October 4 & 5, 2014
For more than 40 years, agricultural awareness has been the aim of the Heart of Ohio Tour. The Tour is held the first weekend in October each year and serves to heighten the awareness of visitors concerning agriculture in Knox County. The organizations and businesses spotlighted open their doors to the public to inform visitors of the workings of the business. Demonstrations of farm and factory machinery give visitors an idea of what goes into the agri-business industry. Business owners and operators are available to answer any questions that may come up about their operation. Granges and other organizations often open their doors to visitors so they can inform them about their activities. Volunteer fire departments and emergency care units are also available to share information about the services offered and give tours of their facilities. The Heart of Ohio Tour is a great opportunity for a family outing in the fall, with much to see, do and learn. Signs are posted along the tour route. The 2014 Heart of Ohio Tour begins at the Knox County Agriculture Museum in the Knox County Fairgrounds in Mount Vernon, and traverses central Knox County south and west of Mount Vernon. The tour includes the following stops:
1. Knox County Agricultural Museum at the Knox County Fairgrounds, 601 Fairgrounds Road, Mount Vernon.
Take a trip back in time and experience the heritage of Knox County, Ohio at the Knox County Agricultural Museum. Devoted almost exclusively to farm and home lifestyles of the 1800s and early-1900s, the Museum houses more than 5,000 items, each depicting how our forefathers (and mothers) lived and worked. The Agricultural Museum is believed to be the only one of its kind in Ohio.
2. Gathered Family Farm - Ron & Tami Orsborn - 11391 Banning Road, Mount Vernon
The Orsborn family lives on a 100-acre farm. The Orsborn family's farming history began when Ron's parent's, Byron and Carolyn Orsborn, bought the farm over 40 years ago. Byron and Carolyn operated the dairy farm along until 1978, when Ron formed a partnership with them. Since that time, Ron has conducted the farm's operations with the aid of his wife, a school teacher, and their children. For the Orsborns, farming is a highly rewarding experience in many ways. In particular, they have enjoyed the opportunity for the family to work together as a team towards a common goal. "The farm is a wonderful place to raise a family. The values that the kids learn on the farm and from working together as a family is a valuable experience."
3. Collins Country Greenhouse & Farm Market - US-36 & Patton Road, Mount Vernon
Collins Country Greenhouse and Farm Market has been serving the community as a family-owned and operated business since 2009. What started as a traveling farm stand soon grew to a permanent farmers market just outside of Mount Vernon, Ohio. Located on the corner of State Route 3 and Patton Road, they offer a large variety of produce, flowers, and local goods. All of their vegetables and flowers start in house, allowing them to pick produce at the peak of freshness from their 5-acre, fenced-in garden. You can check their "What's Fresh" section to see what they are picking currently. They look forward to serving you and helping you make fresh, healthy choices every day!
4. Heart of Ohio Trail - NE corner Henry & Thayer Ridge Road, Mount Vernon
The Heart of Ohio Trail, Inc., members are volunteers who help promote, organize, and maintain the Knox County section of the Ohio to Erie Trail, and collaborating with other organizations as applicable. The Heart of Ohio Trail stretches from the Village of Centerburg to downtown Mount Vernon, offering 16 miles of trail for biking, skating, or walking.
5. Thayer Ridge Park & Ohio Horseman's Council, Knox county Chapter - 7077 Thayer Ridge Road, Mount Vernon
Thayer Ridge Park is a 70-acre site leased by from the Knox County Commissioners, and is a part of the Knox County Park District. Originally planned as an expansion area of the now-closed county landfill, this site abounds with wildlife and a unique vernal pool. It contains a parking lot, with picnic bench, information kiosk and grill, and features a nine-hole disk golf course that was installed in late September of 2010. The disk golf course was made possible with the assistance of the Rotary Club of Mount Vernon and Knox County, and Rotary District International #6690.
The Ohio Horseman's Council Inc. (OHC) is a non-profit corporation organized in the state of Ohio to provide a vehicle for equine owners and supporters to share ideas and suggestions for all horse-related issues, through education, organized trail rides, and other social and service functions. They provide resources to promote the building and maintenance of bridle trails throughout the state of Ohio, and provide financial resources and volunteer services to fellow organizations that support equine-related activities.
6. Knox County Airport - 6481 Kinney Road, Mount Vernon
Knox County Airport (FAA LID: 413) is a public use airport located four nautical miles (7 km) southwest of the central business district of Mount Vernon. It is owned by Knox County Airport Authority. The airport covers an area of 280-acres (110 ha) at an elevation of 1,191 feet (363 m) above mean sea level. it has one runway designated 10/28 with a 5,500 x 100 ft (1,676 x 30 m) asphalt pavement.
7. Wynkoop Airport - 9051 Granville Road, Mount Vernon
Wynkoop Airport is one of the best grass fields in Ohio. The field has a nice wooded area about midway down the runway. The woods have a shelter and picnic tables nearby. It is a great place to relax or picnic. If you like to socialize or want to hear some great hanger stories, you can join the locals on the porch, or just stop and say "Hello!" to Brian Wynkoop, the owner. (FYI, Brian's fuel price is one of the lowest in Ohio). If you are stopping in at night, give Brian a call and he will leave the lights on for ya!
8. Knox Soil & Water Conservation District & O.S.U. Extension Knox County - 160 Columbus Road, Mount Vernon
There will be various displays and activities for the whole family during the tour, which will be a fun and learning experience for all!
9. Knox County Animal Shelter - 285 Columbus Road, Mount Vernon
The Knox County Animal Shelter (KCAS) is funded and managed by the county. The staff and volunteers are dedicated to maintaining the health of the dogs in the shelter. KCAS works in close cooperation with the Knox County Humane Society to re-home as many animals as possible.
10. Knox County Historical Society Museum - 875 Harcourt Road, Mount Vernon
The mission of the Knox County Historical Society is to increase, interpret, and preserve the knowledge of Knox County history. In addition to housing permanent collections, a research library and publishing an informational newsletter, the Society sponsors monthly educational programs, adult and school group tours of its facilities, changing exhibits exploring the interrelationship of county, state, and national history, and other special events for Knox County residents and visitors. The Society acts as a clearinghouse for information on Knox County history and genealogy, responding to telephone and mail inquiries.
11. C. A. & C. Depot - 501 South Main Street, Mount Vernon
The 1905 Cleveland, Akron & Columbus Depot was originally built to replace a wooden structure that was destroyed by fire. It has been restored by the Foundation Park Conservancy to serve as a visitors' center for not only Ariel-Foundation Park, but also as the junction of the Heart of Ohio Trail and the Kokosing Gap Trail.