The staff at Equestrian Ridge Farm has been tending to steeds and riders on its 200-acre estate for more than 10 years. During riding lessons in a medley of styles—including dressage, single driving, and trail riding—trainers educate equestrians of all levels at the facility’s two large, indoor arenas. The barn houses between 15–20 horses at any given time, a handful of which are reserved for lessons or reenactments of chase scenes from The Lone Ranger. Equestrian Ridge also offers under-saddle training for horses by an experienced instructor who tailors each session to the steed’s temperament and riding style.
Boasting a course of 18 ziplines and a high-ropes course, Hocking Peaks Adventure Park immerses adventurers of all ages in a multitiered wilderness playground sprawling through the woods and fields of Hocking Hills. Surrounded by a sun-dappled tree canopy, the ropes course combines 60 midair challenges—including catwalks, suspended logs, and rope crossings—that visitors can surmount while strapped into safety harnesses that also help them blend in with current forest fashion trends. For kids, an alternative course and zipline hang a few feet above the ground. Within the same woods, ATV rides cover 15 miles of rambling ground trails, while paintball matches storm a separate wooded area with two levels of play and built-up cover.
As they emerge from the woodland playground, guests can take on the 42-foot high inflatable waterslide, or climb into one-, two-, or three-person transparent Ogo balls to roll down a hillside course more gracefully than a classically trained hamster. Additionally, an 18-hole disc-golf course—designed by professional disc-course planners Innova—sprawls through 6,000 feet of hills, beckoning players to aim for chain-fringed baskets.
All year long, R Adventure Park World hands over the keys to a stable of well-maintained Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Polaris all-terrain vehicles that purr beneath riders as they wind down through 16 miles of trails in Hocking Hills Nature Trails. In rain, sleet, snow, or sun, attentive staff members provide helmets before indoctrinating off-road skills into beginners and experts, who can zip through trail barrels and ramps atop their four-wheelers. Off the beaten path, R Adventure Park arranges group outings and birthday-party activities, such as scavenger hunts set amid the park?s scenic foliage and natural wildlife.
The Hocking Hills Adventure Trek team is as diverse as the wilderness they explore. Guides include living history performers who educate visitors through songs and stories and naturalists who lead outdoor adventures through the wilderness. While the performers showcase their talents at an outdoor amphitheater, guides lead visitors on year-round nature hikes through little-seen areas of the Hocking State Forest and state nature preserves. The company also leads guided rock-climbing and rappelling trips and guided fishing trips at AEP Recreation lands.
At South Beach Fitness’s two Columbus-area locations, experienced trainers lead exercisers through calorie-torching classes such as kickboxing, Pilates, and Zumba. In addition to the more than 20 classes offered each week in the cardio cinema and aerobics studio, the spacious club houses high-tech cardio equipment and free weights. A 40-yard dash area facilitates intensive speed training or very short walks. After all the hard work, a nutritional-counseling area helps clients keep fitness goals in line with their dietary habits.
When the morning fog clears, a bridge fashioned out of five rustic corncribs appears to pay homage to EagleSticks Golf Club's roots. Originally used to feed the horses that grazed on the erstwhile farm, the wood from the corncribs now arches over a creek that splits the fairway on the 11th hole—a 591-yard par 5 dubbed the course's signature attraction for its bending fairway, elevated tee box, and visible ties to a bucolic past. Designed by renowned Ohio architect Dr. Michael Hurdzan, the 6,508-yard course challenges golfers with constant elevation changes—some of which exceed 100 feet—that demand accuracy, sound course management, and the ability to activate the cart's hang-gliding wings. Throughout the round, bentgrass fairways and greens present a much more hospitable landing place than the course's thick, bluegrass rough. At various hillcrests and elevated tees, players can take in a full view of the course's scenery, which includes several waterfalls and woodlands populated by oak, maple, ash, locust, and cherry trees ripe for the hugging.
After a day on the links, golfers can gather at Mac's Sports Bar to quiet rumbling bellies with a menu of classic American food such as burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. Guests can unwind in Mac's dining room—which features eight televisions, an open-beam ceiling, and other contemporary touches—or at the adjoining patio, which attracts summertime breezes and ghostly golf balls trying to reconnect with their long-lost owner.
Course at a Glance:
Designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan
18-hole, par 70 course
Length of 6,508 yards from the farthest tees
Bentgrass fairways and greens, bluegrass rough