- 52 miles (83 km)
- 2 hours
Experience a wide array of activities along the Old Mills Stream Scenic Byway. The route teems with American history, ground-breaking finds from the Ice Age, and relaxing natural landscapes.
The byway ambles through woods filled with majestic oaks, maples, and hickories. As pioneers settled what was then one large forest spreading throughout Ohio, they cleared spaces for houses and farming. As you travel along the road you will see these early farms and tiny villages still nestled within the shelter of the trees. Continuing on to Van Buren, enjoy Van Buren Park, a protected woodland, perfect for a leisurely day of lounging by the 45-acre lake and picnicking on lush lawns. After lunch, explore the park's winding trails.
Old Mills Stream Scenic Byway provides opportunities to learn about American history, including the War of 1812. Going west past Findlay explore Hull's Old Trail. General William Hull's men hewed this trail out of the forest and across glacial ridges to create a quick route to Detroit, the center of British activity during the war.
Diverse museums are scattered throughout this area. One of the most interesting museums is a converted mill from the 1800s. A few years after the War of 1812, the Wyandot Indians received a fully operational mill from the United States government for their help and loyalty during the war. The fully restored mill is famous for its similarity to the area's renowned covered bridges.
Though normal museum visits consist of inspecting artifacts in a building, Ghost Town Museum Park provides a more active experience with history. The town has been fully reconstructed to give you the feeling of stepping back in time. Re-enactors and hands-on exhibits give everyone a better understanding of the people who started this nation.
Take a slight detour from the route and visit Indian Trail Caverns. Along the Indian Trails, lovers of ancient history and nature will come together. The trails are shrouded in a constant green during the spring and summer. Throughout the trails you will find hundreds of caves with rare geological features that everyone will enjoy. The cavern network is also interesting because of the many species of Ice-Age animals and other prehistoric artifacts that have been found there. At the end of your cavern tour, stop at the exhibits to see the things that were found where you were just walking.
It doesn't matter if you are interested in American History, ancient history, or just enjoying the scenery, everyone will be captivated by this area. Lounge in the shade of the huge oaks, maples, and hickories. Learn about America from the Ice Age to the War of 1812, through tours and hands-on fun for everyone. So pack up your car and spend as long as you want on the Old Mill Stream Scenic Byway.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Ghost Town (OH)
The Ghost Town is located in Hancock County 7.8 miles south of Findlay, Ohio. The town has been fully reconstructed and has 28 buildings, including an antique museum. Come see each historically accurate building, such as the general store, bank, post office, and sheriff station. Each building contains museum like exhibits that feature everything from Indian artifacts to a collection of old funeral carriages. Don't miss the large train complete with cars and caboose on display. The park also boasts an annual craft shows.
Get on Hwy 75 and go south until you hit Route 15 east. Get off on Hwy 68 and go south until Country Road 40. Turn right on to CR 40 and go straight until you reach the ghost town.
Hull Old Trail Monument (OH)
Hull's Trail was made by General William Hull and his troops, the Fourth Regiment Regulars from Vincennes and 1,200 other militia volunteers, during the War of 1812. Hull's force began this trail at Urbana and started north towards Detroit, the center of British activity during the war. Travel the Old Hull trail by following three different roads, SR 53, Route 31, and Route 25. Route 25 extends all the way to the Michigan border, where it connects to the southern end of the Tri-State Revolutionary War Memorial Trail.
Hull's trail winds through several counties but only a few have chosen to mark the route that General Hull took. In Hardin county the Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution decided to mark the trail though their county with stones taken from the columns that belonged to the old court house before it was torn down. More recently the D.A.R. of Logan County has started marking the trails throughout their county.
Take Highway 75 South to Route 12. Turn right on to Route 12 and follow it until you see the Monument.
Indian Mill State Memorial (OH)
Walk through the history of milling at the Indian Mill State Memorial. The ancient story of milling is told on the walls of the mill offices. Exhibits are placed around the original machinery.
The original mill was constructed in 1821 for the Wyandot Indians by the United States government. It was given to them as a reward for their loyalty during the War of 1812. The original mill was 300 feet up stream from the current. The mill that stands on the river now, was built in 1861, by Lewis Rummel, out of some of the old mill's original timber. Lewis Rummel made the mill famous by rebuilding it like a covered bridge, with huge oak timbers. Over the years this place changed hands ten times until it was bought in 1943 by Ward Walton, who gave it to the State. The State dedicated the spot as the first mill museum in the United States.
Take Route 37 north from Patterson. Turn Right on to Hwy 30 east. Go about 15 miles Until Upper Sandusky. Go 1 mile on SR 67. Turn Right and go .5 miles and turn left on to CR-47. Turn left on to CR-121. The Mill is immediately on the right.
Indian Trail Caverns (OH)
Journey to the Ice Age at Indian Trail Caverns. These caverns hold a wealth of information about prehistoric times. Scientists have already found over ten thousand animal specimens and artifacts. One of the most famous caverns, Sheridan Cave, is currently being studied by specialists from all over the world. Over sixty-five different Ice-Age species have been found at this site. Come and see for yourself why the Discovery Channel chose Sheridan Cave for their special about extinct Ice Age mammals.
The caves aren't only famous for their archaeological value. They are also filled with geological wonders. Take a walk in the Blue Room, where the stone walls shine a bright blue. Stand under Nature's Skylightâ€”a hole in the cavern ceiling that lets in the sunlight and gives viewers a great view of the ever-changing sky.
In Findlay take OH-568 east until you see the caverns on your right.
National Shrine of Our Lady (OH)
Take time to enjoy the serenity of the beautiful Basilica in Carey, Ohio. This chapel houses the first shrine built in the United States to Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted. In 1875, a replica of Luxembourg's famous statue of Our Lady of Consolation was commissioned and enshrined in a small chapel on the edge of town. The Conventual Franciscan Friar have been taking care of the shrine since 1912.The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation has received countless pilgrims for over one hundred and thirty years. In the mean time a larger basilica has been added to house worshipers.
Two blocks west of the Basilica lies the thirty-acre, Shrine Park. The park features an outdoor Stations of the Cross, the Memorial Altar, and several white marble statues.
Get on on Route 37 going south of Findlay. Go 10 miles until you reach Country Road 103. Turn left onto CR-103. Follow it over US 23 toward Carey. Turn left on Clay St. Stop at the National Shrine of Our Lady.
Van Buren State Park (OH)
Van Buren State Park offers a retreat from the fast pace of life. The park is 251 acres of protected woodlands with a river that flows into the 45-acre lake. The lake is available for fishing and boating in the summer and ice fishing and ice-skating during the winter. Come and use the park's 6-10 mile trails to hike, horseback ride, or mountain bike. In the winter bring your skis to experience great cross-country skiing.
If you just want to sit and relax, bring your family and a picnic basket and take advantage of the picnic sites scattered around the park. Four sites are placed in strategic locations to give you the best view of the lake and woodlands. But get there early, because the sites are first come first serve.
Follow Highway 75 North until State Road 613. Turn right on to SR 613. Turn Right on to May St. and follow it until you get to Township Road.
Wyandot County Museum (OH)
Learn about Wyandot County's history at the Historic Beery family home in Upper Sandusky. This three-story house was built in 1852 for the Beery family. The house was later used by the Beery family's daughter, Leefe (Beery) McConnell. Fowler Beery McConnell sold the house to the Wyandot County Historical Society for one dollar, in 1962. The house was sold on the agreement that it would become a historical museum.
In the 1960s a one-room schoolhouse was brought to the museum grounds and it is used to demonstrate a typical school in the 1860s. School related artifacts from 1880-1910 were used to furnish the schoolhouse. The building is used for school tours and as a special events meeting place.
The museum grounds are also available for special events. The side yard can hold rows of tables and chairs, or even tents. So don't be surprised if you come upon a small wedding or other services.
Take Route 37 north toward Findlay. Turn right on to Hwy 30 toward Upper Sandusky. Turn right onto CR-330 for 2.4 miles. Turn right onto N Warpole St / US-30 BR / OH-199 for 0.3 miles. Turn Left onto W Wyandot Ave / US-30 BR / OH-199 for 0.3 miles. Turn right onto S 7th St.