New and notable
Although it was a challenging year for tourism, 2020 saw the beginning of three new, socially-distanced additions to Belmont County's offerings for visitors. With the continuation of those projects and the launch of virtual puzzles and virtual tours in 2020, we are optimistic for the future of travel in Belmont County.
In 2020, the Belmont County Tourism office launched its Explore More GeoTour, featuring 25 unique caches and the opportunity to earn a t-shirt. The GeoTour was very well received with 49 people completing it. Plans for a new and expanded, 30-cache GeoTour with a special coin prize and a virtual launch are being made now. Follow us on Facebook for announcements and updates.
In the fall of 2020, the Ohio Valley Trail Association launched two back road biking loops in Belmont County. The first is an 18.95 mile loop that takes you through Barnesville, Fairview, Hendrysburg, Ollivett and Tacoma. The second loop takes you through Egypt Valley, Bethesda, Belmont and Lafferty. Visit the Ohio Valley Trail Association on Facebook for more info. Click here for a link to the map.
In September of 2020, The Captina Conservancy launched a trail building project at their property in southwestern Belmont County. Volunteers worked throughout the fall toward the goal to open scenic, low-impact hiking trails to the public sometime this year. This will be the first piece of an ongoing plan for use of the property that will also include other outdoor recreation opportunities. The new trails are located on the 1,000 acres of the Raven Rocks property for which the Conservancy holds a conservation easement. 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of the creation of the group that preserves the rocks, ravines, hillsides and streams of the privately-owned Raven Rocks property for public use. Follow The Friends of Captina Creek on Facebook for more information about their conservation and recreation efforts.
Thinking outside of the box during the shutdown in 2020, Belmont County Tourism launched virtual puzzles that garnered state-wide recognition when Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine mentioned it during one of his weekly press conferences. The puzzles allow anyone to explore the beauty of Belmont County. Simply click one of the images on our website to start your puzzle digitally from your phone or desktop. Drag and drop the pieces to complete the puzzle. Send puzzles to your friends and compete to see who can complete theirs first! This initiative also earned the tourism office a Ruby Award from the Ohio Travel Association for new and innovative marketing during the pandemic.
Explore Belmont County from the comfort of your home with virtual tours including a story map of the Historic National Road, Rte. 40 and the Art Barns of Belmont County. Created by the Belmont County GIS Department, a link to both can be found on our website.
Also on the virtual tour page of our website are video tours of the Belmont County Victorian Mansion Museum, Underground Railroad Museum, and the Belmont County Heritage Museum.
Explore Belmont County virtually now and plan a future trip. The 2021 Belmont County Travel Guide will be available in February. In the meantime, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date on everything to see and do in Belmont County.