Mark your calendars in 2010 for the annual Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival during the weekend of October 9 and 10. This festival takes place at the Ashtabula Fairgrounds located on Poplar Street off Rt. 307 in Jefferson, Ohio. Jefferson, Ohio, is located in Northeast Ohio between Cleveland, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania.
Admission to the festival is $4.00 and children under 12 are admitted free. Parking is free. The gates open at 8:00 am and close at 5:00 pm for a full day of fun and entertainment. You can learn more about specific events at their website, www.coveredbridgefestival.org.
There will be something there for the entire family. You can check out fun activities for the children, antique cars and engines for dad, quilts and crafts for mom, and everything in between. There will be great food including the Rotary’s famous homemade bean soup. Since the air might be a bit crisp, that soup will sure hit the spot. Don’t forget the pancake breakfast, contests, prizes and more. You will also be able to pick up a self-guided tour of the covered bridges (which you can do anytime, not just during the festival). There are also signs located throughout the county to direct visitors to the different bridges and they are up all year round.
Ashtabula County, Ohio, has more covered bridges than any other county in Ohio. They actually have 17 in all, for now. Twelve of the bridges are historic and five of them are new since 1983. Ashtabula boasts the longest covered bridge in the United States which is also the fourth longest in the world. During the 2010 festival, the newest Ashtabula County Bridge will open making it the shortest covered bridge in the United States and making it a total of 18 in the county.
Ashtabula County is also known for their wineries and beautiful water including the shores and beaches of Lake Erie. Looking for biking and/or hiking? You will find it here too. Ashtabula County has a beautiful 26-mile section of the Greenway Trail available for outdoor enthusiasts as well as both state parks, Pymatuning and Geneva. You can jump on a train on a fall weekend at AC&J Scenic line (www.familytrainrides.com) in Jefferson. Plus shopping, fresh apples, great food and more!
As the Northeast Ohio temperatures start to drop preparing for winter, you will be able to witness the crayon box colors of the leaves on the trees. It is truly a sight to behold. I have lived in this region my entire life and I still never tire of fall. It is a beautiful and peaceful time full of multi-colored leaves, cool breezes, soft sweaters, crisp apples, warm cider, steaming soups and so many things you can only experience in the fall.
The Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau has complete listings for events for the entire year, lodging and food options and more to help you plan a trip to beautiful Ashtabula County. You can visit them at http://visitashtabulacounty.com/.
I do not think many people think of Northeast Ohio as a travel destination, but they should. This region has so much to offer from lake and water activities, parks and sports, shopping, great food, history, wineries, Amish communities, and fun for everyone. If you are tired of the same old thing, why not try something new and come to Northeast Ohio. You just might be pleasantly surprised. Happy Travels!!