With a rich and interesting past, Chillicothe is a charming little town located in the Appalachian Mountains’ foothills. Chillicothe, the original capital of Ohio, is home to several historical landmarks, but its more than 2,000-year-old ancient earthworks are the most striking.

There are a lot of historical sites to see, like Yoctangee Park Historic District, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, and Adena Mansion & Gardens.

There are several parks and trails to explore, such as Tar Hollow State Forest and Lake Hope State Park, for individuals who enjoy recreation.

The Ohio Hills Folk Festival and the Chillicothe Balloon Fest are just two of the annual events that honor the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Chillicothe, Ohio, offers an array of tourist attractions for visitors of all ages, so there’s never a shortage of things to do there.

Make sure your travel bags are filled as we help you plan an unforgettable holiday by providing you with a list of the most fun things to do in Chillicothe Ohio, for your memorable vacation.

Fun things to do in Chillicothe Ohio

1. Visit the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

One of the best things to do in Chillicothe is to explore the earthworks of the prehistoric Native American Hopewell Culture.

The Hopewell Culture utilized the area in the Chillicothe region for ceremonial meetings long before the City of Chillicothe was founded. Massive mounds were built for burial, and numerous artifacts have been found inside of them.

As a component of the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, the Mound City Group is the best-preserved earthwork complex. Furthermore, Hopewell was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in September 2023.

2. Visit the Ross County Court House Architecture

Situated in Chillicothe, Ohio, the Ross County Court House is a stunning and historic structure. Walking to Totem Supply Co. and many other places on this list is quite easy, as it’s only a couple of blocks away!

It was originally the capital of the Northwest Territory and the state of Ohio in the 1800s, and it is still in use today as a common pleas court.

To fully experience it, you don’t need to enter. Even from across the street, admiring the beauty and significance of the Ross County Court House is a terrific way to learn about local history.

If you are a history aficionado, adding the Ross County Court House to your list of things to do in Chillicothe Ohio, will surely spice up your vacation.

3. Adena Mansion and Gardens Historic Site

Thomas Worthington, the sixth governor of Ohio, once had a historic 2000-acre estate that is one of Chillicothe’s most notable historical attractions.

Restored to its former appearance during Worthington and his family’s occupancy, the original 1806 house is one of just three surviving residences constructed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe.

The one-hour tour of Adena Mansion takes you through each room while a professional historian traces the history of famous family moments to ordinary life. Guests are free to wander about the grounds and formal gardens after the tour.

Take advantage of the view that inspired the Great Seal of the State of Ohio. Signs will help guide guests to this scenic overlook.

4. Great Seal State Park

Hikers from all over the world swarm Great Seal State Park to take on the strenuous routes that lead to breathtaking views of the Scioto Valley and the foothills. The park offers a wide range of activities for everyone, even though hiking seems to be the main attraction.

Pals come together for a fun-filled afternoon of disc golf; children squeal with delight as they ride down the storybook trail; and adventure enthusiasts get out their mountain bikes for a thrilling outdoor experience. Numerous visitors use the bridle routes for their horseback riding, which is highly popular.

For those wishing to spend the night in the park, there is a modest camping area accessible.

5. Buzzards Roost Nature Preserve

The breathtaking views from Buzzards Roost Nature Preserve are among Chillicothe’s best-kept secrets. Although the preserve is hidden in a residential neighborhood, it can be found by strolling down a one-lane road and emerging onto the preserve.

Firstly, I recommend downloading the hiking paths. Having a backup plan is always a smart idea, even though I thought the trails were quite well-maintained and identified. Additionally, you can use your phone to take a picture of the trail map.

Buzzards Roost Nature Preserve features breathtaking natural formations, picturesque views, and ponds along its more than 5 miles of rough pathways. Children will love it quickly. The South Point Lookout Trail provides breathtaking views of the sheer sandstone and shale cliffs that drop into the stunning Paint Creek Gorge, and the Kids Zone hike is 4 miles long.

6. Seek Out the Best Chillicothe Murals

Seeking out street art murals is another one of the fun things to do in Chillicothe Ohio. The Mail Pouch mural, the Canal mural, and the Chillicothe Telephone mural are the three murals located in the First Capital District.

Paintings from the late 1800s can be seen on the side of the historic Machinery Hall building on Second Street, where the Mail Pouch mural is located. It wasn’t made public until the structure next door was demolished.

On Main Street, visitors can view the Chillicothe Telephone art mural, a 2006 piece painted by Eric Henn. The Ohio Erie Canal passed through the city in the 1830s, and Jeff Speakman painted the Canal mural in 2003. It is located at the intersection of Mulberry and Second Streets.

7. Explore Yoctangee Park

Yoctangee Park is the city’s green haven and a great place to take a stroll and unwind. There are walking trails, a pond, a skate park, a kids’ playground, and sports grounds in the park. One of the entertaining and family-friendly activities in Chillicothe is visiting the park.

Chillicothe, Ohio, hosts several yearly celebrations on its park grounds, including the Feast of the Flowering Moon Native American Festival in the spring and the Farmer’s Fall Festival in the fall.

The city’s World War II veterans are honored in a special Veterans Memorial Park located within Yoctangee Park.

8. Learn about Lucy Hayes

Primarily recognized for her tenure as the First Lady of the United States from 1877 to 1881, Lucy Webb Hayes was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1831. First Lady was a title first bestowed upon no other woman than her!

The hamlet is home to the preserved childhood house of Lucy Webb Hayes, known as the Lucy Hayes Heritage Center. In celebration of her life and legacy, this facility holds activities all year round and provides guided tours.

Discover more about her childhood, family life, and achievements during her tenure as First Lady by touring the house.

The house is open for guided tours on Fridays and Saturdays from April 1 through October, or by appointment. Admission is $2.00.

9. Visit Totem Supply Co

Shoppers in Chillicothe, Ohio, might find some amazing finds at Totem Supply Co. The shop sells a range of items for the house that incorporate Ohio pride into its colors and designs, including mugs, jewelry, accessories, apparel, and accessories.

For anything you need with the Chillicothe emblem on it, here is the store to go to.

The shop owner designs its t-shirts in addition to selling jewelry and other locally made things. West 2nd Street is a convenient location for it.

10. Quilt at Old Town Fabric Shop

A family-owned specialty fabric store, Old Town Fabric Shop offers an extensive assortment of fabrics suitable for sewing and quilting.

Browse many bolts of premium cotton fabric as well as designer kits, supplies, patterns, and fabrics. For whatever project, you’re sure to discover the ideal cloth.

Old Town Fabric Shop carries a wide variety of textiles, including polyester, flannels, cotton, and quilting materials.

Old Town Fabric Shop offers classes in addition to a large assortment of fabrics. Enroll in one of their beginning quilting classes if you want to learn the craft. You may start honing your craft right away.

11. Visit R Kitchen Deli & Provisions

The R Kitchen Deli & Provisions in downtown Chillicothe is an excellent spot to grab a fast bite to eat. Featuring a selection of sandwiches, salads, flavorful soups, and mouthwatering baked goods. Enjoy a specialty beverage at the bar or pack your best picnic foods to take to Yoctangee Park, which is close by.

The wine list is versatile; every guest can find something that satisfies their taste. Delicious iced tea or great coffee are among the most popular drinks at this spot. Efficient employees welcome visitors year-round. Most people say that the dishes are offered for average prices. You will appreciate the comfortable ambiance and nice decor.

12. Chillicothe Railroad Museum

Visit the Museum of the Chillicothe Railroad, located in two decommissioned cabooses! The museum is small and will make a fun half-hour stop during a visit to the park or while exploring downtown Chillicothe.

The Chillicothe Historical Society’s stated goals are to gather, preserve, and exhibit any artifacts about the town’s and the surrounding area’s history, as well as to continue interest in Chillicothe’s past by encouraging youth to get involved in the organization’s initiatives.

You can investigate historical rail travel and discover why cabooses were used in the early days of train travel. Don’t miss this unusual museum, which features a model train, of course.

13. Mighty Children’s Museum

One of the best things to do in Chillicote Ohio, is to visit the Mighty Children’s Museum if you’re visiting with your kids.

Despite being a little children’s museum, it is quite powerful. When we finally left two hours later, it was only because they were closing, contrary to my first assumption that my five-year-old would become bored after thirty minutes.

A children’s museum is an investment in family and child education made by the entire community. They offer engaging, hands-on learning opportunities to help kids, parents, and families connect, learn, and have fun. Introducing kids to STEM subjects in an engaging and participatory manner can stimulate their curiosity and motivate them to pursue STEM-related occupations in the future.

The Mighty Kids Museum has limited hours, so plan your day accordingly. They are typically only open until 4 p.m.

14. Ride The Chillicothe Trolley

Take the Chillicothe Trolley for a spectacular tour of the downtown area. Early in 2022, the trolley was introduced as a way to enhance the public transportation network. The trolley does run various routes on different days, so be sure to check the timetable before making travel plans.

If you plan to use the trolley exclusively to get to and from hotels, events, and other locations within the city, bear in mind that there is only one trolley operating.

As of 2022, there is no fare to ride the trolley. It is free to the public. The trolley is handicapped accessible, with a ramp for wheelchairs.

15. Hike at The Arc of Appalachia Highlands Nature Sanctuary

The Highlands Nature Sanctuary, which is located adjacent to Hocking Hills and has some of the greatest hiking trails in the area, is a great option for adventurous visitors seeking things to do in the area near Chillicothe, Ohio.

With the Arc of Appalachia in charge, the Sanctuary is centered on the Rocky Fork Gorge and has an abundance of nature trails that meander through wooded areas and lead to grottos, caverns, and rock formations. There are still several caverns that can be accessed in the area that was once known as the Seven Caverns.

16. See a Show at the Majestic Theater

One of the greatest locations to see a live performance or movie currently is the storied Majestic Theater in Chillicothe, which is the oldest theater in the country to be in continuous operation!

The Majestic Theatre stage has hosted a wide range of performances since it opened in 1853, including opera artists, country music stars, and regional comedians. The back alley was dubbed Bloody Alley because the theater was temporarily utilized as a morgue during the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918.

Get your tickets in advance if there’s an event you want to see, as the theater is small! Whether you’re planning a night out with friends or just want to see a fantastic play, the Majestic Theater in Chillicothe is guaranteed to make the trip memorable.

17. Wander around Scioto Trail State Park

Scioto Trail State Park is the ideal location for a peaceful, nature-loving getaway. The park, which is 15 to 20 minutes south of Chillicothe, has a range of outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, fishing, and canoeing.

From the park, visitors can take in breathtaking views of the Scioto River Valley. There is a lake and beach for canoeing, as well as several kilometers of hiking routes. Visitors can also utilize the picnic areas and shelters in the park.

The park is open year-round. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk in nature or an exciting adventure on the lake, this 218-acre state park has it.

With its beautiful scenery and abundance of activities, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to unwind here. If you’re looking for a great place to relax and recharge your batteries, look no further than Scioto Trail State Park.

18. Visit Tar Hollow State Forest

Tar Hollow State Forest, located just outside of Chillicothe, is the ideal location for experiencing nature. With more than 16,000 acres, this magnificent forest provides a variety of outdoor activities and exploring opportunities.

There are lots of activities nearby, like bicycling, hiking, fishing, and hunting!

Tar Hollow State Forest offers several rustic camping areas with no running water or power, just pure outdoor exploration, for those who want to truly get off the grid. You can set up a tent here and take in the serene beauty of the surrounding environment.

You can choose your route between camping spots in the forest, as many trails cross it. This state forest has backpacking options along the Logan Trail and the Buckeye Trail.

19. Checkout Naz Vineyard & Winery

Wine enthusiasts will find Na Zdravie Vineyard and Winery to be a charming location. Situated in the countryside, approximately 20 minutes northeast of the town, guests may take in the breathtaking views of undulating hills and verdant vineyards while indulging in delectable wines made from grapes cultivated on the premises.

It’s the ideal place to spend an afternoon or evening with friends because of the laid-back and welcoming ambiance. On-site, there’s also a stunning event space.

There are several different wines available at the winery. On the weekends, Na Zdravie also serves woodfire pizzas and cheese platters for people who want a light bite to eat while they sip wine.

Just outside of town lies the Na Zdravie Vineyard and Winery, a great spot for a relaxing evening with friends over a glass of wine or for a romantic evening out.

20. Enjoy Chillicothe Halloween Festival

Chillicothe Halloween Festival is an annual three-day event that takes place in the city. The event offers a wide range of entertainment, competitions, and merchants.

The Sunday coffin races, which take the form of a soapbox derby, are one of the festival’s highlights.

Visitors can take advantage of all that Chillicothe has to offer, such as its many historical sites, parks, trails, and lakes, during the festival. The festival is held in Yochtangee Park, downtown.

Other local celebrations include the Feast of the Flowering Moon Native American Festival and craft fairs. Make a thoughtful itinerary and discover a range of interesting activities in Chillicothe.

21. Relax in Brick Haven Spa

On the last list of the best things to do in Chillicothe Ohio, is to visit Brick Haven Spa.

Brick Haven Spa is a luxurious day spa that provides massage services and other opulent treatments. It is located close to the end of Main Street in Chillicothe.

For clients who want to unwind and be pampered, the skilled staff promises top-notch service. Full-body massages, skincare, hair and nail treatment, and other services are available.

Brick Haven Spa conveniently offers a range of services to suit your needs, from luxurious beauty treatments to soothing massages. Its certified therapists and distinctive services, like body massage, hair, nails, and skincare, guarantee that your visit will be unforgettable.

It is also possible to reserve a package deal that includes spa services such as a soothing facial, gel manicure, and pedicure while on vacation. After spending a whole lot of time exploring Chillicothe, set aside some time to unwind in this haven.

Also Read 20 BEST THINGS TO DO IN MANSFIELD, OHIO

Frequently Asked Questions About Chillicothe, Ohio

Is Chillicothe a safe place to live? Like any city, Chillicothe has its share of crime, but efforts from local law enforcement and community initiatives contribute to maintaining safety.

What outdoor activities are available in Chillicothe?

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, fishing, and camping at nearby parks like Great Seal State Park, Scioto Trail State Forest, and Paint Creek State Park. The Scioto River also provides opportunities for boating and other water-based activities.

What are the educational opportunities in Chillicothe?

Chillicothe is home to Ohio University’s Chillicothe campus and several public and private schools offering education from kindergarten to high school. The university offers various undergraduate and graduate programs for students pursuing higher education.

Are there annual events or festivals in Chillicothe?

Yes, Chillicothe hosts various events throughout the year. The Feast of the Flowering Moon Festival, the Ross County Fair, and the Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival are some of the annual events that draw locals and visitors alike.

What are some notable attractions in Chillicothe?

Chillicothe offers various attractions such as the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, showcasing ancient Native American mounds. The Adena Mansion & Gardens, the Ross County Heritage Center, the outdoor wonders of the Scioto River, and nearby parks like Great Seal State Park are also popular spots.

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