Skip to Content

Get Outside in Highland County: A Family Friendly Ohio Road Trip

Thanks to Ohio. Find it Here. and Visit Highland County for sponsoring this post.

As we continue to explore Ohio as a family, we never cease to be surprised by what our state has to offer! We were invited to visit Highland County for a weekend getaway this October and we jumped at the chance to visit a part of the state we had never been to!

Highland County is around 65 miles from Columbus and is an easy trip from Central Ohio, Dayton or Cincinnati! It is a scenic county with sprawling cornfields, Amish farms and surprising hills! We even came across a waterfall!

If you’re looking for a rural spot to get away from the fast pace of the city, take a drive to peaceful Highland County and enjoy some of these fun activities, outdoor adventures and tasty treats!

Fun Things to See and Do in Highland County, Ohio

Mother Cluckers Farmhouse

Inside Mother Cluckers Farmhouse in Highland County, Ohio.
Handmade goods for sale at Mother Cluckers Farmhouse

You’ll want to take home a little bit of everything at Mother Cluckers Farmhouse! This cute shop is home to handmade bath products, candles, jewelry, t-shirts and more! There is a bright space in the back where the owner, Heather, hosts art classes and community events!

Boy doing a shrinky dink class at Mother Cluckers Farmhouse.
Shrinky Dink Fun!

During our visit, our whole family made Shrinky Dinks! The boys had never seen these before and were shocked when they began to shrink up in the oven!

Fallsville Wildlife Area

Fallsville Wildlife is a 1785 acre public wildlife area with several fishing areas, hiking trails and is home to a waterfall on Clear Creek which flows through the land.

Waterfalls at Fallsville Wildlife Area in Highland County, Ohio.
The waterfall at Fallsville Wildlife Area

If you want to see the waterfall, enter on the Careytown Road South entrance. There is a parking lot close to the trail. The waterfall will be on your right after about a 10 minute or so hike.

There are trails going down to the waterfall but, fair warning, they are steep. It had rained the day we visited so we didn’t hike down the muddy trail, but the waterfalls would have been even more stunning from down below!

Related: Road Trip Inspiration: 8 Ohio to Visit this Year

Sugar Shack and More Shopping in Downtown Hillsboro

Downtown Hillsboro, Ohio.
Downtown Hillsboro, Ohio

Shopping in downtown Hillsboro includes local antique shops and boutiques! You should definitely include a stop at Sugar Shack, where you can buy candy in bulk!

Sugar Shack candy store in downtown Hillsboro, Ohio.
Picking out candy at Sugar Shack in downtown Hillsboro

There were lots of fun candy items here that you don’t see very often! It’s not surprising my kids were in heaven! They loved picking out their favorite candies from the bins! When we checked out the owner even gave them some Halloween goodies and a pencil!

Fort Hill Earthworks

Fort Hill Earthworks and Nature Preserve is part of Ohio History Connection and is home to a 1.5 mile long earthwork built by the American Indians of the Hopewell Culture about 2000 years ago.

Two boys hiking at Fort Hill Earthworks.
Hiking at Forth Hill Earthworks

In order to fully see and appreciate this earthwork, you must hike to the top of Fort Hill. And it is a steep hike! The four of us did not have the stamina to make it to the top, but we did enjoy a beautiful and scenic hike on a crisp fall day!

Ballentine Farms and Corn Maze

We had a great time at Ballentine Farms! The farm has a large barn filled with fall decor for purchase. There are also games, a large slide that ends in a large corn bin where kids can roll around and snacks for sale!

Pumpkins at Ballentine Farms and Corn Maze in Highland County, Ohio.
Pick out a pumpkin at Ballentine Farms

You can purchase all sizes and colors of pumpkins and gourds for reasonable prices! I picked up several small white pumpkins to decorate our front porch and the boys got pumpkins to carve!

The main attraction here is the corn maze! There is a smaller maze and a larger maze and they both have a scavenger hunt component! If you can find all of the stamps in one of the mazes, you get a free pumpkin!

Two boys in the corn maze at Ballentine Farms.
Literally lost in the corn maze at Ballentine Farms!

We definitely got lost in the corn maze and could not find all of the stamps! LOL! But we did make a really fun memory as a family trying to follow the sun and various landmarks to make our way back out!

Related: Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals in Central Ohio

Karnes Orchard

Karnes Orchard in Highland County, Ohio.
Apple picking at Karnes Orchard

Karnes Orchard is a gorgeous spot for picking apples. The orchards sit on top a hill that overlooks acres of picturesque farmland! Apple picking is available beginning in July through late October. Throughout the year other fruit is available, too, such as pears, plums, peaches and cherries.

Related: 5 Farms Where You Can Pick Your Own Apples Near Columbus

Apple Picking at Karnes Orchard in Hillsboro, Ohio.
Pick your own apples at Karnes Orchard

If you don’t have time to pick the apples yourself, bagged apples are available in the shop as well as apple cider and local honey! We chose our favorite apples, which are Gala, and some local honey to take home from the shop!

Where to Eat in Highland County, Ohio

Batter Up Bakery

Glazed donut from Batter Up Bakery in Leesburg, Ohio.
Homemade donuts at Batter Up Bakery

Let’s start out with a word of advice for visiting Batter Up Bakery in Leesburg: Go EARLY!

This popular donut shop was sold out by the time we left around 11:00 AM! And for good reason! The delicious donuts and baked goods are made from scratch with the best ingredients!

Two boys learning how to roll out donut holes at Batter Up Bakery.
Learning how to make donut holes!

The owner, Sue, gave us a behind the scenes tour of the bakery, describing what she and her family have learned over the years about the science of baking, which, as someone who loves to bake at home, I personally found fascinating!

My boys got some hands on experience, learning how to cut and fry donut holes with leftover dough and decorating donuts with their favorite colors of sprinkles! There is nothing like the taste of fresh, warm donut holes! Yum!

The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind is a cute stop for your caffeine fix! Rumor has it they also have amazing grilled cheese sandwiches! They also serve soups and salads and breakfast all day!

Terry’s Pizza and Ice Cream

You might find a gas station an unlikely spot for dinner and dessert, but don’t pass Terry’s by on your visit to Highland County!

The pizza here is solid and you can’t leave without a crazy shake! Extreme milkshakes are all the rage these days and Terry’s offerings are on par with anything I’ve had in Columbus! There are over 10 options including the Buckeye pictured below!

Buckeye Crazy Shake at Terry's Pizza and Ice Cream in Lynchburg, Ohio.
Crazy Shakes at Terry’s Ice Cream

You can order inside the gas station or come around to the back of the building where there is a covered patio and window where they take ice cream-only orders. If an extreme milkshake is a little bit too much, they have an extensive menu of regular sized ice cream treats!

Old Y Restaurant

Old Y Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch or dinner and is known for their Y fish sandwich! Their food is very reasonably priced and the kids meals include french fries and a small drink and are less than $5 each!

62 Classics Diner

Burger at 62 Classics Diner in HIllsboro, Ohio.
The “best burger in town” at 62 Classics Diner

62 Classics Diner claims to have the “best burgers in town” and I would venture to say they are probably right! We thought they were awesome! There is really no other way to describe this place other than exactly what its name implies: a classic diner! It’s a fun stop for a meal in Highland County!

Where to Stay in Highland County, Ohio

Whiteoak View Bed & Breakfast

Whiteoak View Bed and Breakfast in Hillsboro, Ohio.
Whiteoak View Bed and Breakfast

Where do I start when it comes to Whiteoak View Bed and Breakfast? Let’s start with the porch: the wrap around porch that encircles 3/4 of the farmhouse! I could live out there! In fact none of us wanted to leave when morning came!

Whiteoak View, a farm that has been passed down through 6 generations of a local family, has just recently been remodeled and opened as a bed and breakfast. We were lucky enough to be one of the first families to stay there.

The farmhouse has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining room and two living rooms. No detail has gone unnoticed here. The rooms are clean and beautiful (and stocked with handmade soaps from Mother Cluckers Farmhouse)!

Family playing games at the Whiteoak View B&B in Highland County, Ohio.
Playing games at the B&B

During your stay on this working farm, you can enjoy catch and release fishing, a fire pit, basketball, and, if you’re my kids, becoming attached to one of the many barn cats on the property! The kitchen is stocked with snacks and there are books and games available to use during your stay!

You will not regret booking your stay at Whiteoak View B&B! I’m already dreaming about when we can return!

Use this list to plan a relaxing getaway to Highland County! With lots of outdoor activities, your family will enjoy this scenic part of the state, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing and apples and pumpkins are ready to be picked!

things to do this weekend in columbus ohio

Share this post with your friends!

Save this post on Pinterest!

Crazy Shakes in Highland County, Ohio.