Ohio River Scenic Byway – OH
- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (1998)
- Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
- LocationIL, IN, OH
- Length452 of 943 total miles
Visitors can experience a mixture of beautiful scenery and history by following along the Ohio River Scenic Byway, which meanders along the banks of the Ohio River, offering almost continuous views of the river. Along the byway, visitors will discover the history of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio through rural landscapes and quaint river communities, covering periods from Native American habitation through western settlement, affecting transportation patterns and industrialization.
Story of the Byway
The Ohio River Scenic Byway covers 13 Appalachian counties opulent in diversity. These special places are not only known for their natural beauty but also for their cultural resources. Rich in history and flourishing with activity, the beauty of the water attracts and inspires musicians and artists from all over the world.
Travel the paths of pioneers and presidents. Not only does the Ohio River Scenic Byway follow the path of explorers and adventurers, the verdant heartland byway passes through the birthplaces of three US presidents. Wander an ancient byway – prehistoric Indian sites and ancient earthworks are plentiful all along the byway.
Travel light and dress casual, but be prepared for a party! The people of Appalachia have a celebration for everything that happens along the river.
The byway begins near Cincinnati, Ohio on Highway 50. In Cincinnati take Highway 52 southeast. Follow Highway 52 as it meanders across the state. Near Proctorville Highway 52 becomes State Route 7. After Pomeroy take State Route 124 southeast towards Minersville. Take State Route 338 south at Racine and follow it until it reunites with SR 124. Follow SR 124 to Little Hocking where it reunites with Highway 7. The road enters Wayne National Forest about 7 miles after Marietta and exits the forest after 27 miles. Follow Highway 7 to the end of the byway, at East Liverpool.
Points of Interest
Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge
These wooded islands are part of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge – a collection of 22 islands and three mainland tracks – scattered along 400 miles of the beautiful river.
Beaver Creek State Park
Archaeological digs at Beaver Creek State Park have uncovered arrowheads, pottery and knives dating back to the Clovis culture – some 10,000 years ago. Over the centuries, the land was home to several Indian tribes – ending with Chief Logan a Mingo leader. The slaughter of his family was the Chief’s undoing and led to Lord Dunmore’s War of 1774.
Once known as The Wolf Plains, the Plains the home of a late Adena culture group of 30 earthworks, including 22 conical mounds and nine circular enclosures.
Historic Fort Steuben
The reconstructed 18th century military fort is located on its original site overlooking the Ohio River. The eight buildings in the complex are furnished to present an experience of life on the Ohio frontier when the soldiers and surveyors had to deal with cold, hunger, illness and the danger of attack without the modern conveniences we take for granted today.
Campus Martius Museum
Campus Martius Museum was built on the site of the original stockade, built by the Ohio Company between 1788 and 1791. Known by the early settlers as the stockade or Campus Martius, the original fortification was built to house and protect the members of the Ohio Company during the Ohio Indian Wars of 1790 to 1794.
The Castle - Marietta, OH
A Victorian House Museum that offers tours of the 1855 Gothic Revival style home, fully furnished with Victorian decor. Special events include teas, workshops, ghost tours, children's programs and more!
Ulysses S. Grant Boyhood Home and Schoolhouse
Tour the boyhood home, 1 room schoolhouse, tannery and native son statue of the 18th President of the United States .
Harriet Beecher Stowe House
Celebrates the life, family, and legacy of author and activist Harriet Beecher Stowe. Harriet is primarily known for her book, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and its contributions to the Civil War.
Merry Family Winery and Old Mill Craft Beer
Family owned and operated winery, vineyards, and craft brewery located in rural Gallia County Ohio. Our Winery offers a large variety of handcrafted Ohio wines. From Sweet Apple wine made with locally grown apples to Dry Red or White Wines you are sure to find something to satisfy. The Craft Brewery specializes brewing flavorful small batch handcrafted beers with hops grown on premises. The hop rhizomes of one of the varieties of hops used in our brews was brought to America by our great grandfather when he immigrated from Slovakia in the 1800’s.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Through permanent and traveling exhibits, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center shares the stories of freedom’s heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to contemporary times, challenging and inspiring us all.
Experience the Ohio River
Starting in the City of Steubenville and travelling south along Highway 7, your journey on the Ohio River Scenic Byway has officially begun! Right away, make a stop by the Byway Information Center in Steubenville to get all the information you need to start your journey. Start your first big portion of your drive and take in the scenery of the beautiful Ohio River and the surrounding area. You will pass through multiple towns and cities along the way with so many different locations to stop at that highlight both the history and the natural beauty of the area. When you pass through the community of Hannibal, stop by the Historic Locks and Dams Interpretive Center. Along the way before you stop in Portsmouth for the night, there are many notable locations to stop at. This includes the Ohio River Museum, Buffington Island, Our House State Memorial, the Historic Home District in Ironton, and the Wayne National Forest. After taking in the scenery and the history, stop in Portsmouth and grab a hotel to rest for the night before continuing your journey.
The City of Portsmouth has plenty of different locations to stop at that will make you enjoy this area even more. This includes the Moore Stone House, The 1810 House, Flood Wall Murals, and much more. As you continue your drive along the Byway, drive past Manchester and stop at the Ripley Museum. After passing the village of Ripley, you will soon reach Point Pleasant which is the home of Ulysses S. Grant’s birthplace. After that, the largest portion of your trip will be in the wonderful city of Cincinnati. There is so much to do here and so much history to take in. Notable locations include the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, the William Howard Taft National Historic Site, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and much more. You can either end your trip here or continue the Ohio River Scenic Byway, as it travels through Indiana and Illinois!
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