If you like small towns, then southeast Ohio should be on your radar. This rural section of Ohio is known for its beautiful scenery and small-town living. Morgan County offers lots of things to do in southeast Ohio that you’ll want to check out on your next road trip.
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Southeast Ohio and Morgan County: At A Glance
Southeast Ohio At A Glance: Southeast Ohio is a rural area of the state that includes counties that border West Virginia. The area lies in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains so it tends to have more hills than the rest of the state which is relatively flat.
Morgan County Location: Morgan County is located in southeast Ohio about 80 miles southeast of Columbus. It is one of the least populated counties in Ohio.
Main Towns in Morgan County: McConnellsville, Stockport, Chesterhill
Driving Distance to Morgan County from Nearby Cities:
- Columbus, Ohio: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cleveland, Ohio: 2 hours 40 minutes
- Cincinnati, Ohio: 3 hours
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Charleston, West Virginia: 2 hours
Morgan County Activities
You’ll find lots of wide-open space and a small-town feel in Morgan County, Ohio. There are plenty of outdoor activities in the area, so you’ll be able to keep a social distance while still getting out to explore. You’ll soon realize why Morgan County is called “The Front Porch To The Great Outdoors”.
Old Bridge Brewing Company
Location: 281 West Main Street, McConnelsville, Ohio 43756
Contact: 740-651-5042 | Old Bridge Brewing Company
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 3 p.m.-10 p.m; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday Noon-9 p.m.
Old Bridge Brewing Company, located in McConnelsville, is a cool brewery and taproom with a hip microbrewery vibe in a small town setting. They make all of the beer onsite. The kinds of beer on tap changes periodically and includes unique varieties like Dirty Girl Coffee Stout, Blood Orange IPA, Coconut Almond Stout, Raspberry Stout, and more.
If you prefer hard seltzer, they’ve got you covered too. You’ll want to try the rhubarb or raspberry seltzer — it’s better than White Claw!
They’ve got a great taproom plus a large outdoor patio to allow for social distancing. You can order food from 4 nearby restaurants, who will deliver right to your table.
Burr Oak State Park
Location: 10220 Burr Oak Lodge Road, Glouster, Ohio 45732
Contact: 740-767-3570 | [email protected] | Burr Oak State Park
Burr Oak State Park is an outdoor gem that offers plenty of things to do on over 2,500 acres in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. In addition to Burr Oak Lake and over 28 miles of hiking trails, you’ll find a swimming beach, marina, boat dock, and camping.
The Buckeye Trail, a 1,440+ mile trail that winds through Ohio passes through Burr Oak State Park. The trail also crosses through some other popular hiking areas in Ohio including Hocking Hills and Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
There are various types of overnight accommodations available in Burr Oak ranging from camping to lodges and cottages. One of the most popular options is Burr Oak Lodge and Conference Center. This rustic lodge, which overlooks Burr Oak Lake, makes a great home base while you’re experiencing all the park has to offer.
Big Muskie Bucket
Location: 4470 OH-78, McConnelsville, Ohio 43756
If you like unusual roadside attractions, be sure to stop at the Big Muskie Bucket in Miner’s Memorial Park. Big Muskie was a huge dragline excavator and was one of the world’s largest earth-moving machines ever created. The Big Muskie Bucket is all that remains, weighing in at 460,000 pounds with the capacity of a 12-car garage!
The “Rim of the World” Motorcycle Route
The “Rim of the World” route along State Route 79 will take you through scenic spots in Morgan County including McConnellsville, Stockport, and the Muskingum River. It’s one of the best motorcycle rides in Ohio!
This part of Ohio is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves change color. The best time to see fall colors varies each year, but it generally peaks sometime in October.
AEP ReCreation Land
Southeast Ohio is home to over 60,000 acres of reclaimed land that was once used for mining. This area, the AEP ReCreation Land, is now open to the public for recreational activities like fishing, hiking, hunting, horseback riding, bird watching, camping, and more.
Wayne National Forest
Welcome Center Location: 13700 US Highway 33, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764
Welcome Center Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Contact: 740-753-0101 | Wayne National Forest
Located in southeast Ohio, Wayne National Forest is the only National Forest in Ohio, covering over 240,000 acres of land. It includes over 300 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, ATVs, and horseback riding.
Twin City Opera House
Location: 15 West Main Street, McConnelsville, Ohio 43756
Contact: 740-962-3030 | Twin City Opera House
The Twin City Opera House has been open to the public since 1892. While the theater isn’t hosting any live events due to Covid-19, it is showing movies on the big screen with reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. These movies are free, but the theater could really use your support during this time, so please consider donating if you go see a movie (and even if you don’t)!
Pro Tip: If you’re driving through southeast Ohio on a road trip, don’t forget to add Cambridge/Guernsey County and Zanesville/Muskingum County to your itinerary.
Where to Stay in Morgan County
You won’t find many chain hotels or luxury accommodations in Morgan County, Ohio. What you will find is campgrounds and small, independent bed and breakfasts.
Burr Oak Lodge and Conference Center
Location and Contact: 10660 Burr Oak Lodge Road, Glouster, Ohio 45732 | 740-767-2112
Amenities: Dining room and bar, free Wi-Fi, indoor pool, beach, tennis courts, hiking trails, naturalist program, basketball, fishing, boating, mini-golf, geocaching
Burr Oak Lodge and Conference Center is a secluded property located in the heart of Burr Oak State Park. It offers 38 lodge guestrooms and 30 2-bedroom cottages.
Stockport Mill Inn
Location and Contact: 1995 Broadway Avenue, Stockport, Ohio 43787 | 740-559-2822
Amenities: Restaurant, free Wi-Fi
Stockport Mill Inn was originally a mill that was constructed in 1906. It’s now a bed and breakfast with 14 rooms. It comes with rustic charm and beautiful views of the Muskingum River. There are steep, uneven stairs leading to all but one guest room (with no elevator), so it may not be suitable for anyone with mobility issues or anyone who can’t carry luggage upstairs.
The dining room serves homemade comfort food — the rolls and peach/blueberry cobbler were especially delicious!
Inns At 8th and Main
Location and Contact: 214 East Main Street, McConnelsville, Ohio 43756 | 740-651-5198
Amenities: In-room continental breakfast, in-room gourmet coffee and teas, free Wi-Fi, Netflix
The house was originally built in 1838 as a coach stop and tavern. The Inn features 2 guest rooms, each with a private bath, and a larger 3rd room with a living area and private bath.
With so much going on in the world today, destinations like southeast Ohio, with plenty of outdoor space, are in high demand. If you haven’t ventured from home yet, try starting small with a road trip. Morgan County has lots of open space to allow for secluded outdoor activities. It’s a great way to travel safely and responsibly.