Solo Travel in Ohio: Discovering Delaware County

Cradled in Central Ohio is Delaware County, the perfect spot for a solo travel getaway. Walk through the woods, flowers, or downtown, or attend a cooking class to decompress and reconnect with what matters.

Deer Haven Park - Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019
Deer Haven Park, Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019.

One of the reasons I love solo road trips is I can stop and explore when and where I want. Such was the case in August when I drove from Florida to New York and traveled to Delaware County, Ohio. Reflecting on my visit, I know I uncovered a hidden gem.

The Bottle House at the Glass Rooster Canery in Sunbury, Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 2019.
The Bottle House at the Glass Rooster Canery in Sunbury, Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 2019.

Sunbury is one of Delaware County’s adorable communities and I spent much of my three-day stay here. Located in central Ohio and about a 35-minute drive north of the state’s capital, Columbus, Delaware County’s population is estimated at 204,826. It is also home of Ohio Wesleyan University. Other communities I visited are Delaware, Galena, and Lewis Center.

Bread Making, Soup Cooking, and Canning Class at the Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County Ohio, Aug. 26, 2019
Bread Making, Soup Cooking, and Canning Class at the Glass Rooster Cannery with Owner Jeannie Seabrook in Delaware County Ohio, Aug. 26, 2019.

Learning Pressure Canning at the Glass Rooster Cannery in Sunbury, Ohio.

“When I have you put this weight on, it will scare you and you’ll jump back,” Jeannie Seabrook told one of the students as she handed her a pressure cooker regulator weight, “but not because you’re hurt. It’s only because it’s a shock.”

Bread Making, Soup Cooking, and Canning Class at the Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County Ohio, Aug. 26, 2019
Soup Cooking and Canning Class at the Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County Ohio, Aug. 26, 2019.

Mention a pressure cooker to most people of my generation (Generation X) and older, and their eyes widen as fear washes over their face. Same goes for a pressure canner. Hearing those words prompt recollections of horror stories of yesteryear to that time when the pressure cooker and/or canner exploded while on the kitchen stovetop. Or, there was lore that would happen.

Bread Making, Soup Cooking, and Canning Class at the Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County Ohio, Aug. 26, 2019
Class Area in the Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County Ohio, Aug. 26, 2019.

Jeannie of the Glass Rooster Cannery in Sunbury grew up pressure cooking and canning and studied it in school. She wants others to learn the craft through classes on her sustainable farm. Pressure canning prevents botulism in low-acid foods, unlike using the hot water bath method (boiling the filled jars in water). It also expands what the cook can preserve (i.e. recipes with meats). The cannery focuses on eating local and Jeannie teaches other food preservation classes such as water bath canning, fermenting, and dehydrating. Cooking, and soap and lip balm making classes are taught, too.

Flowers - Glass Rooster Cannery - Delaware County Ohio Aug. 26, 2019
Some of the Gorgeous Flowers on the Grounds of Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 2019.

Destressing and Unplugging at the Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County, Ohio.

As I seem to be on the never-ending quest for destressing and unplugging from technology, spending a couple of nights at the Glass Rooster Cannery’s guesthouse was perfect for rejuvenating my mind and soul. Called the Old Hen House, staying in the three-bedroom farmhouse was like staying in the home of an artistic and fun-loving great auntie.

Old Hen House at the Glass Rooster Cannery - Delaware County Ohio Aug. 26, 2019
Interior of the Old Hen House at Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 26, 2019.

The interior is decorated with a combination of antiques and artwork, much of it created by the former homeowner, the late artist Susie Schmidhammer, older sister and business partner of Ms. Seabrook. The farm’s grounds are sprinkled with colorful flowers and more art, much of it made by repurposing materials that some people consider trash, like old or broken dishes and glass.

Deer Haven Park - Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019
Radcliff Walking Along the Havener Park Loop Trail at Deer Haven Park in Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 24, 2019.

Dog-Friendly Deer Haven Park in Delaware County, Ohio

The outdoors is always calling, and I satisfied my need to connect with Mother Nature at the 97-acre Deer Haven Park. With my dog in hand, I walked the 2.2 miles along the Havener Park Loop Trail and admired wildflowers, listened to calling birds, and watched butterflies flutter. Along the trail we met other leashed canines and their owners.

Alum Creek State Park - Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019
Alum Creek Marina at Alum Creek State Park in Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019.

Paddling at Alum Creek State Park

At Alum Creek State Park, I hopped on a stand up paddle board from Alum Creek Marina. Alum Creek Lake was constructed during the early 1970s as part of the Flood Control Act of 1962. I opted to paddled along the shore and in a sea of green, I noticed a couple of trees showing their fall colors with leaves in shades of oranges and reds. The scenery was lovely, but I imagine paddling during autumn with all leaves in their vibrant hues of yellows, oranges, and reds, is something to see. Hiking, mountain biking, and fishing are some of the other activities within the 4,630-acre park.

Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial - Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019
Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial – Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019.

Paying Respects at the Ohio Fallen Memorial

I spent time and reflected at the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial. Founded and established in 2005, the memorial serves as a remembrance of those who have fallen in the War on Terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001. Row after row of white crosses and some Stars of David indicate the ultimate sacrifices 290 service members from the state of Ohio made. An eternal flame burns and overlooks the memorial markers and loved ones leave mementoes such as photos, figurines, and medallions.

The white crosses and Stars of David are lit at night and stand out in the darkness. Sunbury was selected as the site for the memorial because it is almost the geographical center of Ohio making it accessible for all in the state to visit and pay their respects.

Harmony in the Park - Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019
Harmony in the Park in Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019.

Listening to that Big Band Sound at Summer Harmony in the Park

On a Sunday evening, I threw a blanket down on the grass of Bicentennial Park in downtown Delaware and listened to Big Band sounds of the Buckeye Ballroom Big Band. Each Sunday during July and August, Summer Harmony in the Park invites music lovers out for an hour of free and breezy music.

Downtown Delaware is adorable with a collection of independently-owned shops and restaurants. Because it is home to Ohio Wesleyan University, the town has a youthful, edgy, yet traditional vibe. The university’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum hosts exhibits with artists from around the world and oftentimes ties in works and projects from the students and alumni.

Old Dog Alehouse - Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019
Cupcakes at Old Dog Alehouse in Delaware County, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2019.

Where to Eat in Delaware County, Ohio

Delaware County is full of delicious eateries with many owned and operated by young entrepreneurs the world should watch. Visit this post on “Where to Eat in Delaware County, Ohio.”

Glass Rooster Cannery - Delaware County Ohio Aug. 26, 2019
Grounds of Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County Ohio Aug. 26, 2019.

As for my time with the Glass Rooster Cannery, although being around the pressure canner scared about all of us in the class, we successfully survived. As a class, we baked crunchy-crusted bread and made a tomato-based soup. What we did not jar and preserve in the canner, we sat together at a long table enjoying what we had made. Before I left the next morning, I picked up my jar of soup. I will save it for one of those cold Florida days and while enjoying it, I will remember my visit to Delaware County, Ohio.

Bread Making, Soup Cooking, and Canning Class at the Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County Ohio, Aug. 26, 2019
Bread Making, Soup Cooking, and Canning Class at the Glass Rooster Cannery in Delaware County Ohio, Aug. 26, 2019.

Nuts & Bolts About Solo Travel in Delaware County Ohio

Destination Delaware County Ohio
34 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, Ohio 43015
Tel: (740) 368-4748
www.visitdelohio.com
#vineandbinedelco

Where to Stay
Old Hen House at the Glass Rooster Cannery
1673 S. State Route 605
Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Tel: (614) 499-2958
www.glassroostercannery.com

What to Do
Glass Rooster Cannery

1673 S. State Route 605
Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Tel: (614) 499-2958
www.glassroostercannery.com

Alum Creek Marina
4000 Hollenback Rd.
Lewis Center, Ohio 43035
Tel: (740) 548-6056
www.alumcreekmarina.net
Open April -October.
Memorial Day – Labor Day: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily.
May & September: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily.
April & October: Saturday and Sunday only, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Deer Haven Park
4183 Liberty Rd.
Delaware, Ohio 43015
Tel: 740.362.0283
www.preservationparks.com
November – February: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
March – October: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Deer Haven Park Visitor Center: Open daily Noon – 5 p.m.

Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial
72 ½ W. Cherry St.
Sunbury, Ohio 43074
ohiofallenheroes.org

Ohio Wesleyan University’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum
60 S. Sandusky St
Delaware, Ohio 43015
Tel: (740) 368-3606
www.owu.edu/about/ross-art-museum/

Disclosure

I was a guest of Destination Delaware County Ohio, however, opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links to support this blog, my traveling habit, and my special-needs dog.

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Author: Solo Travel Girl

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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