By Michelle Ludwin
A day trip or overnight stay in Adams County along Route 32 can transport you from suburban or city life to a land of quilts, handcrafted furniture and stunning hiking trails.
First stop? The Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau website at adamscountytravel.org, which offers loads of information and photos as well as a guide that can be downloaded. Or call the bureau at (937) 544-5639 for suggestions, answers to your questions and a printed guide by mail.
APPALACHIA DISCOVERY BIRDING TRAIL
The bald eagle, horned lark and cerulean warbler have all been seen along the Appalachia Discovery Birding Trail. The 200-mile trail loop takes about a weekend to complete and extends into Clermont, Brown and Scioto counties. appalachiandiscovery.com
Sip on a five-cent Cokes, nibble a sandwich, or splurge on a tasty milkshake. 206 N. Market St., West Union. (937) 544-2451.
BUZZARDROOST ROCK TRAIL
One of the most popular hikes in Adams County, this three-mile, moderate hike includes panoramic views of the Ohio Brush Creek valley nestled in the Edge of Appalachia Preserve. Along the way, hikers will enjoy rock formations and rare prairie plant species, some of which are endangered in Ohio. Turkey vultures and black vultures (buzzards) can be seen flying overhead. Trailhead on Weaver Road, off State Route 125, eight miles east of West Union.
During the harvest season, Caraway sells pumpkins, squash, gourds and farm products. Pumpkin Days are Oct. 1-2. Open daily during the harvest season. 8450 Blue Creek Road, Blue Creek. (937) 544-7292.
This 1950’s diner off of State Route 32 takes you back in time. The exterior is an old silver “train car” style. When customers step inside, they will find familiar red vinyl booths, a soda counter and a jukebox. Open seven days a week. 155 Stern Drive, Seaman, off State Route 32. (937) 386-3330.
DOGWOOD FARM B & B
On 62 acres of land, this is the longest-operating B & B in the county and offers a three-course breakfast. With reservations, small groups can take a pie-making class with master pie-maker and host Fern Wilson. There are 30 acres of woods available for strolling, along with spots for fishing. With permission, guests may hunt on the property. 7070 State Road 125 (Panhandle Road), West Union. (937) 544-5227 or dogwoodfarmbb.com
EDGE OF APPALACHIA
The 14,000-acre preserve system is home to flora and fauna indigenous to the Appalachian region. The western edge, which divides Adams County from north to south, contains a series of preserves that stretch along Cedar Creek and Ohio Brush Creek. Hike on the seven miles of trails, full of woods, waterfalls, plants and animals. There are three trails, including Buzzardroost (above). Begins just east of West Union in the town of Lynx. (937) 544-2880 or cincyevolution.com/eoa
Harshaville Covered Bridge
Built in 1855, the Harshaville Covered Bridge is the last covered bridge in use in the county. Confederate General John Morgan and his raiders used it during the Civil War. Graces Run Road at State Route 1, Harshaville.
KEIM FAMILY MARKET
The Amish and family-run Keim Family Market sells everything from homemade food to furniture. There are typical country jams and jellies as well as specialties like homemade soap and malted milk balls the size of a half dollar. Furniture includes playhouses and play sets. 2621 Burnt Cabin Road, Seaman. (937) 386-9995.
KIRKER COVERED BRIDGE
No longer in use, the second-to-last covered bridge in the state highway system can be seen from State Route 136. It was completed in 1890. Southwest of West Union, off State Route 136.
MILLER’S BAKERY AND FURNITURE
A family-owned business of 30 years, the Millers sell Amish-made furniture, bulk food and baked goods. The 34,000-square-foot furniture store has solid oak and cherry tables, gun cabinets and rockers, with a motto of, “If we don’t have it, we can make it.” Come on a Saturday for freshly glazed donuts, zucchini nut bread, pumpkin bar cookies and a variety of breads at the bakery.In the bulk goods store, visitors can find items ranging from country hams to sunbonnets. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 960 Wheat Ridge Road, West Union, (937) 544-8524 (Furniture), (937) 544-4520 (Bakery), (937) 544-8449 (Bulk Foods).
MOYER VINEYARD, WINERY & RESTAURANT
On scenic highway U.S. 52 and the banks of the Ohio River, this family-owned winery and restaurant serves great food and fine wines. 3859 U.S. Route 52, Manchester. (937) 549-2957 or moyerwinery.com
MURPHIN RIDGE INN
Murphin Ridge Inn & Restaurant, named one of 54 Great Inns of America by National Geographic Traveler magazine, is a restored 1826 farmhouse. The inn has 10 rooms and nine log cabins. The restaurant serves the freshest fruits and vegetables from neighboring Amish farmers and the inn’s own garden. 750 Murphin Ridge Road, West Union. (937) 544-2263 or murphinridgeinn.com
ROOSTER’S NEST B & B & ANTIQUES
Stay at a bed and breakfast and go antiquing on site or in the sprawling nearby Amish countryside. Rooster’s Nest offers three cozy rooms, each featuring work of an artist and antiques available for purchase. The 25-acre property has a pond, walking trails and woodlands.Open daily. 2658 Coon Hill Road, Winchester. (937) 386-3302 or roostersnest.net
Native Americans created this serpent effigy, the largest in the country, shaped like a snake with an egg in its mouth. The mound is aligned to the summer and winter solstices and draws visitors from around the world. 3850 State Route 73, Peebles. (937) 587-2796 or greatserpentmound.com
Travel the back roads of Adams County and enjoy the quilt squares painted on barns in honor of quilter Nina Maxine Groves. Her daughter Donna Sue Groves started the project, and the first quilt square, Ohio Star, was dedicated in 2001. The murals quickly became a sensation, with the idea spreading to other states and even Canada. The 120-mile tour of quilt barns takes about two days to complete at a leisurely pace. “The tour takes you through a lot of the back roads,” says Tom Cross, executive director of the visitors bureau. “It takes people to the countryside so they see the natural beauty, local businesses and get a good tour of the county.” Multiple locations, appalachiandiscovery.com