Take a Walk on the Wild Side

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Day 1


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 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 interest up to a 1.5 hour tour.

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 $2.50/person, a staff naturalist will take group members to all areas of the interpretive building, the bird viewing vista, outside to view the wildlife and on a short hike. Contact Cindy Gigandet at 937-698-6493 or via email at info@bruknernaturecenter.com


Brukner Nature Center is open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm and on Sundays 12:30-5pm.


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, zebra, 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.

Group tours are available by appointment only on weekdays and are $10/person which includes animal feed for your group members. Contact Michelle Iddings at 037-339-9731.


IHR’s Mini Farm Market and Agricultural Tourism activities will be open to the public most Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday from 12-6pm, June through October.


You can enjoy lunch at Buffalo Jacks in Covington, Ohio. Built in 1886 as a tavern, Buffalo Jacks opened for business in 1983 after 18 months of restoration. The original cherry bar is still intact. The decor is southwestern and Native American with an impressive collection of mounted animals. Bring your camera and take a picture of your party with the stuffed buffalo that is waiting by the front door to greet you as you enter. They specialize in American meals but also include North American wild game and exotics for those with more adventurous tastes. There is a private banquet hall for groups. A truly unique dining experience!

Reservations required. Contact 937-473-2524 for menu selections and pricing.


To end your day, you can enjoy the beauty of Miami County by traveling down the Great Miami River in a kayak or canoe. In the fast paced environment we live in today, sometimes we need to take a step back and enjoy the wonders of nature. Adventures on the Great Miami is located just outside the beautiful, historic little town of Tipp City. They have just the right trip for a group of any size and any skill level. Before or after your journey on the river, experience a wealth of other fun outdoor activities as well. For the adventurer in you, fly on the rope swing into the river, glide down the 150ft. slip-n-slide and splash around in the swimming area. If you want to relax, grab a raft, float in the water and soak up some sun. There is something for everyone!

The novice can enjoy a three-mile adventure from base camp to the Taylorsville Dam. This trip will take approximately 1-2 hours and will cost $25/person.

If your group is more experienced in kayaking and canoeing, you can choose the intermediate trip which will start in Tipp City and end at base camp. This is a five-mile adventure that takes approximately 2-3 hours and costs $25/person.

Contact Chris Jackson at 937-266-6252.


Enjoy dinner at one of Miami County’s local restaurants. For more information on restaurants, contact Meghan Rodriguez, Group Sales Manager, at 800-348-8993 or via email at mrodriguez@homegrowngreat.com.


Day 2


Turkeys have been raised on the Bowman and Landes turkey farm for four generations, since 1948. There are three generations actively involved. Their free range turkeys are raised on a 2,200-acre farm in the open air and sunshine without antibiotics and are vegetable fed. Your group can see the turkeys and enjoy a tour of their production facility and learn about their processes. After your tour, visit the shop to peruse all of the Bowman and Landes products as well as many other local Ohio products. Bowman and Landes also has a deli with fresh meats, cheeses and salads if your group would like to arrange lunch at their facility. Tastings can be arranged.

Group reservations required. Contact Carl or Anita at 937-845-9466 or via email at carl@bowmanlandes.com.



Our next stop is the 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 1920s through WWII. In the 1920s 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.

$7/person. Contact Gretchen Hawk at 937-335-9226 or via email at admin@wacoairmuseum.org.



Learn about and experience the Wild Frontier of Western Ohio at Johnston Farm and Indian Agency… The Piqua Historical Area State Memorial is home to the General Harrison replica canal boat, the Historical Johnston Home (from the 1800s) 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 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. 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.

Restrooms are located inside the museum.


Guided tours available. Allow 2-3 hours to enjoy lunch and visit all three sites. Contact Andy Hite, Site Manager, at 937-772-2522 or via email at sitemanager@johnstonfarmohio.com.


The museum is open April through October.

Add an additional day to this itinerary to enjoy over 30 miles of  bike/hiking trails on the Great Miami River Recreational Trail and 15 county parks as well as almost 60 barn quilts. If your group is interested, information can be supplied.

If traveling in the fall, get lost in one of our many corn mazes and enjoy one of our county’s fantastic fall events.

For more information, contact Meghan Rodriguez, Group Sales Manager, at the Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau at 800-348-8993 or via email at mrodriguez@homegrowngreat.com.