Capture the Memories
Winans Chocolates + Coffees (BRAND NEW CHOCOLATE FACTORY OPENED IN SEPT. 2015) – Immerse yourself in the world of Winans chocolate. Just the mention of the name Winans makes people imagine the heavenly chocolate melting in their mouths or think of the wonderful aroma of fresh roasted coffees. Winans has been in the candy business since 1961. The family has been in the baking and confectionary business since the early 1900s and is in its 4th generation of family ownership. Your tour is led by Winans’ experts who are passionate about both chocolate and coffee. You may meet Clara who has been with Winans since 1969. The famed Miss Clara Toffee is named in her honor. You will learn the Winans family history, see one of the oldest operating Hobart Mixers in the world and best of all sample sweet treats fresh off the line. You will also be introduced to cacao; from how it is grown to how it becomes chocolate. You will sample Winans coffee and receive a four-piece chocolate gift box to take home with you. Allow 1 ½ hours for tour and shopping.
Have your picture taken by an Indian in the museum, on the canal boat or in front of the beautiful “Princess Feather” barn quilt. Johnston Farm and Indian Agency…The Piqua Historical Area State Memorial is home to the General Harrison replica canal boat, the Historic Johnston home (from the 1800’s) and the Woodland Indian and Canal Museum. For $8/person, your group can visit all three sites within this one attraction.
There is a 19th century two-story historic brick home of Col. John Johnston, former US Indian agent and canal commissioner. Costumed interpreters and craft demonstrators provide tours through this preserved and furnished home, the cider house and a unique two-story spring house which holds a loom.
Visitors will take a canal boat ride on a one-mile re-watered section of the Miami-Erie Canal. The General Harrison is a replica of a nineteenth-century mixed-cargo canal boat of the 1840-1850 era, representative of the main transportation utilized by farmers to transport their produce to market prior to the time when railroads began to fill that role, signaling the end of the canal boat era. Costumed boat guides and interpreters direct the mule-drawn boat to provide an authentic and memorable experience for all (holds up to 80 passengers). This unique historical area enables guests to experience the joys of this former method of transportation.
You will enjoy a catered lunch (approximately $10/person depending on your menu selections) at the Historical Indian and Canal Museum which houses authentic Native American tools, clothing, jewelry and other artifacts. It relates the story of the lives with the earliest settlers to Southwest, Ohio. The museum is open April through October. Reservations required for groups. Restrooms are located inside the museum. Guided tours available.
Stillwater Prairie Reserve is situated along the scenic Stillwater River. You will have no problem finding the perfect photo opportunity in this 260 acre area. A circular hiking trail with segments following the river also passes through fields, woodlands, marshy habitats and shrub lands. There are three man made ponds and the Stillwater River provides fishing opportunities for visitors. Diverse topography and vegetation make this a perfect place for hiking, bird watching and photography.
Fulton Farms – One of the largest contiguous produce farms east of the Mississippi River, Fulton’s is known for its extraordinary sweet corn, farm fresh produce, and plump, delicious strawberries. Owner Joyce Fulton invites you to browse the farm market and the Loft Gift Shop, and relax in their Market Café which serves locally roasted coffees, soups, ice cream and homemade breads. Adirondack chairs are scattered outside for guests to relax on a beautiful summer day. For a small fee, a jar of Fulton’s honey or another gift item can be arranged for members of the tour. A group favorite is hayrides through the pumpkin patch in the fall. Contact Beverly Fulton at 937-339-8246. www.fultonfarms.com
Dinner – For information on restaurants and possible evening entertainment, please contact Leiann Stewart, Group Sales Manager, at the Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau at 800-348-8993 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our first stop is WACO Aircraft Museum and Learning Center, and WACO Airfield. A tribute to the WACO Aircraft Company’s place in American aviation, the museum features the company’s unique heritage and contributions to the industry. Exhibits depict the Troy Company’s commercial and military aircraft production from the 1920’s through WWII. In the 1920’s WACO was the largest producer of aircraft in the world. The WACO Aircraft Company was founded by Buck Weaver, Sam Junkin and Clayton J. Brukner, who also founded Brukner Nature Center in Troy. Your guided tour of the museum will include WACO Airfield. The tour guide may even be a pilot who has flown these fabulous WACO aircraft! And, depending on the weather, the possibility exists to see these beautiful planes in flight.
Brukner Nature Center is a private, non-profit nature preserve dedicated to environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation. This 165 acre nature preserve has an air-conditioned, handicapped accessible interpretive building filled with hands-on displays, live wildlife and a unique treetop bird viewing vista. Brukner Nature Center is renowned for nurturing injured, sick or orphaned native Ohio wildlife and then releasing them. A few that cannot be released back into the wild will find permanent homes at Brukner Nature Center as “Wildlife Ambassadors”. Located near the Interpretive Center is the 1804 Iddings Log House, the oldest structure on its original site in Miami County. Staff Naturalists can tailor a program to suit your group’s interests up to a 1.5 hour tour. Brukner Nature Center is open Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm and on Sundays, 12:30-5pm
For a flat fee of $45, a staff naturalist can do a 1 hour presentation in the Heidelberg Auditorium where group members can get up close and personal with several “Wildlife Ambassadors.
For $3/person, a staff naturalist will take group members to all areas of the interpretive building, the bird viewing vista, outside to the view live wildlife and on a short hike. Contact Cindy Gigandet at 937-698-6493 or via email at email@example.com.
Enjoy lunch in Troy. Some restaurant recommendations can be found by contacting Leiann Stewart at 800-348-8993 or by visiting www.homegrowngreat.com.
If you love animals, Idle Hour Ranch is definitely the perfect experience for groups of all ages. IHR allows you to get up close and personal with the animals. Interact with and see over 200 animals including: Camels, River Otters, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Cougar, Zeba, Llamas, Alpaca, Reindeer, Nilgai, a Yak, Wolves, Cavies, Horses, farm animals and many more!
This family owned and operated agricultural/animal sanctuary is dedicated to providing a fun, relaxed atmosphere where guests can be educated about wildlife, agriculture and the overall importance of wildlife and farmland conservation. Capture that personal moment feeding the animals or the smile on your child/grandchild’s face as they see animals they have never seen before. IHR’s Mini Farm Market and Agricultural Tourism activities will be open to the public most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 to 6:00 pm, June through October. Group Tours are available by appointment only on weekdays and are $10.00 per person which includes animal feed for your group members.
Contact Michelle Iddings at 937-339-9731.
Finding that perfect photo will not be difficult at Charleston Falls Preserve and will be magnificent with the 37’ waterfall known as “miniature Niagara” as your backdrop. Charleston Falls is the most visited Park District property in Miami County with over 216 acres of prairie and forests. Over three miles of trails pass through various habitats such as Redbud Valley and the Thorny Badlands, offering explosions of color and varieties of scenic wonder. Uncommon plants such as wild columbine, walking fern, purple cliff break and rock honeysuckle grace the limestone faces of the surrounding gorge.
There are over 60 perfect backdrops across Miami County for that one or two or three special photos, the Miami County Barn Quilts. You can decide at some point during your stay in Miami County to drive the entire Barn Quilt tour or you can take brief detours to a few of them as you are traveling from destination to destination over the course of your stay. The barn quilts are 8’ x 8’ squares that are colorful, hand painted folk art renditions of traditional quilt patterns. They celebrate the unique rural and agricultural experience in Miami County. No two are alike. When you stop, feel free to get out, visit with the owners and take photos.
For a Barn Quilt brochure, please call Leiann Stewart, Group Sales Manager, at the Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau at 800-348-8993.