In this three-part series, our own Grant Joy travels throughout Muskingum County, telling the stories of its places and people. In this installment, Grant visits The Wilds, and enjoys tasting food from Zanesville!
The Joys of Ohio’s Winding Road: The Wilds and a Taste of Zanesville
BY GRANT JOY
For those looking for an outdoor adventure, the Wilds provide an excellent escape from the norm. One of Ohio’s most unique attractions, the Wilds represents a great conservation story within southeast Ohio. Land that was once strip-mined by the teeth of the Big Muskie from the 1940s until 1991, has been reclaimed and turned into a world-class conservation center. The Wilds provides a sanctuary of sorts to breed rare and endangered species of animals. For example, the Wilds is home to 4th and 5th generations of the southern White Rhino population, the only facility in the world to house those specific White Rhinos. The Wilds has also played an instrumental role in re-establishing the American Burying Beetle population and releasing them in Ohio. The effort was part of a collaborative effort among many organizational partners including Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Cincinnati Zoo. This illustrates a community approach to increase conservation efforts at the Wilds.
The Wilds offers immersive experiences that intertwine a conservation ethic into educational programming and guided experiences. The Wilds provides youth an opportunity to experience the outdoors in a way that challenges youth to use all five senses. Youth have opportunities to participate in virtual education camps and family overnight experiences. Visitors can also participate in open-air safari rides that create a personalized, intimate experience in which visitors can experience a unique safari experience that allows for full-immersive experiences with animals that can only be found in the Wilds.
A trip to Zanesville and Muskingum County isn’t complete without trying a taste of Zanesville. Adornetto’s is a local staple. In the 1950s, at the age of 19, Jimmy Adornetto along with the help of his folks started Adornetto’s Pizzeria. Adornetto’s is a classic Italian restaurant and in 60 years years of serving up classic Italian fare, hasn’t experienced any significant menu changes. Adornetto’s features scrumptious pizza made from fresh-dough and a hand-crafted variety of pasta.
In 1974, James. L. Adornetto purchased the building that would become the Old Market House Inn. The Old Market House Inn provides restaurant goers a unique experience when they visit the Old Market House Inn located in downtown Zanesville they’re treated to Italian cuisine, but with an English twist. The inside of the restaurant was completely redesigned upon Adornetto purchasing the building. Visitors will experience a meal in an old English pub, modeled after the Whitby, London’s oldest riverside pub.
If you’re looking for a great place to eat lunch or have a quality Sunday brunch experience at an affordable price Bryan Place is the just the stop for you. Bryan Place is located at 49 N. 6th Street in the heart of downtown Zanesville. Bryan Place is unique because it occupies the historic YWCA building and also offers several rooms full of antiques. While at Bryan Place, I enjoyed the reuben sandwich. The sandwich was fantastic as it was stacked with thinly-sliced corned beef, smothered in sauerkraut and house made dressing topped with melted swiss cheese, all served on grilled rye bread.
A trip to Zanesville isn’t complete without a stop at Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl. Tom’s, in the same vein of Adornetto’s, is a vital part of the fabric of Zanesville. Occupying the same space at 532 McIntire Avenue in Zanesville since 1950, Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl provides one of the best ice cream experiences in Ohio. One scoop of Tom’s homemade ice cream is plenty to fulfill even the hardiest of appetites of ice cream connoisseurs of all types. Tom’s Famous Ice Cream Bowl has flavors that will appeal to all ice cream lovers, from seasonal flavors such as s’mores or current owner, Bill Sullivan’s favorite, cherry cordial, to standard flavors such as Oreo, orange sherbert, and peach just to name a few. What is unique about Tom’s is it truly still resembles a 1950’s malt shop experience and feel. Visitors will find it difficult to find a better vintage ice cream experience in Ohio, than Tom’s.
About the author: Grant Joy was the 2019-20 AmeriCorps member serving this year for Ohio’s Winding Road. This was his third AmeriCorps service year. He spent the past two years serving in Colorado and Vermont before deciding to come back closer to home in southern Ohio. After AmeriCorps, he is looking forward to continue sharing stories of the people and places that make Ohio’s Rising Appalachia a unique and vibrant region.