactive exhibits, galleries; 2121 George Halas Dr. NW, Canton; 330-456-8207;

Guernsey County

Byesville Historical Society and Museum: Open Mondays and Wednesdays, May-September; antiques, photographs and documents from 1800s to present day; 236 East Main St., Byesville; 740-685-2812

Monroe County

Piatt Park: Open daily; 119-acre park with caves/gorges, hiking and camping; State Route 78; 740-472-1328;

Harrison County

Harrison County History of Coal Museum: Monday-Saturday; comprehensive look at early day and modern mining in southeast Ohio; Puskarich Library, 200 East Market St., Cadiz; 740-942-2623;

Noble County

Seneca Lake: Open daily; 3,500-acre lake offering fishing, swimming, boating, family camping; 22172 Park Rd., Senacaville; 740-685-6013;

Washington County

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival: Sept. 9-11; more than 30 authentic sternwheel boats, family entertainment, fireworks; corner of Front and Greene Streets, Marietta; 1-800-288-2577;

Morgan County

Ribs, Rhythm and Blues Festival: June 6; regional blues and jazz musicians perform in the historic Union Hall Theater; 7520 Marion St., Chesterhill; 740-554-6994;

Perry County

Wayne National Forest: Open daily; public hunting, fishing, camping, horse trails and hiking throughout southern Perry County;

Hocking County

Washboard Music Festival: June 16-18; three-day celebration of the washboard as a musical instrument, with concerts, a car show, parade and more; East Main Street, Logan;

Vinton County

Vinton County Air Show: Sept. 18; features pilots from around the U.S., skydiving, food, kids’ activities; Vinton County Airport, 66285 Airport Rd., New Plymouth,

Athens County

Stuart’s Opera House: See event schedule; national, regional and local musicians, theater productions and more; 52 Public Square, Nelsonville; 740-753-1924;

Meigs County

Big Bend Blues Bash: July 29-30; national and regional blues acts perform during two-day blues festival, located along the Ohio River; Pomeroy Riverside Amphitheater; 100 East Main St., Pomeroy;

Gallia County

Our House Tavern Historic Site: Open Wednesday-Sunday; living history museum in 1800s house, with tours, artifacts and more; 432 First Ave., Gallipolis; 1-800-752-2618

Jackson County

Jackson Apple Festival: dates TBA; rides, parades, live entertainment; 250 East Main St., Jackson;

Lawrence County

Rally on the River: dates TBA; annual car and motorcycle show, featuring live music and vendors; Ironton;