Harrison County…

Land of Lakes and Trails

By KATINA WATT    News-Herald Staff Writer

HARRISON COUNTY – Thanks to an early spring, we got our taste of the great outdoors sooner than ever this year, and what better time to explore the lakes and trails that are so abundant in our area. With five lakes in our region and countless local, state, and national trails, there is no excuse for not getting outside!

Tappan Lake, located off US 250, is the biggest of the five with over 2300 acres of water and 5000 acres of land. Fishing, camping, hiking the BT, and all sorts of water adventures await those who stop by the 399 horsepower limit facility, come rain or shine, and a full-service marina is available for all of your needs.

Nearby Clendening Lake offers a smaller, quieter experience and also has a marina located just off State Route 799 near Freeport, with camping and cabin experiences available as well.

Piedmont Lake, home to 4-H Camp Piedmont and Camp Presmont, can be found just off US 22, and is the second largest of our area lakes with 2200 acres of water and 4400 acres of land. It offers a full marina as well that features boat rentals, sales, service, supplies, and a lunch counter. The Buckeye Trail also runs through the property for approximately four miles.

At the other end of the county and into Carroll and Tuscarawas Counties are the areas last two lakes, Leesville and Atwood. Leesville Lake is a smaller area encompassing 1000 acres of water, and hosting two marinas – Clow’s Marina and Petersburg Landing. Both facilities offer boat rental, sales and service, supplies and food. Atwood Lake features a 25 horsepower limit for boaters in its 1500 acres of water area. A full-service marina can be found here as well, along with a great bistro at the water’s edge, and hiking trails throughout the park.

As for the trails, in addition to the famous Buckeye Trail, Harrison County also plays host to our local Conotton Creek Trail, Harrison State Forest Trails, and small sections of the North Country National Scenic Trail. In all, over 100 miles of trails ranging from flat to very challenging can be found here.

The Conotton Creek Bike Trail runs a little over 11 miles starting in Bowerston and following the old railroad track through the villages of Conotton and Scio and finishing off the trek in Jewett. Along the way wildlife is abundant through swamp and creek areas, making it a haven for waterfowl, especially families of geese this time of year.

The Harrison State Forest is located in an area just off of US 22 and Upper Clearfork Road running through the ridges to State Route 9 near Jewett. Camping is available and many ponds can be found along the over 24 miles of hiking trails. For more information visit the state’s Web page at www.ohiodnr.com/forests.

The North Country National Scenic Trail runs along the Bowerston section of the Buckeye Trail at points near Tappan, Clendening, and Piedmont Lakes as part of its seven state journey from New York to North Dakota of over 4000 miles. For more information on the NCNST visit www.nps.gov/noco.

Here’s your chance, you have the information to head into the great Harrison County outdoors, so step to it! Enjoy what nature has to offer you!

Bluegrass in the Hills kicks off June 7

HOPEDALE – Wanna get away for the weekend and enjoy knee slapping music and fabulous home cooking? Then grab your boots and head out to Mickey’s Mountain near Hopedale June 7-9 for Bluegrass in the Hills. The staging area for the festival is at the Mickey’s Family Campground on 88101 Ford Road near Hopedale, where fun will be had by all!

This year in addition to music from the biggest names in Bluegrass, the festival will also offer professional workshops on songwriting-Friday, June 8 at 10:30 a.m. led by Paula Breedlove and Mark “Brink” Brinkman and instruments-Saturday, June 9 at 10:30 a.m. featuring members of III Generation.

This year’s line-up includes: New Outlook, Nothin’ Fancy, Audie Blaylock, Nightflyer, The Bluegrass Martins, Open Rail, Junior Sisk, Republik Steele, IIIrd Generation, Wheeling Park HS, The Wayfarers, and the Weary Jammers.

The staff at Bluegrass in the Hills will also be busy in the kitchens and barbeques preparing delicious chicken dinners that include scrumptious sides, all huge selections of homemade pies, sandwiches, and much more at prices that manage to stay under $10! “Where else can you get $17,000 worth of music for just $15, and a chicken dinner that includes half of a chicken and two sides for only $7,” organizer Calvin Mickey asked, “Only at Bluegrass in the Hills!”

For more information on the Bluegrass in the Hills dates and schedules, please visit their Web page at www.mickeysmtn.com.

Revisit the days of Paul Bunyan October 5-7 in Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE – Since 1957, the Ohio Forestry Division has hosted the annual Paul Bunyan Show to the delight of visitors from all over the Ohio valley.  The mission of the Paul Bunyan ShowSM is to provide access to current knowledge and technology which enhances the quality of life and market competitiveness of individuals, families, industries, and communities. This mission is accomplished by showcasing research, products, services, and experience through educational exhibits, presentations, and demonstrations on the forest industries, natural resources and lifestyles.

This year’s activities include: Ohio State Lumberjack ChampionshipsSM, International Lumberjack Competition, Log Loader Competition, Game of Logging (GOL) Professional and Landowner National Competitions, Heavy Equipment Demonstrations, Arborist Skills Clinics and Demonstrations, Chainsaw Carvers, Chainsaw Clinics and Demonstrations, Grinders and Chippers Demonstrations, Sawmill Demonstrations, Wood Stoves, Secondary Wood Products, Lumberjack and Log Burling Entertainment, Forest Industry Education and Seminars, Full Hook-up Camping by Reservation or Walk In, All of the Latest and Greatest Forest Industry Equipment, Supplies and Services, Sawmill & Woodlots Great Firewood Processor Shootout®, Wood Crafts, Wood Auction – All wood processed during the show will be auctioned off on Sunday afternoon. Firewood, milled wood, wood chips, mulch and more including awesome food.

Join “The Original American Forestry Show” October 5-7 at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds located at 335 Old National Road, Old Washington (Cambridge), Ohio 43768 Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission prices are $8 for adults, $4 for Seniors and children (7-12), with children 6 years and under free. For more information on the Paul Bunyan Show visit the event’s Web page at www.ohioforest.org.

Check out more places to go and things to do in the great outdoors in the May 26, 2012 print edition of the Harrison News-Herald.