Sometimes country inns are too remote, leaving visitors with beautiful country views, but not much to do. But the Hearthstone Inn & Suites in southwest Ohio, located at the confluence of bike trails, outdoor attractions and beautiful countryside, offers both quiet ambiance and a choice of activities.
Owners Stuart and Ruth Zaharek built the inn to reflect modern-day tastes while capturing the spirit of local history and country lore. The Zahareks made sure that the rooms have ample space and amenities. The decor is highlighted by Queen Anne-style furniture in plum and sage hues. The lobby features hand-hewn wooden beams harvested from a century-old barn. Glass-encased exhibits on the first and second floors feature displays of local history dating to the Civil War.
It would be relaxing to stay in the Hearthstone Inn for an entire weekend, but visitors should venture outside to see the countryside that inspired the Zahareks. The inn is next to a popular bicycle path, the Ohio-to-Erie Trail, which stretches 70 miles from Milford to South Charleston. The Indian Mound Reserve, featuring a striking waterfall and rugged trails, is only two minutes away by car. A few more minutes down the road is Clifton Gorge, a spectacular natural limestone formation, as well as the Historic Clifton Mill, built in 1802. It's one of the largest water-powered gristmills still in existence.
For those accompanied by young children, nearby Young's Jersey Dairy is a working farm that caters to families. Play miniature golf and pet barnyard animals at the petting zoo, then eat a homemade meal at the Golden Jersey Inn --the homemade ice cream is the big draw here, even in the winter months.
Back at the inn, take a walk around the grounds to work off the ice cream, or sit quietly on the inn's front porch and rock away the calories.
Independent Travel Writer
Innkeepers Footnote: Hearthstone is also a most fabulous place to stay during the week when the pace is slower, the crowds are fewer, and the Inn is even quieter!