Board a buggy and travel around the Middlefield countryside to observe a way of life without television and Wi-Fi. The Middlefield area, in the northeastern part of Ohio, is home to a thriving Amish community. Don’t feel like you’re intruding -- the friendly locals welcome visitors. The Middlefield vicinity also attracts fishermen, maple syrup lovers and theater aficionados.
Among the Amish
The Amish arrived in the Middlefield area in the 1880s. Today, there are over 14,000 Amish and 60 Amish schools in Middlefield and throughout Geauga County. The Amish Culture Center at Ridgeview Farm shows how the Amish live with replica rooms, clothes and a wood stove. Drive around the area and stop at 11 Amish-related businesses. Highlights include Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen and Bakery, Yoder’s Furniture and the Middlefield Cheese House Museum. Ma & Pa's Amish Buggy and Surrey Rides take you on horse-powered rides through woods and fields. Ma & Pa's is based 4 miles west of Middlefield in Burton.
Don’t Be a Couch Potato
Enjoy the outdoor scenery around Middlefield with 20 parks in the Geauga Park District that let you bike, boat, cross-country ski, hike, fish and horseback ride. The 412-acre Swine Creek Reservation – the park district’s lone site in Middlefield – pleases fishermen with streams containing blue heron and ponds offering bluegills. Additionally, the trails are horse- and skier-friendly. Punderson State Park in Newbury, 12 miles west of Middlefield, is a 741-acre park with a 600-foot beach, as well as an 18-hole golf course and three snowmobile trails.
Sweet and Sticky Fun
The Geauga County Maple Festival in late April pays homage to the industry with plenty of pancake sampling -- with maple syrup, of course – a pancake eating contest and a maple syrup and candy contest. The four-day festival is in Chardon, 13 miles northwest of Middlefield. The three-day Garrettsville Summerfest takes place in late June and includes over a dozen contests and competitions, ranging from an ice cream eating contest to a rubber duck race. Garrettsville sits 13 miles south of Middlefield.
Let Me Entertain You
The Geauga Theater in Chardon typically produces six Broadway-style shows a season. The selections include a kid-friendly production and well-known shows such as “Miracle on 34th Street.” See a movie at the venue on weekends when the curtain isn’t raised for a live performance. For additional shows, head to the Rabbit Run Community Arts Association in Madison, 23 miles north of Middlefield. The association typically has four productions a season at the Rabbit Run Theater, a barn that was converted into a theater venue in 1946.