Tag Archives: Ohio

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

Overview

The Hopewell Culture was found in southern Ohio from approximately 2,200 to 1,500 years before present.  Sites are identified by their construction of geometric enclosures made of earth, primarily for burials.  Many earth mounds were plowed under for farms or destroyed during construction of an army base in Chillicothe during the 1910s, which increased awareness of these archaeological treasures.  In 1923, it was protected as Mound City Group National Monument and in 1992 expanded to become Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.

Highlights

Indian mounds, museum, film from 2016

Must-Do Activity

The National Park Service (NPS) visitor center in Chillicothe is small but has had recent updates, including the excellent film and displays of beautifully intricate artwork in the museum.  From there you can walk to the Mound City Group on the Scioto River.  Most of these 23 mounds are less than four feet tall, but the largest mound in the area was 33 feet high. 

Best Trail

At separate portions of the National Historical Park, Tri-County Triangle bike path passes near the Hopewell Mound Group and the Ohio Historical Society maintains Seip Earthworks, 17 miles west of Chillicothe on Highway 50.  Two other protected earthworks are closed to the public.

Instagram-worthy Photo

The Hopewell Culture must have had an extensive trading network to obtain the shells, copper, obsidian, and sharks’ teeth which have been excavated from their burial mounds and displayed artfully in the NPS museum.

Peak Season

Open year round

Hours

https://www.nps.gov/hocu/planyourvisit/hours.htm

Fees

None

Road Conditions

All roads paved or good gravel

Camping

There are private campgrounds in Chillicothe and state parks within 30 miles, including the scenic Hocking Hills.

Explore More – Where in today’s United States of America did the copper and obsidian found here originate?

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

Overview

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park preserves Orville and Wilbur’s bicycle shop and explains the development of air travel at a museum next door and several other locations on the Aviation Trail.  The brothers opened a flight school at Huffman Prairie where an interpretive center on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is run by the National Park Service (NPS).  We recommend you try one of the flight simulators at the two sites; they are free and they help you understand yaw.

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Highlights

Museums, historic buildings, flight simulators, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Must-Do Activity

In addition to learning about the Wright Brothers, the NPS also has an exhibit on Paul Laurence Dunbar, a local African-American poet whose home is occasionally open for tours.  When Orville Wright ran a print shop in high school, he published his classmate Dunbar’s work.

Best Trail

The Aviation Trail is not a walking trail, but it is mostly free, including the Parachute Museum and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Instagram-worthy Photo

The NPS museum across from the bike shop has a replica of the 1902 glider that the Wright brothers took to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

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Peak Season

Open year round

Hours

https://www.nps.gov/daav/planyourvisit/hours.htm

Fees

None, except at the Wright Brothers Aviation Center and Hawthorn Hill mansion.

Road Conditions

All roads paved

Camping

None

The sales counter for the Wright brothers shop
Ranger-guided tours are the only way to get inside the Wright Cycle Company building.

The prices were a little shocking
Bicycles were expensive in 1895!

In a remade grocers of the time
Frank Hale’s grocery store has been restored in its original 1900-1917 location in Dayton.

A catapult like this replica helped with airplane liftoff
Huffman Prairie provides information on the Wright’s post-1903 experiments and flight school.

A memorial to the Wright Brothers

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Try a Wright flight simulator; we were told the one at Huffman Prairie Interpretive Center is easier.

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Tiff holds up her certificate saying she flew the Wright Flyer for 3 minutes without crashing.

Explore More – How many winters did the Wright brothers spend in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina perfecting their gliders before their historic flights on December 17, 1903?

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WONDON WAS HERE