Trails venture around Ohio: Nearby Barn Painting Trail new part of trails.ohio.org

PHOTO BY VICKI JOHNSON This barn, at 770 E. Main St., Woodville, notes the accomplishments of hometown hero Col. Tom Henricks, a retired astronaut.

Just north of Seneca County is the new Sandusky County Barn Painting Trail, found on TourismOhio’s new Ohio Adventure Trails website.

In its inaugural season, the state trails site (trails.ohio.org) features trails in six categories — spirits, coffee, food, shopping, sights and history. Potential travelers can browse the site to find new places in Ohio to visit. The sites are configured into “trails” of similar activities and locations.

“Trails are a popular trend in the tourism industry,” Matt MacLaren, director of TourismOhio, stated in a news release announcing the new website. “These trails have been created by destinations and small businesses collaborating to share stories that visitors might not discover on their own.

“Whether travelers prefer history, wine, culture, sight-seeing, or even doughnuts, we invite them to Find it Here in Ohio.”

The website includes information on more than 40 trails ranging from the Columbus Coffee Trail to Butler County’s Donut Trail and from Dayton’s Aviation Trail to Destination Mansfield’s Shawshank Movie Trail. Users can take the map with them using their mobile device or print it ahead of time.

This screen shot from ohio.org shows the Ohio Adventure Trails being promoted on the home page.

The Sandusky County Barn Painting Trail features four barns with commemorative paintings.

The 911 Memorial Barn, at 1524 CR 32, Gibsonburg, thanks first responders for their service Sept. 11, 2001, and every day.

As stated at history.com, the day known as 9/11 happened when 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism.

Another barn on the trail is the Battle of Fort Stephenson Barn, 2004 Christy Road, Fremont, which commemorates a War of 1812 battle when Americans held off a British attack.

According to Ohio History Connection’s Ohio History Central website, the battle happened not long after the War of 1812 began. George Croghan was commander of Fort Stephenson, located on the Sandusky River. The fort consisted of three blockhouses inside a rectangular stockade.

This screen shot from ohio.org shows a map of all the trails statewide.

British troops attacked the fort in August 1813, and the fort’s 150 troops held off the attack.

“In fact, Croghan’s men were so successful that they crippled the British forces,” according to the historical report. “Not one officer was left standing, and one-fifth of the British force was either killed, wounded or missing in action. The Americans forced the enemy to withdraw from the area.”

The victory raised American morale and made Croghan famous. President James Madison promoted him to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and later Congress voted to award him a gold medal for his success.

The site of Fort Stephenson now is part of the city of Fremont.

A third barn in the series can be found at 770 E. Main St., Woodville. It notes the accomplishments of hometown hero Col. Tom Henricks, a retired astronaut.

According to NASA’s website, Henricks was born in Bryan July 5, 1952, and considers Woodville to be his hometown. He graduated in 1970 from Woodmore High School. His accomplishments include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Air Force Meritorious Service Medals, two Air Force Commendation Medals, four NASA Space Flight Medals, an honorary doctor of science degree from the Defiance College (1993) and F-4 Fighter Weapons School Outstanding Flying Award. He was named Pilot Training Distinguished Graduate and F-16 Conversion Course Top Gun, and was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

Selected by NASA in June 1985, Henricks became an astronaut in July 1986. During his years as an astronaut, he re-evaluated shuttle landings sites worldwide and worked at other jobs with the space shuttle program. He was commander of two space shuttle missions and pilot of two others, and became the first person to log more than 1,000 hours as a pilot/commander.

The fourth barn on the trail is the Rutherford B. Hayes Barn, 3675 Fangboner Road, Fremont. The barn remembers Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president of the United States. Find out more about Hayes at the Hayes Center website, www.rbhayes.org/hayes/biography.

Along with the barn painting series, there are many other trails in northwest and north central Ohio.

Brewery/winery trails include the Black Swamp Ale Trail with 17 stops through northwest Ohio; Lake Erie Shores & Islands Wine Trail, with 20 stops; BG Brew Tour, with nine stops in Bowling Green; and the Fulton County Wine and Brew Trail, with nine stops west of Toledo and north of Defiance.

Also based in Fulton County are Fulton County Artisan Trail, with seven stops centered in Wauseon; Fulton County History Trail, with seven stops; and Fulton County Play Trail, with seven stops.

For thrill seekers, the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Thrills Trail has 10 stops in the greater Sandusky area, and Cedar Point is only one of them.

For nature fans, the Lake Erie Birding Trail has 95 stops in seven loops along the southern shore of the lake.

One of the trails in northwest Ohio is the Sandusky County Barn Painting Trail, which has four stops.

This summer, TourismOhio is encouraging travelers to pick up their “passports” and hit the trails by conducting monthly giveaways on social media to participants who use #MyOhioTrail and #OhioFindItHere.

For people who view “trails” in the traditional sense, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources also launched a map of nature trails earlier this year. Find it at trails.ohiodnr.gov.

The two trail sites can be used to together to move from one sight-seeing spot to another via hiking trails or paddling water trails.

For more travel information, follow @OhioFindItHere on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share photos using #MyOhioTrail and #OhioFindItHere.

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