Ohio’s Mad River is a popular brown trout fishery with the river being stocked yearly with over 12,000 brown trout by the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s fish hatcheries. In Champaign County, this river flows through the county with multiple access points, including a newly created, state owned access point near the intersection of State Route 296 and State Route 29, just north of Urbana.
In addition to fishing and fly fishing, the Mad River is one of Ohio’s great places to kayak and canoe. Birch Bark Canoe Livery provides rentals of canoes and kayaks for paddlers who want to enjoy the cool and clear waters of the Mad River. In most places within the river, the water is only 2-3 feet deep with the river bottom visible to paddlers, and the gentle current of the river allows for a leisurely pace.
For the camping enthusiast, Champaign County is home to Kiser Lake State Park and Rittenhouse Resort which both offer camping sites. Campsite reservations are required for Kiser Lake State Park and can be placed by calling (866) OHIOPARKS or by reserving online. Kiser Lake State Park features a 396-acre lake and is a popular destination for camping, swimming, non-motorized boating, picnicking, hiking, and fishing. Rittenhouse Resort is a privately owned, 40-acre campground that is open May through October and features a swimming lake and fishing pond.
The Simon Kenton Trail bike trail extends through Champaign County and connects to the larger Miami Valley trail system which features the nation’s largest paved trail network of over 340 miles of trail. In total, the Simon Kenton Trail is a 35-mile trail adventure from Springfield, through Urbana, and up to Bellefontaine. Within Champaign County, parking and access to the trail is available at County Line Road, at Woodburn Road, at State Route 55, and at the restored Urbana Depot. In addition to public parking, the restored depot on Miami Street in Urbana features public restrooms and a popular coffeehouse.
For the nature lover, Champaign County is home to three, stated owned nature preserves, including Cedar Bog, Davey Woods, and Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker. Cedar Bog Nature Preserve is located just south of Urbana and is considered by many to be Ohio’s premier natural area. The site is home to many rare plants and animals and it is a National Natural Landmark, one of only twenty-five such sites in the State of Ohio. A boardwalk and nature center are also located on site. Davey Woods State Nature Preserve is a 103-acre mature forest woodland featuring tulip trees, sugar maples, and oak. This site is a great place for hiking or fall color viewing. Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker State Nature Preserve is a 37-acre preserve that features glacial landforms.
More evidence of glaciers can be found at the county’s caves that are open to the public. Cave Adventures is home to an extraordinarily breathtaking cave where guests descend 33 feet underground. Each guest is fitted with their own helmet and headlamps to guide the way in this unique adventure, to be explored in the most primitive sense. Crawl, climb and walk as you discover splendid stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, columns, flow stones, curtains and more! The ancient cavern boasts a “red room” that will astound all visitors.
No trip to Champaign County is complete without visiting Ohio's largest and most beautiful cavern! Ohio Caverns is an all-weather attraction that is open all year. Each tour is guided and is a comfortable walk through the cavern. Each tour takes approximately one hour where the temperature remains a constant 54 degrees throughout the year. The tours are educational and provide the public with an opportunity to see the wonderful world of underground beauty.
Lastly, Champaign County is a destination for both disc golfers and traditional golfers alike. The Hilltop Disc Golf Course at Melvin Miller Park in Urbana is free and offers nine open holes and nine wooded holes with varying terrain. In addition, Melvin Miller Park also offers an additional nine disc golf course that is located on flat terrain. Beyond disc golf, Champaign County is home to the Urbana Country Club, Lakeland Golf Club, and Woodland Golf Club.
For outdoor adventurers planning an overnight trip, the Cobblestone Hotel-Urbana is offering special rates for those participating in the Explore the Outdoors Trail. Call the hotel directly and ask for the FFT rate.
To learn more about the unique destinations and attractions in Urbana and Champaign County, follow the Champaign County Visitors Bureau on Facebook and Instagram or check us out on the web at www.visitchampaignohio.com.
Submitted by Champaign County Visitors Bureau
By Chealsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Planning a trip can sometimes be more stressful than relaxing. Let us do the work for you as we plan out some of the must-see spots in Champaign County! Schedule this weekend getaway for you and your family and come see how much our small town has to offer.
Get a coffee at Hemisphere Coffee Roasters – 275 E. Sandusky St, Mechanicsburg, Ohio 43044
Start your day out with a great cup of coffee! Hemisphere Coffee Roasters is an amazing local coffee roaster. They provide many local businesses with their blends and have fans all over the country! We suggest you try their blueberry cobbler coffee; it is a local favorite! You can buy whole beans or grounds to take home too.
Grab some breakfast and a snack at Simple Comforts – 1 S Main Street, Mechanicsburg, Ohio 43044
If you need more than just a cup of great coffee to get your day started, you can swing by Simple Comforts and get a baked good and have breakfast on the go. They also have smoothies and hot chocolate for non-caffeinated breakfast alternatives. Grab a snack to take in the car and head on to the next stop.
Get going on a walk with the Scioto Street Self-Guided Tour – Begins at 205 Scioto Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078
Once you are fueled and ready for an adventure you can head to Urbana and enjoy the self-guide tour of Scioto Street. The tour is a half mile long and showcases homes built as early as 1805. This street is full of the history of Urbana and Champaign County, and highlights some of the most notorious families from the area. If you are a fan of history or architecture this tour is for you!
Ready for Lunch? Head to Mumford’s Potato Chips and Deli – 325 N Main Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078
When you are ready to refuel and stop for lunch make sure Mumford’s Potato Chips and Deli is on your list! This hometown staple has been serving the community since 1932. Upon entering Mumford’s, you will feel as if you are stepping into the home of a friend. This deli-style shop is a great place to enjoy a sandwich right in downtown Urbana.
Explore the hidden gem of Grimes Field Municipal Airport – 1636 N Main Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078
You will find more than you expect at this small airport in Urbana. Grimes Field Municipal Airport is a general aviation airport located one mile north of Urbana. It is the only airport in the United States with three museums on site, one of which is the Champaign Aviation Museum. Here you will find fully restored vintage aircrafts including a B-25 that you can even take a flight in! They are currently working to restore other planes including a B-17 Flying Fortress that is a very special ongoing project. You can support their long-term goals of renovation by making a donation on their site. Also onsite is the Airport Café. Their pie is the talk of the town and you won’t want to leave without enjoying a piece while you watch airplanes land and take-off.
Take in a movie at Gloria Theatre – 213 S Main Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078
After a long day out and about you can relax for the evening by taking in a movie at the Gloria Theatre in Downtown Urbana. This theatre originally opened more than 113 years ago and still shows movies today! The theatre only has one screen and is an experience unlike any other. The theatre is being restored by the GrandWorks Foundation to be a venue for movies and live theater in the near future.
Stay the Night at the Brand-New Cobblestone Hotel – 170 OH-55, Urbana, Ohio 43078
The Cobblestone Hotel is one of the newest businesses in Urbana having just opened earlier this year! With all the amenities of a large hotel but the feel of a small town, you will feel right at home and have a very comfortable stay here. They have an indoor pool that can be enjoyed year-round. The facility is even dog friendly, so your beloved pet doesn’t have to stay behind as you explore all Champaign County has to offer. Get a great night’s sleep to prepare for another great day in Champaign County!
Start the day with great coffee and amazing breakfast at The Depot Coffee House – 644 Miami St, Urbana, Ohio 43078.
As you start your second day exploring Champaign County you can grab breakfast at the hotel before hitting the road. If you need a coffee fix on your way, be sure to stop at The Depot Coffee House! This gem is located inside an old Railroad Depot and the history you feel when you enter is unlike anything else. They serve amazing coffee, lattes, and other specialty drinks. You can also get a baked good to take with you before you head to your next adventure.
Get ready for a full day of fun at Kiser Lake – 4889 OH0235, Conover, Ohio 45317
The area offers six hiking trails that offer amazing views of the water and of the marshland that surrounds the lake. If you would rather relax you can visit the swimming beach that is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. You can also rent a boat from one of the two boat rental locations within the park to go fishing or to just see more of this amazing lake. There are tables and grills at the park as well as shelters to enjoy your lunch at. If you just can’t get enough of the lake, there are 115 camping spots available to stay overnight. You can also take advantage of the “Rent-a-Camp” units by reservation so you don’t have to pack your own tent! There is so much to do a Kiser lake you will want to plan a whole day there to make sure you have seen it all.
As you pack up and head for home, we hope your conversation on the way is about how much fun you had in Champaign County! We hope you will tell you friends to visit and that you will want to come back too. There is so much more to see and do but this weekend plan will get you acquainted with our small towns and all they offer. We can’t wait to see you again!
Explore all of Champaign County by visiting the Champaign County Visitor's Bureau.
Clark State Community College Workforce and Business Solutions will present a free webinar on August 10, 2020, from 2 - 3 p.m. featuring Dr. Maurice Stinnett, a national leader in the space of diversity and inclusion.
The webinar – Maximize Business Profit and Growth: Through the Lens of Diversity and Inclusion - will begin the important discussion of equity and inclusion and how embracing this discussion can lead to business growth and success, including real world examples of company leaders in this space and their success.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with Dr. Stinnett to be able to bring this important discussion to our regional business partners,” said Lesli Beavers, director of Clark State Workforce and Business Solutions. “This timely discussion will hone-in on why it is vital that businesses embrace this work, through the lens of important factors to businesses and our local economy: hiring, retention, productivity, growth and profit. Dr. Stinnett is a national leader in this space, and we hope that all of our region’s businesses will take advantage of this opportunity.”
Stinnett is an experienced leader and expert in the areas of diversity, inclusion and equity across nonprofit, education and corporate sectors. He serves as the inaugural vice president of diversity and inclusion for BSE Global, which owns and operates state-of-the-art venues such as the Barclays Center and premier sports franchises including the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. In his role at BSE Global, he creates innovative programming tailored for inclusion and cultural competence and provides leadership and support across BSE's brands. Dr. Stinnett was the first black man to be appointed vice president of diversity and inclusion for an NBA team.
“Building a culture of diversity, inclusion and equity does not happen by chance,” said Stinnett. “It requires time, work and investment from the whole organization. However, when you get diversity and inclusion right, you actually increase your profitability.”
Stinnett is an energetic presenter who is a fierce advocate for equity and inclusion. He has been recognized for this work by various organizations, including receiving the Robinson Trailblazer Award for Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition and being named to the "The Responsible 100" corporate leaders list by City & State New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in business from Central State University, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Master of Education and Doctor of Education in organizational leadership from Columbia University.
The free webinar will cover topics such as:
Registration for Maximize Business Profit and Growth: Through the Lens of Diversity and Inclusion is now open online at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6056726180708401675
4-H families, volunteers, and fans...have you heard the word about the new Champaign County 4-H mobile device app? If you want to stay updated with website, events, or other content while you're on the go, this app is for you!
Check out the following link which you can use to select your device's app store and download and install today! And check out our website and News Blast pages for the instructions on what makes it tick.
From Urbana Daily Citizen- Staff Report
The city of Urbana announced on Thursday that R.B. Jergens Contractors and subcontractors will start completing remaining work on the Monument Square/roundabout project at the intersection of U.S. routes 68 and 36 on Wednesday, July 29. City officials said the contractor will post no-parking signs as needed prior to work phases and that daytime road closures may be necessary during the paving phase.
Tasks to be completed are repairing asphalt; striping roadway markings, parking lines and crosswalks; manhole adjustment; and water valve adjustment.
The contractor was scheduled to start the completion of roundabout tasks on July 8, however, that did not happen.
On Wednesday, city Director of Administration Kerry Brugger told the Daily Citizen that since April the city and the Ohio Department of Transportation had been discussing with R.B. Jergens “pavement failures from 2019 deemed unacceptable by the city and ODOT.
“The city has been patiently waiting for RBJ to share its plan to correct the issues,” Brugger said, adding that on July 2 it was agreed the contractor would begin completing final roundabout tasks on July 8.
“But on Tuesday, July 7, they suddenly backed out of their commitment without any clear explanation,” he said.
Brugger said the contractor requested another meeting, but that the subsequent July 13 meeting provided no clear reason for pavement failures and provided no solutions.
A call to R.B. Jergens on Monday, July 20, and back and forth emails resulted in a commitment to complete pavement work starting Wednesday, July 29, Brugger said.
Click here to read full article on Urbana Daily Citizen.
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Health and wellness are at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now. Your physical and mental health stretch much further than just making sure you don’t get sick. It is about taking care of your mind and body completely. We are lucky to live in a community that offers many ways to make sure we get the care we need. Everything you need to stay healthy can be found right here in Champaign County!
Take a Fitness Class
Pulse Fitness – 407 W Court St, Urbana, Ohio
Pulse Fitness in Urbana offers a variety of ways to keep active. They have group classes for aerobics, cardio and more. No matter your fitness level, you can find a class to help push you and keep you motivate. They also offer personal training and have membership options. They want everyone who comes to their gym to feel welcome and safe. Right now they have safety regulations in place due to COVID19 that you can learn more about on their Facebook page.
Lakeland Golf Club – 1772 Kiser Lake Road, St. Paris, Ohio
Golf is a great option for people of all ages and fitness levels. If you are looking for something more laid back you can take a cart, but if you are up for the challenge you can walk all 18 holes. The Lakeland Golf Club course offers five sets of tees for players of all skill levels. They offer special rates for tee times throughout the week which can be found on their website. In the off-season you can take advantage of their virtual golf center. To see info about upcoming events, league info, and closings due to weather you can follow them on Facebook.
Try Salt Therapy
NaCl Salt Spa – 646 Bodey Circle, Urbana, Ohio
Never heard of a salt spa? We can help you out! The NaCl Salt Spa in Urbana offers a unique type of therapy known as halotherapy, or dry salt therapy. This natural treatment can be enjoyed by just sitting back and relaxing in a room full of salt, or in the form of a massage treatment. They even have a room full of salt for children to dig in and play while they are taking in the benefits from dry salt therapy. There is an entire list of symptoms and conditions that can be improved with dry salt therapy on their website. Visit their Facebook page to keep up to date on new offerings and updated hours.
Grab a Nutritious Treat
Downtown Nutrition – 221 N Main Street, Urbana, Ohio
One of the newest additions to Downtown Urbana, Downtown Nutrition offers some amazing healthy alternatives to some of your favorite treats. These shakes may just look and taste like a yummy treat, but they pack a powerful nutritious punch. They provide fiber, protein, and even vitamins and minerals that your body needs! Their flavor options seem to be endless and they are always coming up with something new. Follow them on Facebook to check out new flavors and learn more about what they offer.
Connect with Nature
Cedar Bog Nature Preserve – 980 Woodburn Road, Urbana, Ohio
Sometimes you just need a nice long walk through nature to get your body moving and your mind to slow down. Champaign County is lucky to have the perfect spot for that! The Cedar Bog Nature Preserve is one of only 25 National Natural Landmarks in Ohio. The boardwalk is a beautiful path that takes you through the bog on a hike you won’t forget. You can access the boardwalk seven days a week from sunrise to sundown. If you want to learn more about the bog, you can visit the onsite Nature Center which is open Thursday-Saturday from 12am-4pm and some Sundays. Visit their Facebook page to see amazing photos and to keep up to date on their current hours.
Take time to invest in yourself. Your mind, body and soul will thank you.
Many businesses mentioned they were running low on items and the costs to maintain necessary PPE has continued to put a strain on their finances.
A partnership between the Dayton Development Coalition and JobsOhio provided the donation of PPE kits as a way to assist small businesses in Ohio. . Each Toolkit includes 100 3-ply masks, 10 KN-95 masks and a 24-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer.
“Small and medium sized businesses make up the backbone of Ohio’s economy and with grit and determination, they and their employees have persevered through unprecedented economic and health challenges during this pandemic. JobsOhio is pleased, along with our network partners, to provide them with PPE toolkits, to aid them in their efforts to get back to work and operate safely.” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. “While we don’t know what the future holds, we are optimistic that Ohio businesses will succeed and continue to play an essential role in Ohio’s economic recovery.”
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Many residents of Champaign County may be familiar with the 1858 Meeting House, but did you know it is the oldest public building in Mechanicsburg? Constructed it 1858 by the Methodist Episcopal Church the building later served as the African American Second Baptist Church. The building is currently undergoing a full restoration.
The Champaign Country Preservation Alliance (CCPA) acquired the building and is working to restore the 1858 Meeting House to its historical specifications. Many of the first-floor restorations have been completed and the building currently hosts community events throughout the year. Their next focuses are going to be restoring all eight of the windows to their original specification and complete a brick by brick tuck point restoration of the exterior.
The goal of the project is to create a venue for community events. They also run a concert series at the Meeting House featuring the Madison Choral Singers. The space is available to rent for public forums, private events, weddings and concerts. This restoration is creating an amazing place for community right here in Champaign County!
The CCPA is currently seeking donations for the window restoration and brick restoration projects. To learn more about the restoration or to donate you can go to their website www.ccpapreserveohio.org/1858-meeting-house.html you can also find them on Facebook at 1858 Meeting House.
Savannah Weaver of Urbana is the winner of the first annual $1,000 Deb Dunham Memorial Scholarship. A well-rounded graduate of West Liberty-Salem High School, she plans to attend Wright State University as a nursing major. She was inspired to pursue a career in nursing by her school nurse, who selflessly rushed to the aid of a student wounded in a school shooting.
“Savannah’s interest in nursing and her desire to support childhood behavioral health were both very important to Deb. We’re excited to award her the Deb Dunham scholarship,” said Jene Bramel, MD, who practices from Urbana Hospital Family Medicine and Pediatrics.
The Deb Dunham Memorial Scholarship is available to Champaign County students who are active in one or more community service/extra-curricular activities and are graduating from a Champaign County school. Applicants are required to submit their most recent transcript copy, two letters of recommendation and a brief narrative stating their academic and career goals and how they plan to share their gifts of time and talent in the future.