Venture west along the Ohio River in the spirit of trailblazers and freedom seekers.
Between Portsmouth and Cincinnati tour Freedom’s Landing – a glimpse of the Underground Railroad in Ripley. Ripley is the home of abolitionist Rev. John Rankin and the place that inspired Eliza’s story of crossing the frozen Ohio River in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. The Rankin House, a National Historic Landmark, tells the story of the escaped slaves that sought refuge at the station. The John P. Parker House Museum also commemorates the conflict – through the eyes of a former slave who was determined to secure freedom for others.
The birthplace of US President Ulysses S Grant can be found in Pt. Pleasant.
While much of the Ohio River Scenic Byway in Ohio meanders between the river and rural frontier, you’ll see a definite shift in the development of the landscape as you approach the exciting metropolis of Cincinnati. Clermont County and Hamilton County are filled with attractions, entertainment and events.
The winding road in Clermont County dips through small towns with a magnificent view of the rolling hills and river valley. Sports enthusiasts will love our trails and parks.
Continuing west, near Chilo experience the Meldahl Locks and Dam. A visitors’ center at Chilo Lock No. 34 Park hosts exhibits about the river as well as hands-on interactive displays and activities at the site of an old US Army Corps of Engineers wicket dam. Nearby, the Crooked Run Nature Preserve is open for trekking and wildlife viewing.
The largest city along Ohio’s River Trail, Cincinnati is filled with awe-inspiring river views – and something to delight every member of your traveling party. The third largest city in Ohio presents opportunities for watching a major league baseball game, spanning a historic bridge (or seven) or adventuring renaissance-style through art museums, live music and professional theater.
The Cincinnati Museum Center features an Omnimax Theater, Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Cincinnati History Library and Archives, and Union Terminal.
Cincinnati is home of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, a museum built to tell the story of the Underground Railroad. It also provides exhibits and programs about the endeavor to prevent and stop all forms of slavery and human trafficking around the world.
West of the Queen River City, which historically has been known internationally for its heavy steamboat and paddlewheel traffic, the Ohio River Scenic Byway takes US 50 and then US 52 to pass along the birthplace of one president and the burial place of another. President Benjamin Harrison was born in North Bend. An obelisk of Bedford limestone with a marble entranceway marks the burial place of his grandfather, President William Henry Harrison.
The Ohio River Trail begins much as it ends – at the intersection of three states. The byway starts at the place where Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania meet. The Ohio portion of the Ohio River Scenic Byway concludes near Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. The National byway continues west through Indiana and Illinois to Cairo, Illinois and the terminus of the Ohio River.