The Wilds…Adventure Lives Here
One of Ohio’s most unique destinations is right here in Muskingum County. A place where threatened and endangered animals from all over the world – rhinos, giraffes, antelope and now cheetahs - live in mixed-species groups, roaming expansive natural habitats. A place where scientists and educators are working to better understand and conserve the world’s animals and natural resources. A place where visitors can encounter and learn about nature and wildlife. A place called the Wilds.
Spanning nearly 14 square miles, the Wilds is a wildlife conservation center working to advance conservation through science, education and personal experience. It is a living laboratory, where every aspect of the natural world presents unique venues for personal experience.
Located just miles from downtown Zanesville, the Wilds allows visitors to pick their P.A.C.E. with a variety of options for Personal Adventures in Conservation Education. The signature experience is exploring the facility with a Safari Transport Pass, which combines rides through the animal habitats led by knowledgeable interpreters with self-guided exploration of these destination stops:
The Mid-Sized Carnivore Conservation Center, new in 2007, is 60-acre site designed to meet the needs of animals such as cheetahs, African wild dogs and dholes, a wild canine from Asia. This complex features walking trails, elevated boardwalks and observation decks offering stunning views of a series of enclosures housing these highly-social animals. You can look also in on specialized veterinary facilities and learn more from staff working there.
Lake Trail is a five-acre enclosure within the animal area. A walking path leads to a dock on Spillman Lake, the largest of more than 100 lakes on the property. A series of demonstration areas at Lake Trail showcase some of the conservation projects and scientific studies the Wilds is undertaking in the field of Restoration Ecology. Interpretive staff is on-hand to explain the mission and work of the Wilds.
The Outpost is situated in the midst of the largest section of the animal area, with sweeping views of rolling grasslands. Visitors can stay at their leisure, observing herds of rhinos, antelope and other wildlife behaving much as they would in the wild. The Outpost offers great opportunities for photography, and another chance to interact with and learn from the Wilds’ staff.
The Wetland Trail features a walking trail and observation decks for exploring one of the most important, yet fast-disappearing, ecosystems that make up the world around us. Learn about the plants and animals that are unique to swamps, marshes and wetlands. Naturalists lead walks and activities, answer questions, help identify plants and animals, and teach about this unique habitat.
Custom Safaris are also offered on a regular basis using the open-air transports. This popular option offers a special experience, with outstanding opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography, combined with stops at many of the destinations mentioned above.
There is much more to see at the Wilds than rhinos and cheetahs, though. The Birding Station at Jeffrey Point on State Route 284 is open to the public, offering a sweeping vista rich with grasslands that harbor an abundance of ground-nesting songbirds and raptors, as well as lakes often teeming with waterfowl. Just across from the main parking lot is the Butterfly Habitat, an important Restoration Ecology project. Over 12 acres of grassland are being enriched with native flowering plants to attract and provide habitat for many species of butterfly. A walking trail leads through the area, with interpretive signs offering information about the plants and insects found there.
Members of the Wilds can also book a stay at theLodge at the Wilds, a private retreat secluded along one of the most scenic lakes on the property. This luxury cabin sleeps 12 and offers a quiet spot for meetings, specials events and family getaways.
Rounding out your experience at the Wilds is the Overlook Café, offering a variety of dining options, and the Gift Market, with a wide selection of nature-themed clothing, books, toys and artwork. Scenic picnic areas are also available.
Saturday evenings from June through September the Wilds offers Sunset Safaris, a special experience featuring a buffet dinner and twilight tour. Many of the animals become more active as the sun goes down, and the Wilds offers many great vistas for enjoying the summer sunset.
Pre-scheduled groups of 20 or more qualify for discounts, and can call ahead to arrange for private tours and catered buffet or deli lunches.
The Wilds is open to the public select days May through October. Days and hours vary throughout the season, so call ahead or check the Web site for details: 740-638-5030 or www.thewilds.org.
Longaberger Homestead celebrates the legacy and rich history of Longaberger basketmaking.
Discover the charm of this family-friendly destination located in east-central Ohio, west of Dresden, Ohio, just off State Route 16. You will find yourself feeling right at home from the moment you’re greeted by the friendly folks at the Welcome Center through the end of your visit.
Explore the history of basketmaking by visiting J.W.’s Workshop™, where J.W. Longaberger, father of company founder Dave Longaberger, originally crafted his handmade baskets. Third generation family members will relate first-hand stories about growing up as one of 12 children of the local basketmaker.
While visiting, stop by the Home Show Experience to see, touch and play with every item in the Longaberger WishList™. While exploring Longaberger’s newest facility, guests can also view four home and lifestyle rooms where beautiful Longaberger products are displayed in home settings.
As you tour our state-of-the-art basketmaking facility, you will gain a new appreciation of Longaberger as America’s premier maker of handcrafted baskets. The beauty and functionality of each basket is evidenced in the care that goes into the art of the craft – one maple splint at a time. Our artisans proudly sign every basket they craft, authenticating it as a Longaberger original. Also included in the tour are educational exhibits about company history. Exclusive souvenirs of your visit are available at the Just For Fun Shop™ which features a bountiful variety of unique Longaberger mementos.
Once you’ve observed the experts, you’ll be ready to craft your own Longaberger treasure. The Make A Basket™ experience allows you to work alongside a skilled basket maker as you participate in the creation of your very own Longaberger Basket®. You’ll leave with an even greater appreciation for the quality and pride that goes into every one of our baskets.
Included among Longaberger Homestead’s seven buildings is Longaberger At Home®, which features a collection of specialty boutiques. Offering furniture and home accessories in The Great Room, gourmet food and kitchen items in The Kitchen and garden-themed items in The Garden Room, shopping at Longaberger Homestead is a wonderful diversion from your daily routine.
Another pleasant feature at Longaberger Homestead is the delicious dining options. From traditional home cooking to deli sandwiches and a Victorian Teahouse, we offer a variety of dining choices to please every palate. When down-home cooking is at the top of the list, the Homestead Restaurant is the place to be. Our most popular restaurant offers comfort food even grandma would love! Have a sweet tooth? Flossie’s™ Ice Cream Shop features our own signature ice cream flavor – Maple Caramel Walnut, along with a variety of other sweet treats. For those who are yearning for an escape to elegance, take tea at the Sentimental Rose™ Tea Garden, where refined grace is routine. Another delicious option is the Heartland Deli, offering sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads, along with great desserts.
Trademark attractions abound, making Longaberger Homestead a unique destination for all ages. The World’s Largest Apple Basket™ boasts a bumper crop of fourteen 4 foot apples creating the perfect backdrop for a group photo! The Crawford Barn™ is a beautiful hand-hewn timber frame structure representing the heritage of hard work and craftsmanship. The Dave Longaberger Memorial pays tribute to our company founder and the realization of his American dream.
We welcome group tours and offer a variety of activities custom-tailored with you in mind! For scheduled groups of 15 or more we offer dinner entertainment, family-style dining and special pricing for the Make A Basket experience. Group garden tours highlight our award-winning landscaped gardens at their seasonal best, and can be scheduled in advance of your group visit.
For additional information about Longaberger Homestead including a schedule of events and activities please call Longaberger Guest Relations at 740-322-5588 or visit www.longabergerhomestead.com.