Certified by The Association for Challenge Course Technology, the zipline course at Valley Zipline Tours speeds danglers over the scenic Northern Hocking Hills in spectacular fashion, whisking them along a series of lines that extend to more than 1 mile in total length. First, a friendly guide drives the zippers up to the top of the valley, where they don their safety equipment and then zoom down the first five lines as a warm-up to the following three, known collectively as the Valley Super Lines. Starting at line 6, the journey whips riders across the valley and lake for distances of nearly 1,000 feet each and at more than 100 feet off the ground, reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour. To cap off the high-speed trip, a valley swing awaits at the end of the tour attached to the edge of a tower, inviting participants to jump and swing over the valley while suspended at more than 50 feet.
For more than 146 years, The Haunt's two-story farmhouse has been collecting spirits as it sits tucked away on a forested road in the small town of Somerset. The Bowen family owns and operates this nexus of supernatural activities, guiding willing patrons through a terrifying journey available for only five nights. As guests approach the seemingly placid home, shrieks, growls, and flickering lights dance behind the building's pane-glass windows. A frightful flight through the home gives way to a journey through a 5-acre outdoor maze and 4,000-foot haunted trail. Caretakers return patrons to the entrance via a leisurely hay-wagon ride, giving guests time to calm their racing hearts and climb back into their skin.
At Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Co., a team of commercially rated, FAA-certified pilots whisk passengers skyward on journeys over southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. One-hour flights take off from Warren County Airport and travel as high as to 2,000 feet, where visitors can take in panoramic views and snap pictures. Retrieval crews track each trek from the ground and transport guests back to their meeting location.
Along with standard flights, Gentle Breeze’s team hosts specialties such as private couples flights followed by champagne toasts, Hummer or Escalade limo rides to launch sites, and voyages over Cincinnati and Dayton’s metro areas. The captains also lead balloon rides over passengers’ houses and the homes of their enemies, and enliven soirees with brief sightseeing rides that reach 100 feet.
When the sun sets on the Baker-Bird Winery, and its proprietors depart, the sturdy stone walls come to life, whispering stories across the expansive space. They rehash the 150-year history of the estate winery, which sheltered women and children during a key Civil War battle. Their tales outline the German immigration, which brought those wishing to cultivate a new life to the region to work the rich Kentucky soil. Then the sun rises, and the walls close their stony eyes, allowing the winery's history to speak for itself through guided tours.
In the warm afternoon, groups wander amid framed historical photographs, documents, and wooden cabinets lined with wines, artisanal cheeses from Kentucky, and exotic chocolates. Because all proceeds from the sale of the wine goes to restoring the historic estate and supporting Kentucky farm families, visitors can feel that they’ve done a good deed without rescuing a cat from a tree and taking it to see the ocean for the first time.
One fateful day 24 years ago, a group of doomed souls got lost amid the shadows of 22 acres of wooded land and were never found. Each year following that, more and more people met the same fate. Dayton Scream Park dares guests to gather their courage and walk—or run—down the haunted trail where these souls were last seen, confronting characters from horror movies and being chased by four-wheelers that were deprived of their afternoon nap. During the 30-minute adrenaline-filled adventure, participants encounter more than 30 scenes and more than 40 live monsters that will soon join their nightmares.
For wee ones and those who would rather smile than scream, Dayton Scream Park also hosts Hillbilly Hayrides that set out in the crisp autumn air, while the sun is still duct taped to the sky. In addition to free parking, the amenities include onsite concessions for fortifying the strength of those who have fainted.