- Local to Ohio’s Winding Road region or very nearby
- Dedicated to being as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible
- Willing to be part of a collaborative network that works together so each person/business succeeds/receives resources they may need
If you answered yes, you would be a welcome addition to Ohio’s Winding Road Network. Visit Ohio’s Winding Road website at ohioswindingroad.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Outdoor Recreation/Environmental Learning
Thousands of visitors flood Hocking Hills State Park every year, hiking, camping, kayaking and leaving their cabins without ever realizing the incredible recreational paradise just east of the Hocking Hills. Other than being sliced in half by the 1400 mile continuous loop trail, the Buckeye Trail, which has its headquarters in Shawnee, Perry County, Ohio’s Winding Road region is also home to Burr Oak State Park, where people can hike, fish, swim and boat at Burr Oak Lake. Rock climbing and bouldering spots are easy to find in the rolling hills and rocky forests. Birding and other wildlife enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either.
Ohio’s Winding Road’s approach to historical preservation is similar to our approach to economic development generally: small scale. Ohio’s Winding Road is exploring the use of a public history approach to heritage preservation in this area. Public history allows for more comprehensive and people focused preservation. Public history allows locals to be historians of their hometowns and encourages moving beyond classroom walls to make history more relevant and interesting to the everyday passerby. The Southeast Ohio History Center, New Straitsville History Group, Historic Fort Steuben, The John T. Wilson Homestead, The Ancient Ohio Trail, the Underground Railroad Museum and many other historical organizations and dedicated individuals are shining examples of the type of preservation Ohio’s Winding Road encourages.
In addition to a public history approach to telling our stories, Ohio’s Winding Road Network encourages locals, non-profit volunteers, and faculty and students from various educational institutions in the area to become certified interpretive guides to gain the skills to tell Southeast Ohio stories in a more engaging way.
Art is Appalachian Ohio has always been important. Quilting, painting, pottery-making, brickwork, woodworking, and re-purposing all have histories in this region and many locals keep those traditions alive. The post-industrial city of Zanesville has spearheaded revitalization around a vibrant arts community. The First Friday art walks in Zanesville’s historic district perfectly represent Ohio’s Winding Road’s goals of economic development, education and cultural enrichment.
Around the region, locals are using their artistic talents to create new opportunities in their towns. Rendville Art Works, the Decorative Arts Center in Lancaster, Passion Works Studio, and many other organizations and individuals are committed to finding new, artistic ways to define this region.
From ramp harvests to the annual PawPaw Festival, Ohio’s Winding Road Network is committed to local food. The Network organized Farm Crawls to show locals and visitors the bounty of local food producers in the region. Snowville Creamery, Dirty Girl Coffee, Mt. Airy Beef, Solid Ground Farm, Crumbs Bakery, Casa Nueva Restaurant and Cantina, and many other food producers in the region share our vision of sustainability.
Businesses and individuals committed to quality products and community growth are integral to completing the picture of “Sharing Our Appalachia” with a vibrant, local food market that stimulates local economies and improves public health.
Tourism Related Businesses
If Ohio’s Winding Road Network effort is successful, the region will become a destination for people in the state of Ohio and beyond. The Network is meant to create an environment where locally owned restaurants, bed & breakfasts, cabins, camping areas and other businesses that will make a trip to Ohio’s Winding Road region memorable can work with one another and share resources to grow and expand. Through those collaborations between individuals in this and other sectors, Ohio’s Winding Road Network hopes to turn Southeast Ohio’s hill country into a destination people love to live in and to visit!
In each of Ohio’s Winding Road sectors there are a nearly unlimited number of businesses or experiences an individual could launch within Ohio’s Winding Road Network, as long as they shared some of our basic goals. The sector that bridges many gaps between different experiences, programs and businesses is Education. In heritage and guiding programs, tour guides will focus on the most engaging ways to teach visitors and residents about this incredible land and the people who have lived and worked on it. Art classes abound throughout the region and individuals practice and teach crafting techniques like woodworking, cloth work and upcycling. Individuals in our food sector have implemented many educational culinary experiences, including teaching gardening, cooking and more quirky types of food production like bee-keeping and mushroom foraging. Our outdoor recreation and nature enthusiasts never lose an opportunity to teach visitors and residents alike about the wonderfully diverse flora and fauna of this varied region.