National Association for Interpretation – Certified Interpreters Guide Training

National Association for Interpretation – Certified Interpretive Guide Training to take place in November

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea,
never regains its original dimensions.”
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area will host it’s second National Association for Interpretation certification course taught by Ken Bowald. Participants will earn certification as an interpretive guide.

Engaging story telling is one way share our interesting history and heritage. This group will be developing guided tour opportunities that embody the art of interpretation and will offer visitors a unique and memorable experience to some of Ohio’s Appalachian Winding Road treasurers.

Contact Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area at or 740-394-2852 for more information or to sign-up.  Click Here to go to NAI Site.

Winding Road Meeting at the Howard Chandler Christy Barracks a Success

Barracks Meeting Photo

Todd Christensen of The Crooked Road – Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail gives inspirational and informative talk on similar communities and projects.

Project leadership group reconvenes and expands. Clarifies the “whys” and purpose of the project. Guiding principals established during the initial year are tweaked and expanded upon.   Quality standards are identified and folks recruited to work on catalog application/jury standards.

Elected Officials/Fundraising Learning Community meets and begins to strategize next steps for funding.

Letter of Intent/Application Form for submissions to 2016 Catalog….Letter of intent due in November, Final Application by December. Ohio Hill Country Heritage Area sends out requests for LOI’s by early October.

National Association of Interpreters Certified Interpretive Guide training offered in September. Contact Michelle Robinson at OHCHA to register.

Arts Learning Community will reconvene to organize arts/bicycle event.

Arts Learning Community and entire Winding Road community gathers in Zanesville on October 10th for Winding Road Foot by Foot celebration (afternoon)….possible morning tour of Zanesville by hosts??

Technology & Marketing Learning Community expands and continues meeting (most likely at Tecumseh Commons in Shawnee). Emphasis on Yelp, Social Media, WordPress web sites to begin. Yelp used to cross promote events, network events.

Business consultants look at logistics training package for entrepreneurs (pricing tours, using Pay Pal and Sqaure Reader, etc.)

November Winding Road Stakeholder gathering to be set and planned.

Jurying standards are set for products in catalog. A transparent rubric of qualities are established to guide the types of products in catalog. Volunteers are needed to work on this.

Each sector learning community needs a “dialogue spark” person identified. This person(s) assures that dialogue continues and meeting/discussion formats are announced and participation follows. OHCHA Americorps Alicia Palone will promote this activity.

Roamin’ The Hills visitation among group members are organized. One will be on October 10 in Zanesville. Mimi Morrison has agreed to host one in the Athens area as well.   These events are hopefully overnight. Project funds will be looked into to help offset lodging costs.

Plans will be made for a study trip to The Crooked Road in Virginia.

Project staff identifies clear month-to-month outcomes for the coming year, beginning with September 2015 through August 2016. Outcomes need to meet grant outcomes, but more importantly the stakeholder learning community needs to seize control of the important outcomes that will assure momentum and success.

Feature articles for 2016 catalogue should set the tone for the type of Winding Road region we envision and are working toward building where 25-40 year olds want to live and work here. Examples a story of an entrepreneurial local foods purveyor, or someone living in the hills but telecommuting to a professional job….etc. Submission solicitation will be made this fall.

2016 SourceBook and MarketPlace are taking strides along the Winding Road

Winding Road Road - Ohio's Rising Appalachia (no catalog text)


 The Winding Road

Ohio’s Rising Appalachia

The Winding Road is an emerging brand that represents a collaboration of social and business entrepreneurs who seek to develop a regional economy based on authentic assets surrounding the natural, cultural, historical, arts, local foods, well-being, education and geotourism business landscapes (sectors) in the Hocking and Muskingum Valleys of Ohio’s Hill Country in southeastern Ohio.

The brand aims to contribute to a quality of life that attracts and sustains creative young people as stewards of the economy and environment while respecting and building upon the region’s rich tradition of unique contributions to the greater culture.

In its initial stages, The Winding Road is represented by a SourceBook of guided experiences that share these assets with fellow citizens and geotourists, establishing commerce around this effort and stimulating entrepreneurial initiatives to build a critical mass of activity that sustains this collaboration and its desired outcomes.

The catalog takes the form of a periodic print publication, as well as a dynamic web site that offers a booking/purchasing feature for events, tours, experiences and products.   The catalog is a product of Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area, a non-profit organization based in Shawnee, Ohio.

Emerging Key Concepts That Guide The Winding Road SourceBook

The Winding Road SourceBook is committed about promoting experiences and products that are…

educational and interpretive.

—presented by knowledgeable, trained guides and local experts.

—highlighting regional assets & a “Rising Appalachia”.

—integrated with stewardship of the environment, civic life, historic treasures

   and local economic systems

—inclusive of the arts, theater, music.

—engaged with locally sourced foods and products.

—supportive of “humanities consideration” of our provocative story and its

   impact on contemporary life.

—inclusive of youth, local schools and regional colleges.

—interwoven with local entrepreneurs & young professionals.

—generally small in scale, authentic and owned locally.


Answering Frequently Asked Questions Might Help Us Get Started

 What Type of Products Are You Looking To List in the SourceBook?

Our initial list of targeted “products” include:

  • Guided tours and experiences that fit under our areas of interest
  • Hikes, Runs, Bike Rides and other outdoor adventures
  • Ticketed events that fit under our areas of interest
  • Interpretive and Educational Programs and Workshops
  • High quality unique and authentic regional products (art, souvenirs, etc.)

What Else Will Be Included?

As we create a sense of place around The Winding Road, we are looking for short articles with high quality photographs and or art work to highlight places, peoples and stories of the region that relate to our key sectors of interest.

Who Is The Audience/Customers?

The Winding Road initiative is much more than just attracting business and making sales. It’s about carefully sharing and caring for our authentic and unique assets in southeastern Ohio and reinforcing a building a sense of place where history, arts, the environment, outdoor activity, local foods, youth, education, civic activity and entrepreneurship are valued. Thus our audience is consumers of the above products, but it’s also everyone who has an interest in this region—local residents, civic leaders, and yes, of course, geotourists.

What Do You Mean by Geotourists?

Geotourists are tourists who have a keen interest in the assets, challenges, customs and civic life of a “place”. They are committed to leaving the place as they found it, or better than they found it. They tend to be curious, socially concerned individuals who show a high degree of respect for local citizens. They aren’t looking to just be entertained, but seek authentic stories, people and experiences that help them understand, connect and contribute to the place they are visiting. Often they become part of the place or a particular effort by staying involved.

What Areas in Appalachian Ohio Are Considerer Part of The Winding Road?

We are focused on the Hocking and Muskingum River Valleys of southeastern Ohio.   Our initial effort started as Morgan, Athens and Perry Counties, but we are not limited to these counties. We welcome activities from A to Z (Athens to Zanesville) and beyond. Once successful, Ohio Hill Country will assist with the replication of this effort in other sub-regions.

What About Folks Who Can’t Afford to Purchase Our Experiences

We live and work in a part of the world that is not known for high household incomes. We don’t want to exclusively be catering to monied people, although we recognize a need to transfer wealth to our region by selling products that don’t compromise our landscapes, but enhance our local economy. Thus, we will work to include scholarships and discount pricing for customers upon request, and our on-line catalog will link local residents and visitors to free and low cost attractions that might not be included in the print catalog.

Will This be Only a Printed SourceBook?

First, (a) printed version(s) of the catalog will be created for 2016. But, it doesn’t stop there. It includes a web version, social media posting and shared advertising of the catalog/brand via other media such as public radio, the Columbus Dispatch, Hocking Hills Tourism Association, etc.

Submitting Listings for Inclusion in

The Winding Road SourceBook

Letter of Interest

Persons, businesses and organizations interested in having an event, tour, program or experience listed in the print version of 2016 Winding Road SourceBook should submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) no later than

November 15, 2015 to

The Winding Road

Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area

P.O. Box 114

Shawnee, Ohio 43782


Or via E-Mail to

Subject: Letter of Interest/Winding Road


Please include the following information for your letter:


  1. Proposed Title of Your Event, Tour, Program, Experience
  2. List which Winding Road sectors or experience types this listing includes (history-culture, art (performing or visual), local foods, outdoor recreation-environment, youth/education, tourism business).
  3. A one-paragraph description (elevator speech) describing what you are proposing including target audience.
  4. Proposed date(s) and also answer whether you are willing to be flexible on date(s) based on registration.
  5. Cost of participating in this event.
  6. Three key experiences the customer will gain from this event.
  7. Who will be guiding/interpreting/hosting the event, and what qualifications/experience do they offer to insure the customer has a high-quality experience.
  8. Interest or need for The Winding Road to provide booking services.
  9. Contact information for questions etc.

You will be contacted no later than December 1, 2015 to discuss possibilities of inclusion of your listing.

Proposed Timeline of Activity for 2016


  • Sept.-Nov. 2015:                    Letters of Interest recruited for   2016 SourceBook and website
  • October-November 2015:    National Association of Interpreters Training Offered
  • October 2015:                        Topics for features in 2016 SourceBook identified, writers recruited
  • October 2015:                        Arts & souvenir products identified, vendors recruited
  • November 15, 2015:              Deadline for submitting Letters of Interest  
  • November 15-30, 2015          LOI’s reviewed, invitations for full proposals
  • November 15-On-Going       LOI’s and invited full proposals for digital SourceBook accepted.
  • Dec. 1-January 15, 2016       TWR staff work with stakeholders to develop full proposals
  • January 15, 2016                   Full proposals final deadline including all details such as photographs, web links etc., and inclusion agreements signed.
  • January 1-Feb. 1, 2016         Layout, design and printing of 2016 print SourceBook, and website
  • February 1-15, 2016              SourceBooks available for distribution
  • Feb-Dec 2016                         Advertising & Social Media Campaign promoting SourceBook and website

Hocking College to Hold Appalachian Outdoor Adventure Oct 9th-11th


Join Ohio’s Hill Country this weekend at the Appalachian Outdoor Adventure at Hocking College! Stop by and say ‘hello!’ and we’ll say ‘hi!’ back!


NELSONVILLE — Hocking College will host a two-day event called Appalachian Outdoor Adventure, set to take place Oct. 9-10, the college’s spokesman Mike Brown said.

The college once hosted the Paul Bunyan Festival, and the Appalachian Outdoor Adventure is intended to replace it Brown said to The Messenger.

“The college was looking for a similar event that would touch on natural resources and be an event people from Ohio and all over could come to,” he said. “We think this is it.”

The college also hosted Hocktoberfest, which started in 2013 and replaced the Paul Bunyan Festival.

When asked if the Appalachian Outdoor Adventure would replace Hocktoberfest, Jestinah McDonald, development coordinator for the Hocking College Foundation told The Messenger the Appalachian Outdoor Adventure will replace Hocktoberfest, meaning the two will not be separate events.

The event is set to take place the same weekend as Ohio University’s homecoming, but according to Brown, there will be plenty of entertainment offered at Hocking College’s festival over the two-day span, and is “not a conflict with OU.”

McDonald said Appalachian Outdoor Adventure would provide the area with additional choices of entertainment that weekend.

“We were hoping with the extra traffic, that it might entice more folks,” she said.68527a

The campus will also host alumni weekend, homecoming, and family weekend during the festival, she said.

“This is an attempt on a large scale to bring people back in to the outdoors,” he said. “There ’s many people in our area who participate in the outdoors, but Columbus and elsewhere, there’s a lot of people who don’t know anything about the outdoors.”

The event is set to feature the Stihl Timberworks Lumberjack Show; Shane Rickly, a professional bull rider, and the inaugural Appalachian triathlon/duathlon and half marathon, which is presented by OhioHealth.

Brown expects a crowd of 3,000-5,000 to turn out for the event, he said.



We’re on Meetup!

Do you like to do stuff? Do you like people? How about learning interesting things?

If you answered yes to any of these questions (or if you didn’t answer yes) then should join our Meetup group! We’re excited to announce that we have just launched our partner organization, The Winding Road, on Meetup.


By joining (which is free) you become a ‘Winding Roamer’ and get to stay up to date on tours and events in Ohio’s Rising Appalachia. We’ll see you on the trail Roamers!

Oktoberfest in Somerset: A German-American Experience with Plenty of Local History


BY DEB HUTMIRE Tribune editor Perry County Tribune

Local art, local food, local music and local history will all be featured at the annual Oktoberfest set Saturday, Oct. 6 from noon until 8 p.m. on Pigfoot Square in Somerset.

This event is once again being sponsored by the Historical society of Perry County and the Ohio Arts Council.

All local artists and farm market vendors are invited to set up a display and sell their artwork, crafts and farm goods at the hand-hewn log tavern built in 1808 by Somerset’s town founder, German emigrant, Jacob Miller.


On the adjacent four corners of Pigfoot Square, which Miller laid out and created as a public square in 1810.

Examples of local artistic talent will be on display by nearly 40 Perry County artists and vendors.

Authentic German-American food, bratwurst, roast pork and kraut and German potato salad will be served under a tent next to the tavern. Also, the sounds of local musicians will be set up.

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the areas pioneer past by talking with experts who will be demonstrating soap making, woodworking, and spinning.

Visitors will also have a chance to view artifacts discovered at the Babb House museum during this summer’s archaeology project and take a tour of the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, and learn about gravestone conservation efforts that are going on there.

The group announced the second annual 5K race will be held and will begin at 3:15 p.m. with the staring point at the Somerset Elementary School.

Those who would like to take part may contact Principal Ed Wolfel at 743-1454.

Knock Knock, Who’s There: It’s just me- the newest AmeriCorps member :)

Hellloo World!

I guess this is the part where I talk about myself??

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

My name is Alicia Caton and I’m the newest AmeriCorps member for Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area! Woohoo! I’m a native to Ohio – born and raised in Lancaster and currently living in Athens – a lively and diverse community with a culture all it’s own. Upon graduating high school in 2006, I had nooo idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had so many interests and hobbies, I couldn’t pick just one thing to be passionate about. In 2008 I earned my Associate’s Degree in Arts & Business and also spent some time studying at Ohio State. I was (and still am and will always be) a bit of a free spirit :) I didn’t want to go through the typical (and sometimes mundane) motions of life, so I decided to spend some time out west in California – living, loving, and exploring life! During my visits back home to Ohio, I saw the wonderful growth and transformations that many of the small communities were undergoing. I soon realized that the lovely state of Ohio was blossoming into a beautiful, thriving, homegrown – yet cultured- community….and I wanted to be a part of it. Shortly after moving back to Ohio in 2012, I took a short sabbatical to figure out what my true passions were. It was pretty simple for me to understand that the one thing I wanted most was to lead a beautiful, simple, and happy life helping the world become a better place. So what better place to start than my own community?? I was very grateful when I was offered the opportunity to serve with Ohio’s Hill Country and AmeriCorps. This was diving timing for me to commit and contribute to creating a sustainable community for my generation and our youth who will make an even bigger impact on this awesome place we call home. I’m a lover of all things outdoors! Backpacking, exploring, learning, and my dog are just a few of the beautiful things in my life.

“Never before have we been so willing to lean in and further our own evolution in service to being the women we want to be to attract and sustain the life and relationship we desire to have. Never before have we been so interested in how to repair the ruptures that are a normal part of relating, or how to truly love another human being outside of our own self-serving agendas. Plus, never before have we been so willing to learn how to release relationships that are no longer appropriate for us to hold on to, in ways that will leave us uncluttered and free to move forward with courage, optimism, and hope in our hearts.” -Katherine Woodward Thomas

Thanks for reading! Love and good vibes, Alicia

The Winding Road A to Z: Foot by Foot, Free Competitive Art Show


Come appreciate the creativity and beauty of Southeast Ohio’s finest artists at the Foot by Foot A-Z Competitive Art Show. Join locals and regional artists as we help promote The Winding Road – Ohio’s Rising Appalachia branding effort to help encourage tourism and art in Athens, Morgan, Muskingum, and Perry counties. The event will be held on Saturday, October 10th at Seilers’ Studio,129 S. 7th St. in Zanesville. The gallery will be open from 8am to 11am for local artists to submit their artwork and for attendees to view the pieces. The silent auction will be held from 12pm to 6pm. Enjoy live music from local performers including The Wayfarers, Laura Schumann, Matt Dingo, the Yurco Boys, Jim McLaughlin, Muskingum County Dulcimers, and additional musicians.

The boards are identified by number and will be offered for sale at $100 each. Half of which will go to an arts organization of the artist’s choice and the other $50 going to promote The Winding Road’s marketing efforts! The sale of beverages will benefit The Artist Colony of Zanesville which is sponsoring the event. Participating artists will be included in The Winding Road’s marketing campaign.

If you are a local artist or vendor of locally sourced food and are interested in participating, please contact David Mitzel (740)221-2165 or

Invite your friends and family members to attend this FREE event and to purchase unsigned art (that may be signed after purchase). A $50 prize will be given to the person who identifies the most artists of the 100 unsigned boards by 3 pm. The $500, $250, $150 and $50 awards will be announced at 3pm.

USDA Grant Infuses Capital into Emerging Rural Tourism Market

‘Winding Road’ project leads to jobs, small business growth in southeast Ohio

New Lexington, Ohio, September 4th, 2015- The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced a grant of more than $180,000 as part of a nearly quarter-million dollar project to support and develop existing and new businesses in the southeast   Ohio Appalachia Region.


This grant is the result of strategic efforts led by leaders in the region to build new capacity for economic growth,” said USDA Ohio Rural Development State Director Tony Logan. “A significant portion of the grant is set aside for a revolving loan fund to help rural small businesses focused on local foods, the arts, and travel and tourism that highlight the area’s pastoral natural landscape. As each loan is repaid, it can be loaned anew to another round of local businesses. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving!”

Administered by the non-profit Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area, the bulk of the Rural Business Development Grant provides technical assistance funding for training and other support for the Winding Road Collaborative and individuals interested in starting, owning, and operating their own rural small businesses. The associated revolving loan fund will benefit Athens, Perry and Morgan counties.


Joined by Congressman Steve Stivers and Somerset Mayor Tom Johnson, Logan made the announcement during a tour of Lake St. Joseph – which the village is acquiring through the Clean Ohio Greenspace Conservation Fund- and a community kayak flotilla sponsored by the Perry County Soil & Water Conservation District at the Perry County Gun Club.


To learn more about USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Development Grant, visit or call Ohio Rural Development Business & Cooperative Programs at 614-255-2400.

USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

Taken from the United States Department of Agriculture News Release No. 15904, Public Affairs Specialist Heather Hartley: 614-255-2394,


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