Hocking Hills Scenic Byway Driving Tour
The Hocking Hills Scenic Byway was officially designated as an Ohio Scenic Byway in February 2005. The Scenic Byway passes through some of Ohio’s most beautiful landscapes and circles the natural areas of Hocking Hills State Park.
The route begins as you turn off US Route 33 onto Rt. 374 near Rockbridge, Ohio. At this point, you may wish to reset your trip odometer to best follow the following narration of the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway’s point of interest.
You will notice a stream that flows on the right. As the tale is told, a buck deer was wounded on Little Cola Road and ran for many miles. The pioneer trackers found it in a mill pond near this stream. According to Effie Woltz, a well-known Hocking County school teacher, the stream derives its name from the deer’s valiant efforts. It is called Buck Run.
About .4 miles later on St. Rt. 374 you will see an Indian mound on the right. Prehistoric Indians called the Hopewell’s created this mound. It was said to have been excavated by a former landowner, but very few artifacts were found. This mound is believed to have been a burial mound.
Just past the mound on the right, and all along the scenic byway route, you will see outcroppings of Blackhand Sandstone. This type of stone is prevalent in the area.
The Hocking Hills Scenic Byway also winds by many small farms in Hocking County.
About 3.3 miles past the Hopewell Mound, you will drive up a hill and see the sign that announces you are entering the Hocking Hills State Forest area.
The road curves around at the very top where you will notice newly planted pine to help reforest our hills. You will see the beginning of the giant hemlocks and tall pine trees. Many of the bigger pines were planted by the CC (Civilian Conservation Corp) in the 1930’s.
About a half mile from the Hocking State Forest sign, at the top of the hill, you will notice a large white house. This is the home of the Black CCC Corp. These men planted the trees, created trails, and built some of the structures found in the parks. At the same time they lived here, segregation was common. The house was the headquarters for the camp.
Cantwell Cliffs State Park
1.9 miles past the CCC Camp Headquarters you will see the Cantwell Cliffs parking lot. This is the first of the Hocking Hills State Park areas. The park was named for Joshia Cantwell. Although it is least visited, many proclaim the Cantwell area as the most picturesque in Hocking County.
You will see a little log cabin which serves as office headquarters for the park rangers during the summer.
Each of the parks offers restful picnic areas to allow you to stop for a rest. Picnicking is available year round.
Maps can be found displayed in each of the parks. Visitors are asked to stay on the trails for their own safety. The deep valley, steep cliffs and rock shelters of Cantwell Cliffs create a beautiful sight regardless of the season. The erosion caused by Buck Run accounts for the depth of the valley and heights of cliffs. Trails wind up through passageways caused by large stump blocks that have fallen away from the main cliff.
Cantwell Cliffs has a shelter house as well as a picnic area. Family picnics and large reunion gatherings make good use of these types of facilities.
The hemlocks and pines are a pretty sight regardless of the time of year. Their deep greens are especially welcome during the winter months. The parks seem to have their own beauty in every season.
1.5 miles past Cantwell Cliffs parking lot on Route 374 you will see a large grouping of directional signs. Turn right to continue on 374 and the Scenic Byway Route.
This farm is one of the small farms that enhance the beauty of Hocking County.
The beautiful rock cliffs edge the right of Stoody Hill (named for the farm owner). The left side is a wonderful ravine with an old farm with the remains of a Mail Pouch barn.
A picturesque wall of water can be seen on the right, across from Mt. Olive Road at the bottom of Stoody Hill. The Wildflowers and Waterfalls Tour also highlights numerous waterfall throughout the area.
In the winter, the seepage through the rocks forms beautiful ice formations for the eye to enjoy.
Near a big log house is a small cemetery that belonged to the Hanson family. It is taken care of by the Laurel township trustees.
At 23500 St. Rt. 180 in Rockbridge, Ohio is Spirits of the Hills Fine Arts and Crafts Gallery. The Hocking Hills Region is home to many artists. The Art of the Hocking Hills booklet is available at the Welcome Center. It tells of many artists’ homes and studios.
2.2 miles after Spirits of the Hills, you will come to the Village of Mound Crossing, you will find a beautiful old farmhouse with a mound in its backyard. This mound was built by the Hopewell Indians before the birth of Christ. St. Rt. 374 originally ran around this mound. The road was straightened and relocated about a half mile farther down. There used to be a house built on the side of this mound, but it since has been torn down.
A few pieces of flint were found when the original house was built. The big farmhouse is also the location of just one of our many craft and antique shops scattered throughout the county.
After you pass Mound Crossing, you will notice the first hints of the great American prairie on the right. This prairie extends all the way to the Rocky Mountains. Farther on, the majestic Hocking Hills give way to gently rolling fields and small rounded hills that look more like hay stacks. The awesome standardizing effects of the Wisconsin glacier that came this way about ten thousand years ago is in evidence everywhere. There are high vistas where the distant horizon turns blue-black.
Make sure to turn left to continue on State Route 374. The scenic byway route is one of many winding roads found in Hocking County. Drive carefully and enjoy the scenery.
About a mile after the left turn, you will come to the Nestled Inn which was originally known as Little Denmark. It was one of the first cabin rental businesses in the area. The picturesque countryside just seems to invite you to stay.
The parking lot to Rock House, another area of the Hocking Hills State Park is on the left. The Rock House is unique of all the Hocking Hills State Parks because it is a true cave. It is a tunnel-like corridor situated midway up a 150-foot Blackhand Sandstone cliff. The “Rock House” is complete with seven Gothic-arched “windows” and great sandstone columns which bear its massive roof. The Rock House has a ceiling 25 feet high, while the main corridor is 200 feet long and 20 to 30 feet wide.
Rock House was used by many past visitors as a shelter. You will find hominy holes, small recesses in the rear wall which served as baking ovens for Native Americans. Past visitors have chiseled out “troughs” or “holding tanks” in the stone floor of Rock House. These were used in the melting of pine knots to make turpentine, which was used by the Indians and pioneers for many things. It is believed that many not-so-welcome visitors used the Rock House, like robbers and horse thieves, which earned the cave a reputation of “Robbers Roost”.
Continuing on State Route 374 past the Rock House, is the Hocking Hills State Forest Headquarters. In the 1930’s the state built the buildings on this site to house prisoners who were not a flight risk. The camp was called the Hocking County Honor Camp. The actual camp was located about where the garages now stand. These men planted trees, fought forest fires and helped take care of the parks. A guard went with them wherever they went. It was not necessarily economical, but it gave prisoners time in the outdoors and to have an opportunity to learn new skills.
A half mile past the Hocking State Forest Headquarters is Big Pine Road, where Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve is located (you will have to make a turn off the Scenic Byway to visit Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve. From St. Rt. 374, turn left onto Big Pine Road, and Conkle’s Hollow’s parking lot is just a few hundred feet away). This park is a rugged, rocky gorge, one of the deepest in Ohio. The timeless beauty of the rustic valley is surrounded by towering 240 foot Blackhand Sandstone cliffs protecting a wilderness of hemlocks, birch, various trees, shrubs, ferns and wildflowers in this beautiful gorge. The hollow was named for W. J. Conkle who left his name and the date 1797 carved into the sandstone on the west wall of the gorge.
The little white church you see at the intersection of 374 and Big Pine Road is Pine Grove United Methodist Church and Cemetery. It was constructed in 1886 with unique architecture: it has two separate entrances, one door for the men and the other for the women. Although some modernization has been done to the building, the original entry doors were left as a comment on practices of the past. One of the graves in the cemetery belongs to Clyde Huffman, a navy crewman of the USS Arizona. His body lies with his crewmen in Pearl Harbor Hawaii. His stone was placed at the church here as a memorial for him.
At the stop sign one mile past Big Pine Road, turn left to follow St. Rt. 374 to Old Man’s Cave in the Hocking Hills State Park.
The Hocking Hills Park System Dining Lodge, swimming pool, and rental cabins are at the end of a mile long scenic driveway. The dining lodge is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner year round. Drive on up and see what’s on the menu!
Welcome to Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center. You will find restroom facilities, a museum display and a gift shop in the center which is open seasonally.
Old Man’s Cave is the hub of the Hocking Hills State Parks. The park gets its name for Richard Rowe, a hermit, who lived in the area in the mid 1800’s and is reported to have stayed here until his death. In this park, the creek has carved a magnificent gorge through the entire depth of Blackhand Sandstone. There are two sections: the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls. Trails take you down from one to the other. The vertical cliffs reveal deep recesses, potholes, and cracks that widen in some places due to the fact that massive blocks of rocks have tumbled from the cliffs. The lush vegetation varies and gives the eye a feast regardless of the season.
This building is the headquarters for Old Man’s Cave Campgrounds and the Hocking Hills State Parks. It opened in the fall of 2003. The new entry to the campground winds up over the cliffs above the caves. There are campsites available with electricity and water as well as primitive sites. The campground is equipped with its own swimming pool as well.
Just past the Hocking Hills State Park, make sure you turn right to continue on State Route 374. (Mile 22.2)
Along this portion of State Route 374, you will see the Primitive Camping area and the parking lot to Rose Lake. Known for its fishing, Rose Lake is only accessible by foot via the half-mile trail from its parking lot.
The Inn at Cedar Falls is one of the many fine restaurants and inns found in Hocking County.
On the right, you will see the beautiful curved block wall that graces the entry to
Cedar Falls. This park was named because early white settlers mistook towering hemlocks for cedar trees. Two deep grooves and numerous potholes have been created by the action of the stream as it cascades over the face of the Blackhand Sandstone. At one time a grist mill was located just above these falls.
Across the road from Cedar Falls entry, stop for a look and listen to the crystal clear stream as it flows down the hill over small boulders and rocks. The shade from the hemlocks and pines make a restful scene.
A few yards past Chapel Ridge Road, look up over the tree line at the top of the hill past Cedar Falls. You will see tucked away (almost hidden) on a knoll, the Ash Cave Fire Tower. The tower was built in 1934 and still stands. Visitors cannot climb the tower due to safety reason. There were some who wanted to raze the tower, but, it still stands to become a monument to the many years of service these towers provided in keeping our Hocking State Forest safe.
It is the hope of several people of the area to preserve the tower as a historical element and have it refurbished as a lookout tower for tourists in the future.
Follow St. Rt. 374 to the junction of Rt. 56, you will turn to the right onto Rt. 56.
The Shelter house lies across the road from the entry to Ash Cave. It is just one of the areas that folks can find for a quiet picnic or reading spot. The ancient Indian trail from the Pickaway Plains follows through this park and visitors travel part of this old trail when they walk from the parking lot at Ash Cave.
Most of the caves in our park system are recess caves. Ash Cave is the largest and most impressive of this type of cave in the state of Ohio. The rim spans 700 feet around to form a sandstone horseshoe. A misty waterfall plunges 90 feet from the rim to the valley floor below. Huge mounds of ashes discovered here by early settlers are thought to be ancient campfires of early Indian inhabitants which gave this cave its name. The ashes were excavated in 1877 to reveal many Indian artifacts as well as bones of animals. The cave was a meeting place in the early 1800’s. The shelter is large enough to seat hundreds and the natural acoustics are excellent. Ash Cave became an official park in 1925.
Continue along State Route 56, enjoying the rock croppings, small waterfalls and creeks alongside the scenic route. Many miles past Ash Cave and just after Chapel Ridge Road, the Scenic Byway Route continues by turning right on State Route 664. Eventually you will be back to State Route 374 and will have officially driven the entire Hocking Hills Scenic Byway. Turn left onto State Route 374 to continue back to US 33 the way you came on the Scenic Byway Route. Another option (and shorter distance) back to US 33 would be to continue north on State Route 664 to Logan. Following State Route 664 eleven miles past Old Man’s Cave will lead you to the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center, located at US 33 and State Route 664.
Other Points of Interest on State Route 56
You may wish to continue on 56 (off the official Hocking Hills Byway Route) to see more historic points of interest in Hocking County. Continue past Ash Cave and past the St. Rt. 664 turn off and watch for the Narrows Road sign on the left. This will take you to a very narrow valley area where geologists believe ancient waters from the glaciers broke through to flow, carve and create the valleys and gorges that make the Hocking Hills the beautiful place that it is today.
Across the highway, you will find a creek that flows along an old Shawnee hunting trail. This trail connected the hunting grounds at the Old Man’s Cave area with the Shawnee villages along the Scioto River near present day Columbus. When settlers came to the area around 1790, they found a large beech tree along this trail. The tree had a message carved on it that said, “This is the road to Hell”. Local legend says that this was carved by some poor white captive on his way to his death farther on in a Shawnee village.
Just past the Narrow Road, you will see a Bicentennial marker. This marker was placed to honor the Salt and Hunting Trails that the Indians traveled from the southern counties through the Hocking Hills region. Salt was a very important commodity – even more precious than gold. Stop to read the marker and learn more about this ancient trail.
Watch on the same side of the road as the marker. You will see a giant tree growing by itself in the middle of a farm field. This is Ohio’s biggest Swamp White Oak. Some people call it the Giant Prairie Tree. These flat lands that you see through this whole area are part of the Great Prairie that stretches to the Rocky Mountains.
At 17212 St. Rt. 56, just east of Laurelville, you will pass one of the oldest stone houses in the county. It was constructed of sandstone with walls that are 22 inches thick! The house was built by Daniel Karshner in 1820. Most of the wooden interior of this house is original. The four wood-burning fireplaces in the house are still there, but no longer used. The house today has been painted a sparkling white and looks very much like many other farmhouses in the area. Hocking County was only two years old when this house was built. What history it must have seen through the view from its windows!
Further down the valley, the Shawnee trail passed near an ancient Mound Builders mound that still rises boldly out of the ground. From a distance, it resembles the top of a giant basketball or baseball. The race of people who built this mound disappeared from the earth centuries before Columbus discovered America.
Drive on a Wildflower and Waterfall Tour of Hocking County
This tour was designed to let the visitor travel the back roads and see the wonders of the Hocking Hills from his car. Most of the waterfalls can be seen without getting out or, at most, walking a few feet.
However, the route includes the state park system which does require some hiking. The visitor may choose to bypass these if they have been visited in the past or save them for another trip. It is our hope that you will save the map and revisit from time to time. These waterfalls are beautiful any season of the year but are most apt to be flowing in the spring.
In winter, they will be frozen into magnificent ice formations that defy description. Because of the steepness of the hills in this area, the water runs off quickly after a rain and might soon quit flowing. In late summer there might not be any water flowing over the falls. They are still quite beautiful, however, and we hope that you will enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the deep gorges and rock formations.
Because of the intense shade in the gorges, there are few wildflowers near most of the waterfalls, but the roadsides are carpeted with them from early April through October. You may begin and end your tour at any point, but since the writer lives near Cedar Falls the tour start there. -Written by Ed Fasig who was a Hocking county author of “Backwoods Musings” and a talented woodworker.
This tour can be driven any time
Wildflower and Waterfall Tour Driving Directions:
Cedar Falls – This deep gorge is shady and cool. Trilliums and Solomon’s Seal bloom here early, before the leaves come out. The parking area has white, yellow and purple violets. It is an easy walk into the gorge over a well-maintained trail with easy slopes. The waterfall is spectacular and runs well into the summer. The trail out has numerous steps, so you may want to exit the way you came down.
Ash Cave – Also a part of the state park system, Ash Cave is accessible by an easy half-mile trail which has been paved to make it wheelchair friendly. Ash Cave is the highest waterfall in the county with a sheer drop of 90 feet to a plunge pool. In the winter, a huge ice stalagmite often forms, sometimes reaching the top.
Liberty Hill Road – Turn right from Ash Cave and take the first road left (just a few hundred feet). This valley has several log cabins in lovely settings. You will go about a mile on fairly level road and then up a steep hill. At the top of the hill, turn around and go back down because you’ve already missed the waterfall.
Although it’s only five feet from the road, you can’t see it going up the hill. It’s easily visible as you go down.
State Route 56 – Turn left when you return to SR 56. On your left in a few hundred feet you will see a cabin perched high above on a rock. Just past the cabin, look sharply on your left at a little place to pull off and you’ll see a waterfall back under the foliage.
Chapel Ridge Road – Continuing west on SR 56, this section is squeezed in between towering sandstone cliffs on your right and a beautiful little creek on your left which twists and turns in a tortured path among tall dark hemlocks. One feels isolated from the world here. Take time to enjoy it. In a mile or so the gorge opens up and you will see Chapel Ridge Road on your right. Turn here. The road begins to climb almost immediately. On your right the land drops very sharply into a deep gorge. Just at the head of the gorge, park by the guardrail and walk along the edge. It’s too steep to see from your car. This enchanting little waterfall could be easily overlooked if you weren’t hunting for it. You can turn around just ahead and return to SR 56, turn right and continue westward.
Chilcote Road – Continue on SR 56 to South Bloomingville where you turn right onto SR 664. In a few hundred feet, turn left on Chilcote Road. In less than a half mile, the main road turns right and is joined by another smaller road coming in from the front. Take the right fork up the hill. The waterfall is on your left, on the steep part of the hill. The beauty of this waterfall has been ruined by litter. Let this serve as a valuable reminder of the toll that mankind can take on nature. Continue on the gravel road. It is a pleasant drive alternating between pine and hardwood forests and open fields dotted with daisies. In the fall one sees oxeye daisies and ironweed. Several small gravel roads join and depart the road you’re on, but stay on the one that appears to be most traveled. In a couple of miles you will come to a very good black-topped road. This is Big Pine Road, which leads to Conkle’s Hollow. (Turn right onto Big Pine Road.)
Conkle’s Hollow – This entails a half-mile walk to a beautiful waterfall at the end of the gorge with two or more located in little side branches. It’s an easy walk over a well maintained trail that is mostly level. The steep cliffs, 200 feet high, are spectacular and the highest in Ohio. It’s cool and damp, even in the hottest weather. This deep shade doesn’t permit flowers except in the very early spring. It will be well worth your time to take this hike if you can.
Pine Creek – As you leave Conkle’s Hollow, turn left on Big Pine Road. This road follows Pine Creek and crosses it several times. The first couple of miles are through deep woods. About two miles down the road you will see a sign on your right which designates this as a rock-climbing and repelling area. On your left is a small parking lot that was once a horseman’s camp. If you are up to a short hike to some spectacular rock formations with a small waterfall, park here. Cross the road and follow the trail across the footbridge over Pine Creek. There are a couple of trees across the trail, but nothing difficult. Once you’re across the creek, the valley opens up into pleasant parkland. Although wooded, the trees are well-spaced and visibility is good. Before you are rock formations balanced on the ridge top like dominoes. The forest floor is covered with violets, phlox and trilliums. The trail forks here — take the right fork first and get the left fork on the way back. Only a couple hundred feet ahead a small waterfall trickles down the face of the cliff. The entire hike takes only 15 minutes and covers about a quarter mile. Well worth it!
If you are more adventuresome than most, and suitably shod for a rugged mile long hike, try this. When you reach the cliff straight ahead, follow it to your right. Stay near the base of the cliff and continue in almost a circle until you come to a horseshoe-shaped gorge. Here you will see a 100 foot waterfall tumbling past a large rock shelter. It’s a tough scramble, but you can get down to the cave and follow a trail that goes beyond if you choose.
The word spectacular gets to be trite after a while, but I think you’ll agree that it describes this gorge! Now, go back the way you came for only a hundred feet and look up. You’ll see a trail going up to the top of the cliff. Climb up there and you’ll find yourself on the Buckeye Trail. Follow it to the left. It follows the top of the cliff for 3/4 of a mile, past the top of another waterfall, Edison Hollow, then drops to the valley which takes you back to your car.
You will marvel at the grandeur of huge slump blocks that have fallen from the cliff and narrow “Fat Ladies Squeeze” as the trail winds between them. The entire scene is topped by huge hemlocks and carpeted by moss, giving it an eerie green cast. I must caution that this is rugged and, in places, dangerous. This hike should not be attempted if you are not in good condition and suitably dressed. Those with children aged at least 8 to 10 years should make it okay. I think you will find this hike the highlight of your tour.
Unger-Keck Roads – Continue east on Big Pine Road. The valley opens into fields on both sides. In August and September the entire area is covered with goldenrod, yellow oxeye daisies and Jerusalem artichokes, plus the royal purple of ironweed and the soft coral of Joe-Pye weed. You’ll have to stop and drink it in.
No lovelier spot! In about a mile or so, just after crossing a small bridge, make a right onto a tiny gravel road. Almost immediately it begins to climb. Just at the top of a steep hill, make a left and park on your left. Walk back on this road. In about fifty feet a nice little waterfall is visible on your right. Return to your car and continue slowly. The road follows the gorge for a while and the view is terrific. The road drops down into a scenic little valley then deposits you on Blackjack Road, where you turn right.
Blackjack Road – Go about a quarter mile and stop on the iron bridge. On your right is a pretty little waterfall that drops into a rock “bathtub” before entering Blackjack Lake.
Natural Rockbridge – The road that you are on, Blackjack, ends at S.R. 664. Make a left and go to U.S. 33 where you turn left again. After you go under the S.R. 180 overpass, about a quarter mile, you will come to Watkins Farm market where Dalton Road goes off to your right. Follow Dalton Road until you come to the parking area for the Natural Rockbridge. Leave your car and follow the well-maintained trail to the site. The hike is about 1 mile one way. You will find a nice waterfall that tumbles to a plunge pool under the bridge. Be sure to go under the bridge and look at it from this angle. The Hocking River is a short distance to the east. You can take an alternate trail back to the parking lot if you wish (go up the flight of wooden steps).
Scott’s Creek – Get back onto U.S. 33 and go southeast toward Logan. Exit at S.R. 93 and go south towards McArthur. In about a half mile you will come to two sharp curves. Park on the right at a wide spot, just past the second curve. You will be close to Scott’s Creek and by walking back towards Logan you can see where the creek tumbles over a sandstone ledge and drops about 10 feet. It soon runs into the Hocking River past this point. Though not very high, this is the largest falls in the county with regards to the volume of water that flows.
Old Man’s Cave – Continue south on S.R. 93. The road passes through Scott’s Creek valley which is well-populated with wildflowers all summer long. At the near-dead village of Ilesboro the road forks. Bear to the right which is Ilesboro Road (CR. 272). This is a lovely little road (one of this writer’s favorites) alternating between farm fields and forest.
In about 5 miles the road terminates at S.R. 374. Turn right and stay on S.R. 374 until it dead ends at S.R. 664. Turn left and you will come to Old Man’s Cave State Park (about half a mile). Many consider this to be the most spectacular of the gorges in the area. The walk can be quite vigorous with many, many steps. There are two large waterfalls — the upper falls and the lower falls. In spring, when there is plenty of runoff, they can be quite boisterous. The water has cut deeply into the Black Hand sandstone, carving many interesting formations. You should allow at least an hour for this hike.
Vinton County Quilt Barn Tour
Explore the Vinton County countryside by traveling the county’s Quilt Barn Trail. This trail, known as “A Stitch in Time: The Quilt Barns of Vinton County,” features 27 throughout Vinton County.
You won’t believe your eyes the first time you spot one of these beautiful works of art. Quilters and barn enthusiasts alike will fall in love with the Quilt Barns of Vinton.
A Quilt Barn is a barn that is decorated with a large, painted quilt block. The tradition began in Adams County, Ohio when Donna Sue Groves honored her quilter mother by painting a quilt on the side of her barn. The concept caught on locally and a tradition was born. Now there are more than 1000 Quilt Barns in Ohio and 21 other states.
To tour the Quilt Barns and other county attractions, visit our Driving Tours page.
Liberty Star Basket – 62130 Locker Plant Rd. – This red, blue and gold basket pattern brightens this Locker Plant Rd. barn just outside of McArthur. Painted by Vinton County government employees, the pattern is an Americana basket with a gold star and is one of the county’s most patriotic quilts.
Basket Weave – 29457 Goosecreek Rd. – This 100 year old barn is set in a picturesque valley at the former site of Royal, Ohio. It is near the Mt. Olive Covered Bridge and was painted by Sojourners Care Network.
A Pig’s Tail – 29214 Goosecreek Rd., McArthur – This vibrant red and blue pattern hangs on a white barn that was once part of a pig farm. Located conveniently close to the Basket Weave Barn and the Mt. Olive Covered Bridge, this is one of the most unique quilts in the county.
Christmas Star – 33977 Kelly Rd. – It is Christmas all year long at the Radabaugh residence. The Christmas Star is an Americana pattern and is painted in cheerful shades of red, blue, green, yellow and creamy white. Owned by Pam and Larry Radabaugh, the farm has been in Pam’s family since 1912. This quilt was painted by the Radabaughs with the help of their children and grandchildren.
Country Farm – 54245 St. Rt. 50 W. Londonderry – Travelers along the west end of St. Rt. 50 are now greeted by a beautiful quilt block hanging on a barn overlooking the highway. This star quilt is painted in cheerful shades of yellow, blue, green and red and was painted by members of the Country Roads Quilt Guild.
On Wings of Eagles – 53413 Eagle Mills Rd., McArthur – This Eagle Township barn is an ideal spot for the pattern On Wings of Eagles. Painted by employees of the Herbert Wescoat Memorial Library, the pattern uses brilliant shades of red, green and yellow and stands out beautifully against the rustic barn.
Corn and Beans – 55416 Pretty Run Rd., McArthur – This Civil War era pattern is located at the farm of Kathy Seitz. This pattern reminded Seitz of her grandparents’ garden at this farm and all the time she spent there as a child. It was painted in shades of rusty red, greens and beige and was painted by visitors at the Vinton County Air Show.
Turkey Tracks—627 South Market St., McArthur This quilt square was painted by visitors to the Vinton County Wild Turkey Festival. Even two members of the country music band Confederate Railroad got in on the act.
Maple Leaf – 33213 Depue Rd., McArthur – This traditional Maple Leaf pattern is painted in beautiful autumn shades of orange, yellow, brown and burgundy. The barn owners chose this pattern for the sentimental value for their family. The pattern and colors were chosen by the Thompson family who own the barn. Their family also painted the quilt.
Mountains —143 Vires Rd., Hamden – This red, white and blue quilt hangs on a barn at a working farm near Hamden. The owners have farmed the land for thirty years, and the lady of the house is a quilter who loves this pattern. Set off from the road, the rolling hills offer a perfect backdrop to this lovely quilt barn. It was painted by park guests at the Lake Alma Beach Party in 2008.
Ohio Star – 62249 Chillicothe St., Hamden – Barn owners Don and Lena Staten took great care in choosing this quilt block and colors. Painted in red, blue, brown and white, each color has meaning. Blue represents the Ohio River, red is for the Cardinal and brown is for the Buckeye. A white background makes the star stand out against their red barn. This quilt was painted by members of the Staten family.
The Fan—73231 St. Rt. 124, Wilkesville – This quilt barn has a special meaning for its owner. The Fan pattern was chosen because the owner’s grandmother made a quilt using this pattern when she was born. Though a little yellowed with time, the owner still cherishes this quilt along with a photo of her loving grandparents who gifted the quilt to her so long ago. It was painted by attendees of the Vinton County Jr. Fair in 2008.
Follow the Drinking Gourd — 1 Yankee Rd., Wilkesville – This barn, located in the heart of Wilkesville, sits on a farm that was once part of the Underground Railroad. It is believed that quilt patterns were used as code for escaped slaves. The drinking gourd is a reference to the North Star and is believed to advise travelers to follow that navigational beacon toward freedom. This farm also has historical significance as it was an overnight stop for Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan during his infamous raid through Ohio. The pattern was painted by reenactors and other visitors who attended the Morgan’s Raid reenactment in Wilkesville in 2006.
Summer Winds—31935 St. Rt. 93 North, McArthur – This structure is the Exhibition Building of the Vinton County Fairgrounds, an agricultural hub for Vinton County. This quilt square was painted by the Vinton County Senior Citizens.
There’s No Place Like Home – 28801 St. Rt. 93, McArthur – As the old addage tells us, there truly is no place like home. And this quilt, with its vibrant shades of green, burgundy and gold will remind you of the coziness of home. It was painted by the staff of the Vinton County Visitors’ Center.
Pine Tree—24808 Creola-Hue Rd., Creola – A new species of tree can now be seen growing at Weaver’s Tree Farm in northern Vinton County. Although the red, blue, green and yellow plaid tree cannot be purchased for Christmas this year, it can be seen hanging on a barn at the farm. The Pine Tree quilt block at Weaver’s is one of the community’s most unique.
Mosaic—23084 St. Rt. 93 S., Logan – This colorful pattern hangs on a beautiful old barn that has been converted into a gift shop and workshop. The big red barn now is home to The Old Country Boutique and Gourd Farm but was once part of a large working farm. This pattern was painted by the kids and advisors who attended the Vinton County 4-H Camp in 2008.
Autumn Sojourn – 66437 St. Rt. 56 E.– This rustic barn on St. Rt. 56 is the perfect spot for a quilt block. Owners Jim and Patty Martin enjoy the fall and the red, green, yellow, and cream colored quilt is reminiscent of an orchard in autumn. This quilt was painted by members of the McArthur Business and Professional Women’s organization.
Whirlygig – 26711 Pumpkin Ridge Rd., New Plymouth – The Whirlygig quilt block that hangs on the Equestrian Ridge Riding Stable will stun you. The vibrant purples set against black make this a quilt you will remember. It was painted by the staff of the Vinton County Visitors’ Center.
Airplane – 66285 Airport Rd. on the Vinton County Airport Shelterhouse – This colorful block features a red and yellow airplane soaring through a bright blue sky. While the airport shelterhouse is not a barn, it is an important location in the county and a highly visible place for local residents and visitors alike. This quilt was painted by visitors to the Vinton County Air Show.
Cross and Crowns – Bethel Rd., New Plymouth – The owner of this Bethel Rd. barn has close ties to the Cross and Crown quilt block as her last name is Crownover. The blue and white palette was also carefully chosen as it represents the colors of Crowntime Farm’s horse racing. This pattern was painted by the staff of the Vinton County Visitors’ Center.
Schoolhouse –The Old Swan School on St. Rt. 93 N. – This classic quilt block hangs on the Old Swan School, one of Vinton County’s few remaining one room schoolhouses. This little red schoolhouse pattern is a cheerful addition to the school and a meaningful one for many. The quilt was painted by the people who attended a reception in honor of Miss Dorothy Scott, a former teacher at the school, who recently released a book about her experience as an educator. Friends, relatives and former students helped to paint this block in red, blue, yellow and brown.
Farm Friendliness – 27384 St. Rt. 328, New Plymouth- This lovely farm has been owned by the same family for five generations. The barn that features the quilt pattern was noted on the deed at the time the farm was purchased in 1833. The barn was originally built on the ground but was raised onto a sandstone foundation around the turn of the Twentieth Century. This pattern was painted by members of the Vinton County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau Board of Trustees.
Anvil— 107 Commercial St., Zaleski— This quilt celebrates a piece of Zaleski’s history. The Anvil pattern hangs on the village’s original blacksmith shop. This yellow and blue pattern is a striking addition to the villagescape.
Shortcut To School — Wheelabout Rd. (Near Lake Hope State Park) This brightly colored quilt will make you want to buy crayons and head off for a day at school. Painted by park guests at Lake Hope State Park, this quilt hangs on the Hope School one-room schoolhouse. The school was constructed in 1931 and rehabilitated several years ago. It now serves as an interpretive center on Saturdays during the summer.
Horse Squares – 73930 Buck Lane, New Marshfield – The Horse Squares Quilt Barn is unlike any other in Vinton County. This red, white, and black pattern features a shadowy stallion that was painted by an artist friend of the barn owner. It hangs on a barn at Uncle Buck’s Riding Stable.
V-Block — 74815 U.S. Highway 50 – ‘V’ is for Vinton County! This quilt square was painted by members of the Zaleski Super Kids 4-H Club and is located on the grounds of ReUse Industries, a public business.
Please note: When viewing the Quilt Trail, use caution when slowing or stopping near a site. Stopping along busy roads can be dangerous and illegal. All sites are on private property and should be viewed from the public roads, unless otherwise indicated at the site or if it is a business open to the public. We are indebted to our barn hosts for their hospitality.
Athens also has Quilt Barns that you can tour. You can look at the links below to get more information.
Below are 9 Southeast Ohio Motorcycle Tours that can be driven in a car if you desire.
Ohios Windy 9 Map – 9 Southeast Ohio Motorcycle Routes