Highland County offers residents and visitors a variety of activities throughout the year. This list of 52 Things to Do in Highland County gives you an idea of something to do each week or you can pick a few items off the list and make a day trip to the area. Highland County and the surrounding region offers much more than this list so visit www.VisitHighlandCounty.com to learn more about attractions, events, and lodging to help you plan your next adventure in Highland County.
1. Catch 22 Sports Pub in Greenfield is a highly rated sports pub where people can gather and enjoy good food, sports games, and live music. Visitors are drawn to the pub’s hometown atmosphere and unique special events throughout the year including comedy, karaoke, and outdoor tailgates. Catch 22 has a variety of fresh and homemade items on the menu, including hand cut fries, hand battered fish and chips, delicious burgers, and more.
2. Rocky Fork State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts in southwest Ohio. The lake and popular campgrounds offer a beautiful getaway. Boaters call it a paradise for water sports and anglers love the plentiful variety of fish available, including largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, muskellunge, walleye, catfish and carp. The region’s natural beauty can also be enjoyed along the park’s hiking trails. Nearby, a scenic gorge, dolomite caves and natural wetlands add to the popularity of this recreation area. The park also offers a great playground for children and a 9-hole disc golf course at South Beach.
3. The Highlands Nature Sanctuary is the Arc of Appalachia’s oldest and largest preserve. The heart of the 3100-acre preserve is the breathtakingly beautiful Rocky Fork Gorge, a 100-foot-high steep-walled dolomite canyon renowned for its stunning rock formations, ancient white cedars, grottoes, springs, and stone arches. The Highlands Nature Sanctuary is known for not only its geological beauty, but its wealth of botanical diversity and its spectacular spring wildflower displays – some of the best in all the Eastern United States. The Appalachian Forest Museum is free to the public and teaches courses on forest literacy and forest stewardship.
4. Batter Up Bakery, located in Leesburg, Ohio, is a locally sourced bakery that serves a wide array of freshly baked cupcakes, cakes, cookies, brownies, and handmade donuts, as well as seasonal and bake-to-order specialties. Batter Up Bakery is a team committed to quality. Their first and basic component is customer satisfaction, followed by an enthusiasm for using the finest, fresh ingredients to create a true from-scratch treat. They use locally grown farm fresh eggs as well as seasonal fruits and veggies such as hand-picked strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, corn, pumpkins, gourds, and zucchini. Stop in for a hot cup of locally roasted, fresh brewed coffee or a sweet/savory treat.
5. Located in the southern part of the county is the Fort Hill Earthworks and Nature Preserve. This is a beautiful sanctuary and is well worth your time to visit while you are in the area! It is also home to the mile and a half long earthwork, which is believed to be a ceremonial gathering place for the people of the ancient Hopewell culture. Fort Hill is a beautiful respite from the noise and commotion of the 21st century world. Fort Hill Archaeological Preserve protects a 2000-year-old large earthen-walled ceremonial enclosure on its flat ridgetop and shelters one of the finest and oldest forests in Ohio. Eleven miles of trails immerse hikers in the beauty of Ohio’s Appalachian hill-country.
6. Fallsville Wildlife Area, located just seven miles north of Hillsboro, is the perfect getaway. The 1,785 acre state wildlife area is the home of some spectacular waterfalls and beautiful wildflower displays along 3 miles of charming trails. Additionally, it is the home of a variety of wildlife and nesting and migratory birds. Six stocked ponds of primarily largemouth bass and bluegill, are located in the area that are available for fishing.
7. Drive through the county to visit the many Amish and Mennonite owned farms and stores in and around Highland County for a glimpse into this peaceful community. Highland County is home to Amish schools, an Amish church, general stores, produce markets, deli and bakery stores, hand-crafted furniture, and much more!
8. The Alley Neighborhood Grill is a sports bar and grille located in Hillsboro, Ohio. Featuring live music, trivia and game nights, a great atmosphere and a warm, local staff, as well as delicious menu items, The Alley is an eatery that you don’t want to miss.
9. Festival of the Bells is an annual celebration of the C.S. Bell Company which made bells that can be found all over the world. The three day festival is held during early July and is a community event. There are free concerts featuring up and coming Country and Christian artists. Other events include a Parade, 5K Race, Kids Dash, Rides, Crafts, Car Show, 3 on 3 Basketball, Pet Parade, Baby Parade, and lots of Festival Food.
10. Located amid the breathtaking scenery of the Paint Creek Valley in southwest Ohio, the 5,652-acre Paint Creek State Park features a 1,148-acre lake with fine fishing, boating, and swimming opportunities. A modern campground and meandering trails invite outdoor enthusiasts to explore and enjoy the rolling hills and streams of this scenic area. Paint Creek State Park boasts 25 miles of bridle trails and 12 miles of mountain bike trails. There are hiking trails through mature woodlands and open meadows. Fishermen love the lake that is home to bass, crappie and other species.
11. Hillsboro’s Highland Lanes is a 20-lane bowling center with redemption. They also offer an arcade and golf simulator. Highland Lanes is a great place where you can throw a birthday party, hang out with friends, or try to bowl a 300!
12. The Highland County Fair is a week-long event that kicks off Labor Day weekend. This cherished event is where kids and families can enjoy livestock competitions, fun rides, fair food, and much more. Highland County’s roots run deep in agriculture which can be witnessed by the many generations that annually participate in the Highland County Fair. It is an annual event you won’t want to miss!
13. In 1965, the Highland County Historical Society was formed to collect, organize, and preserve articles relating to the history of Highland County. In 1966 the Highland House Museum in Hillsboro was found and purchased to be a permanent house for the Society. HCHS was founded out of the passion of many local folks who gave their time, their expertise and their money. The Museum is primarily open on the weekends and annually hosts events to share the rich history of our great county.
14. Ancient Valley Mercantile offers antiques, gifts, and an art gallery in the Appalachian Foothills of Southern Ohio. The Bainbridge store also serves top-quality, responsibly sourced coffees to the community while working to preserve and share the natural beauty and history of their ancient valley home.
15. Created in 1971 with a few campsites and a small lake, Long's Retreat Family Resort has now grown into one of the top tourist attractions in Southern Ohio! With over 400 acres, they offer permanent camping, cabins, swimming, go karts, waterslides, carousel, arcade, mini golf, and more!
16. Buckeye Hills Country Club features 18 holes of challenging golf in beautiful surroundings in the Greenfield area. The course was built in the late 1960s and has undergone continuous improvement in the years since opening. Over the years hundreds of trees have been planted, an irrigation system helps make the greens some of the best in southern Ohio, and the continuous paved cart path allows play and golf cart use in wet conditions. Ponds and sand traps have been added, and every effort has been made to preserve the area's natural beauty.
17. Are you looking for something to do with your family or friends? Then come enjoy the Greenfield Music Festival. Every year thousands of people come to Greenfield, Ohio to enjoy the annual festival. For three days you can come to downtown Greenfield and check out the different activities that are planned each day of the festival. Some of the activities include the Queens Pageant, car and tractor shows, a craft show, a 5K run, live entertainment, a charity auction, rides for kids of all ages, and a wide variety of food, games, and vendors. The festival showcases a wide range of music genres, including rock, country, pop, and more. With a stage featuring both established and up-and-coming acts, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
18. The Paxton Theatre is a non-profit arts organization providing an outlet for area children and adults alike to have access to live theatre, music, and so much more. They hold the Paint Valley Jamboree, Christmas radio shows, and summer children’s productions, as well as many more events at their location in Bainbridge.
19. A stop in Greenfield isn’t complete without a visit to the Historical Society of Greenfield Ohio’s B&O Railroad Depot. The society is non-profit and exists to further historical preservation and education in Greenfield, Ohio, and the surrounding area. The Depot is used to display military history, the McClain murals, and a fantastic diorama referred to as “Tiny Town”, created by Tom Adams, depicting Greenfield's past.
20. 50 Freeze is a great place to take the whole family. Locally owned and located just west of Hillsboro on Route 50, it offers great food and delicious ice cream, as well as an 18-hole putt-putt course. 50 Freeze is a great place for friends and family to enjoy time together.
21. Terry’s Grocery, Pizza, and Dairy Bar in Lynchburg has become one of the most popular eateries in Southern Ohio. They offer delicious pizza, breadsticks, hoagies, salads, and more, as well as a variety of ice cream, including their famous “crazy shakes.” It has been reported that some people have traveled many hours to enjoy a crazy shake or grab a pizza.
22. Karnes Orchard, near Greenfield, is a family-owned orchard and on-site market, specializing in apples and cider. Want to pick your own apples? Adults and kids alike love exploring Karnes Orchard and picking out their favorite apples to take home with them. With stunning views and great staff, Karnes is a great place to take the whole family.
23. Just to the south of Highland County is Serpent Mound which is a large effigy mound in the shape of a snake that can best be appreciated from an observation tower high above the grounds. In addition to the mystery of what the serpent represents, the entire site lies in the crater of an even more ancient meteorite impact crater. Visitors may come to ponder these eternal mysteries or simply to have a picnic and walk about the grounds. Be sure to check out the museum and gift shop offerings that include fossils and semiprecious stones.
24. The Hillsboro Elks Golf Course is located at the Hillsboro Elks Lodge #361 on the western edge of Hillsboro. The Lodge has a long history of civic and recreational activity for the residents of Hillsboro and surrounding communities. The 9-hole course is home to women's and men's leagues, youth clinics and club tournaments. It also hosts several local organizations' golf events and leagues.
25. Oldaker Wildlife Area is a 141-acre wildlife area that lies in the gently rolling farming region of Highland County, seven miles west of Hillsboro. Most of the area is in meadow and grain crops intermixed with brushy fencerows and extensive brushy coverts along Dodson Creek. An exceptionally fine 25-acre mature woods of beech, maple, swamp white and pin oak, and other hardwoods may be found in the northwest corner of the area.
26. JR’s General Store, located in Bainbridge among Amish Country, is a great place to visit for all your shopping needs. They have many bulk items, fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, meats, and much more. They also carry gifts, books, and unique items that you won’t find anywhere else in the area.
27. The Lynchburg Covered Bridge is a historic wooden covered bridge that spans the east fork of the Little Miami River in Lynchburg. It also has the distinction, following a recent repair and restoration project, of being the only such covered bridge in North America to have been converted to a pseudo-suspension infrastructure. The Lynchburg Covered Bridge, and the surrounding Ruth Cramton Memorial Park, has become a center for social gatherings and activities for the greater Lynchburg community. Since the 1980s several major seasonal events have called the historic bridge home, including several annual covered bridge festivals, civil war reenactments, car shows, motorcycle gatherings, and many local social bazaars. Since the time of the park's establishment, it has also become a highly utilized place for organizations and families to hold private events, as well, more so than any other community venue.
28. The World’s Largest Horseshoe Crab, located in Hillsboro, is an interesting roadside attraction. At 68 feet long, this giant creature is definitely worth a detour to see.
29. The Daily Grind is a café located in downtown Hillsboro. They have a wide selection of baked goods, which are made fresh and from scratch daily. Other options include soups and salads, as well as several types of sandwiches.
30. The Hillsboro’s Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 9am-1pm. It kicks off annually in Mid May and is located at 108 Governor Trimble Plaza in uptown Hillsboro. The event features many forms of entertainment, businesses, and food from local artisans and farms.
31. Liberty Park, located on the northern edge of Hillsboro, is a park that offers a wide variety of entertainment and opportunities. With hiking trails, fishing opportunities, a playground, a walking bridge, Harmony Lake, a dog park, an 18-hole disc golf course, and much more, Liberty Park is bursting with ways to get connected to nature and spend time with friends and family.
32. Maplecrest Meats & More is a family owned and operated business with a store front just south of the downtown area in Hillsboro. They raise black Angus and Angus influenced cattle that are meticulously selected to ensure a high-quality product consistently. They sell bulk ground beef, freezer beef, and grass-fed pasture raised meat. They also offer a variety of delicious deli sandwiches with a vast selection of meats, breads, and toppings. Their lunch specials quickly sell out each time making them a popular mid-day spot.
33. Star Cinemas is an independent movie theatre in Hillsboro. It is a great place to go when the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor adventures. Star Cinemas is a great place to see new releases and even some of the classic movies. Check out their Facebook page for current showings, specials, and events.
34. The Hillsboro Swim Organization has been creating lifelong memories for over 60 years for families in the area. A community swimming pool, the organization offers a variety of activities, specials, classes and more during their season that runs from late May until late August. They have season and day pass admittance options and is a great place to spend the summer!
35. Speed of Light Laser Tag, located just south of Hillsboro’s city limits, is a high-tech computerized game providing players aged 5-99 with a high energy, adrenaline rushed experience of hide and seek. Up to sixteen players are equipped with fully automatic phasers, unlimited shots, 6 group tagging photon beams, and 6 invincibility shields before entering the battle arena. It is a great place for indoor adventure, birthday parties, and much more.
36. The Art Rookery is where imagination comes to life through art! This newer Highland County business is located in the Historic Downtown area of Greenfield. In addition to art classes, there are many items for sale in the shop, including original artwork, prints, crocheted hats, woodwork and pottery.
37. One of the most popular breakfast and lunch spots is 62 Classics’ Diner which can be found on the north side of Hillsboro. Their old-fashioned diner has a family-centered environment that makes them popular with all ages. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to eat great homemade food and be sure to check out the day’s special.
38. The Porch Carryout and Grill is one of Hillsboro’s newest restaurants. This restaurant has a family friendly environment and a great variety of options on their menu. They have an amazing outdoor space with covered seating, fire pit, playground, cornhole and more. Check out their lineup of entertainment options in the evenings.
39. Shaffer Park, located right next to Liberty Park in Hillsboro, is a great place to hang out with friends and family. With ball fields, concession stands, and a walking bridge connecting to Liberty Park, Shaffer Park offers a multitude of things to do.
40. Beginning each spring, Hottle’s Glad Garden has a “You Pick” section that is open from dawn to dusk every day but Sunday. Located near Hillsboro, the Hottle Family planted the garden to let visitors enjoy the sunshine, blooms and butterflies. They also have areas that are perfect for children.
41. Looking for a dress for a formal occasion? Leap of Faith Bridal and Formal in Hillsboro and Burlap Bee in Greenfield are the places to shop locally. They have a variety of dresses available that will make your special event memorable.
42. Nestled among the shopping in downtown Hillsboro is the Sugar Shack. This store is heaven for visitors of all ages. There are lots of fun candy items here that you don’t see very often! You can buy candy by the piece or even in bulk.
43. Twenty Four Deli and Pizzeria can be found on West Main Street in Hillsboro. A local favorite for great food and fun includes a full arcade and pool tables. The décor includes a variety of movie memorabilia and posters. Twenty Four is a great place for birthday parties and gatherings.
44. Highland County is home to a variety of great spots to shop for antiques. Hillsboro and Greenfield’s downtowns both have a few options for finding that next gem.
45. The Leesburg Lion’s Club started the Leesburg Luminary Sunday in 1991 and it is an annual event. The Lions Club mission is to help people in need of eyeglasses or to have surgery so they can have the hope to see again. Every December, the Leesburg community lights up the sidewalks with beautiful luminary candles in white paper bags. People gather in Leesburg to see the lights, wander through the businesses’ open houses and participate in festive holiday activities. You can taste delicious hot chocolate and enjoyable cookies. You can hear kids laughing and carolers' voices filling the air. There are wagon rides, the crowning of the King and Queen and you can even visit with Santa.
46. Highland County Family YMCA, in Hillsboro, offers a variety of activities including: basketball court, fitness center, indoor pool, kid's club, nature fitness trail, sauna, indoor walking and running track, cycling studio, large free weight room, sand volleyball court, small groups, early learning, preschool, and lap swim. They also have a variety of summer camps available.
47. A popular family spot each fall is B. Williams Farms LLC, located near Leesburg. Pumpkins, mums, gourds, fall decor, straw, fodder shocks, and so much more are available for purchase. They have a giant corn pit for kids to play as well. Open dawn to dusk during the fall.
48. Located at on Main Street in Hillsboro, White’s Bakery offers a wide variety of pastries, fresh donuts, custom cakes, coffee, and more, for Hillsboro and surrounding areas. White’s Bakery has been in operation in Hillsboro for over 55. They offer ordering inside, through their drive thru as well as have a seating area inside for friends and family to enjoy their great food.
49. Grind House Cafe, in Greenfield, offers daily coffees, pastries, as well as sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. With a drive thru on each side of the building and call ahead ordering, you can expect fast service with a smile.
50. The Amish families living northeast of Hillsboro (Karnes Road area) annually hold a Public Amish Consignment Auction on the second Saturday in July. Gates open at 8:00 am at the Allen Miller farm at 11861 Karnes Road, with a light breakfast available. Helpers will direct you to available parking among dozens of Amish buggies and cars. The auctioning begins at 9:00 am. Visitors can enjoy a barbequed chicken lunch and other homemade foods. Anyone can bid on furniture, quilts, mini-barns, equipment for gardens and farms, even horses, rabbits, ducks and chickens. Proceeds from the event benefit the local Amish School.
51. Everyone is welcome at the annual Highland County’s Booming in the 'Boro firework show. The event is held annually on July 3rd at 10 pm at the Highland County Fairgrounds. Fireworks are choreographed to music by Hillsboro's own WSRW 101.5.
52. Looking to buy or make that perfect craft or homemade gift for a special person in your life? Check out Twisted Violet Homestead located in downtown Hillsboro. The store is full of unique handmade goods and gifts in addition to offering bath and body products, natural remedies, candles, custom t-shirts and textiles. DIY classes are available for both kids and adults.
Looking for more fun, adventure, and history in Highland County? Visit www.VisitHighlandCounty.com for a list of businesses, attractions, venues and much more. There is also a community calendar that includes upcoming events for the region.
You’ll find everything you’re looking for right here in Highland County, Ohio.