By Mary Vlahos
We take our families all over the country on vacations, but sometimes we neglect to visit what’s in our own backyard. Canal Fulton is located in the northwest part of Stark County. It’s filled with outdoor adventure and fun ways to keep fit this fall. Whether you’re a hiker, biker, canoer, or just an avid walker, there’s an adventure awaiting you. Shopping, art, entertainment, and unique restaurants are a main part of Historic Downtown Canal Fulton. There are so many things to entertain the entire family that you’ll find it difficult to get everything done in one day.
Canal Fulton is a great place to catch the Towpath Trail which stretches over 25 miles across Stark County. The trail is 85 miles in total, and you can take it north to Cleveland or south to Bolivar. Take a hike, grab a bike, or canoe along the trail. Over 2 million people visit the Towpath Trail every year and you can learn about its history when you stop at one of the visitor centers along the way. This historic route, where mules pulled canal boats along the Ohio & Erie Canal, is preserving the natural resources for all of us to enjoy. There are also campsites at several of the 50 trailheads along the path for even more family adventure. What a fun way to burn calories. The average calories burned biking or canoeing can range from 400-900 depending on your weight and the intensity of your excursion. Hiking can burn 400-650 calories per hour. It’s not a bad way to spend the afternoon.
If you don’t have your own canoe or bike, not to worry; Canal Fulton Canoe Livery is there to assist. They rent bikes, canoes, and kayaks and campsites. There are many excursions to choose from. Decide on your mode of transportation and the length of time you want to spend on the river or trail and you’re all set. If you’d like a mix of experiences, their pedal and paddle excursion lets you paddle down the river and bike back to the beginning. They even transport your bikes. The Tuscarawas River has remained a scenic journey after all these years with 75% of the trip passing through unspoiled wilderness. Keep your eyes peeled and you might see a blue heron, an owl, or maybe even a bald eagle.
If you’d like a more leisurely afternoon try Historic Downtown Canal Fulton. Visit the Canalway Center to learn more about what’s going on in the area, or take a walking tour of downtown and experience the rich history as you take a step back in time. Toy’s Time Forgot is filled with original, vintage, and antique toys. It houses one of the largest vintage toy collections in the northeast United States and one of the largest Star Wars collections in Ohio. They have all the old games and toys you played with as a child. I’m sure you will catch yourself saying, “I used to have one of those!” Stop in at Brimstone Bicycles where you can shop for a new bicycle or get your bike tuned up. Get to the trail and find out you have a flat tire on your bike? They are nearby and can repair it. You can rent bikes there and they also carry running shoes.
Your shopping trip is not complete without a stop at Keillor’s A Teddy Bear Shoppe. Part of Canal Fulton for 18 years, they carry most major brands including Gund, Steiff, and Charlie Bears, to name just a few. There’s an amazing variety of bears for kids and collectors. They also have an array of candles from Thompson’s Candle Co. and Crossroads, together with Candle Warmers. The newest addition to the Shoppe is Airome Essential Oil Diffusers by Candle Warmers. They also carry a beautiful selection of Leanin’ Tree Cards. All this fun and all the walking can burn 160-280 calories an hour.
Now that you’re ready to eat, there are several quaint places for you to try. Continue your historic tour at the Sisters’ Century House for breakfast or lunch. For a quick sweet treat stop at Peace, Love, and Little Donuts, Cherry Street Creamery or Oser’s Dairy & Deli. Casual dining abounds for all you walkers, hikers, bikers and canoers. Try Canal Boat Lounge or Palino’s Sports Pub and Grub for the neighborhood bar and grill feel. For finer, more exotic dining, V-Li’s Thai Cuisine will be the place to go. Whatever your taste, there’s a table waiting for you.
Arts and entertainment are also a big part of the Canal Fulton Historic District. The Canal Fulton Glassworks, a fully restored art gallery, is one of Stark County’s oldest commercial buildings. It’s been used for various businesses since the 1820s and is the place to go for jewelry and glass making classes. You can create a beautiful glass creation or hand fabricate a piece of unique jewelry. Beginners are welcome. If you’d rather leave glass making to the professionals, take a tour and watch an artisan create a beautiful piece of art from a mass of molten glass. Shoppers, you’ve hit the jackpot with artists contributing thousands of handmade items including ceramics, jewelry, steel sculptures, carved wood sculptures, stained glass creations, and so much more. Take home your own unique piece of artwork.
The Warehouse on the Canal is a place for the weird and the wonderful. Do you have a group of friends or colleagues that would love to participate in a Victorian wake or try their escape room? They have public events or you can schedule a private event.
Extend your visit with an overnight stay at Clay’s Park Resort. They have over 500 acres of campsites to accommodate all types of campers. Glamping and luxury cabins are also available. Their adventure water park includes water slides, zip lines, inflatables, kayaks and canoes. There are hiking and biking trails, and everyone’s favorite, miniature golf.
I hope this has inspired you to visit Canal Fulton. It’s a great place for outdoor adventures, shopping, art, and entertainment. There’s something for everyone in the family. To see a complete list of activities and businesses, and a calendar of events, visit their website at www.discovercanalfulton.com. Get out there and burn a few calories Canal Fulton style!
Canal Fulton Ohio