Popular attractions include a visit to a botanical garden, a ride on a canal boat and a stop to cool off at an outdoor recreational complex.
Clary Gardens (588 W. Chestnut St., Coshocton 43812; 740-622-6524) - The botanical garden has 20 acres that include rolling hills, ponds and a ravine, dotted with native and exotic perennials, trees and shrubs. Kids will enjoy a half-mile woodlands trail that leads to a large boulder left behind by glaciers, as well as a children's garden being developed this year as Clary celebrates its 15-year anniversary.
"We are so blessed to have such a beautiful garden destination," said Mindy Brems, interim executive director of the Coshocton Visitors Bureau. "For the size of our county, which is approximately 30,000, we have so many wonderful places to visit."
Admission is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily April 1 to Oct. 15 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 16 to March 31.
Historic Roscoe Village(600 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton 43812; 800-877-1830) Roscoe Village was an 1830s port town on the Ohio and Erie Canal. Today, it's a tourist destination that transports visitors back to the 19th century. There is no fee to take a stroll through the mile-long stretch of shops and restaurants, which include a portrait shop, a general store, a jeweler, a leather shop, a sweets shop and other specialty retailers.
The guided and self-guided Living History Tours provides a glimpse into life and housing in the Civil War era. Exhibits include a blacksmith shop, an 1830s home, a doctor's office displaying 19th century equipment, a one-room schoolhouse, a craftsman's house (moved from its original site on state Route 541) and the Toll House, which features a video of the restoration processes used throughout Roscoe Village. Kids will enjoy a visit to the Toll House Toy Cellar, a room filled with antique playthings. The tour is $9.95 adults, $4.95 students (kindergarten through college) or $29.95 for a family.
"On some weekend afternoons, a toy collector tells wonderful stories about the toys," Brems said. "He is typically here from 1-3 p.m., but you can call ahead to see when the storyteller will be in. Kids can also make a canal-era craft, usually for a $2 to $3 fee, at the Visitor Center."
Roscoe Village also includes numerous gardens and the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, which features American Indian, historic Ohio and East Asian exhibits. Tours are not offered and the Visitor Center is closed January through March.
Monticello III Canal Boat (Coshocton Lake Park Recreational Complex, 23253 State Route 83 N., Coshocton 43812; 740-622-3415) Less than a mile from Roscoe Village is the Monticello III Canal Boat, pulled by a team of draft horses. The 45-minute ride travels along a restored section of the Ohio and Erie Canal. Kids will enjoy watching the horses as they pull the boat, and parents will enjoy a relaxing ride and the history provided by the boat operator.
Trips depart hourly, weather-permitting, from 1-3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 1-4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Memorial Day through Labor Day. The cost is $8 adults, $7 seniors and $6 students (ages 5-12).
Coshocton Lake Park Recreational Complex (23253 State Route 83 N., Coshocton 43812; 740-622-7528) After exploring the other sights, visitors can cool off at Coshocton Lake Park Aquatic Center, located on the opposite end of the recreational complex from the canal boat. The aquatic center features a pool, waterslides, waterfalls, sprinklers, tunnels and a water play gym. Take a break on the Sun Patio, which has lounge chairs, umbrellas and a snack bar. Admission is $7 adults, $5 children ages 3-17.
For families who have the time, the complex offers enough activities to fill an entire day, including:
• Four nature trails covering more than seven miles through forest and scenic river areas.
• Fishing in Lake Park or Roscoe Basins, both stocked with trout and bluegill (no license is needed).
• A Playvillion that gives kids of all ages a place to romp through the huge playground. The area also offers picnic shelters.
• The Lake Park Campground, which has 69 scenic campsites along the Walhonding River that can be used from April through December.
For more information about Coshocton County, contact the Coshocton Visitors Bureau at 740-622-4877 or go to visitcoshocton.com.