Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with Ohio. Find It Here. and Trumbull County.
Trumbull County is in the far northeastern corner of Ohio, located right between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Interestingly, Trumbull County is the only square county in Ohio, covering 625 miles. And believe me when I say this county packs in adventure at every turn.
My husband and I recently spent three days crisscrossing the county. We saw a lot of what Trumbull County has to offer the average traveler, but what we saw only whet our appetite to see more, and we plan to return for a future visit.
From birdwatching to strolling one of the only remaining Millionaires’ Rows in Ohio, to eating our way through the Italian Food Trail, believe me when I say one trip to Trumbull County couldn’t possibly be enough.
I hope by reading about the activities we did on our trip that you’ll be inspired to plan your own getaway, so you can truly experience all Trumbull County has to offer.
Birdwatching, Kayaking, and Camping: Outdoor Adventures Abound
My husband and I love to spend time outside, so a portion of our trip was focused entirely on things to do outdoors in Trumbull County – and really there are so many choices that you could easily focus your entire trip around the outdoors.
Bird-watching in Trumbull County
We met with Loyd Marshall, a local birder and lead volunteer for the local prothonotary warbler habitat at Mosquito Creek Lake at the Lakeview Recreation Area, which is just down the road from the entrance to Mosquito Lake State Park. This area has ample parking, pit toilets, a 1-mile-long loop trail that passes through several birding habitats, disc golf, and plenty of opportunities to spot the area’s bird population.
Loyd taught us the basics of birdwatching and introduced us to the prothonotary warbler. Today, volunteers like Loyd put out nesting boxes, or jars, in shady, swampy areas. The birds nest in their habitats, and volunteers check on the nests to look for eggs and see how the baby birds are developing.
This information is carefully documented. Prothonotary warblers start to nest in April, and the birds will lay one egg a day with an incubation time of 11 days when the fledglings can fly and leave the jar. By mid-July, the birds are moving on to South America.
Loyd showed us several of the bird’s habitats and even called the bird to see if we could catch a glimpse of the species. To our amazement, a beautiful, yellow prothonotary warbler answered the call and merged for us to catch a fleeting glimpse before it flitted away.
I was able to snap a photo of it, but I didn’t have a great lens, so Loyd was gracious enough to provide a close-up image for you as well.
Along the short trail, we also spotted wrens, chickadees and an orioles nest.
I spotted another bird too, but I couldn’t identify it. If you know what it is, then please leave me a comment below.
We also heard about the osprey, bald eagle, and sandhill crane populations that can be seen along the lake. After our time with Loyd, we did spot a large sandhill crane while driving along Mosquito Creek Lake, but, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to photograph it.
Bird-watching is an inexpensive activity that can easily be done throughout the year in Trumbull County, and it’s one that my husband and I have been trying to do close to home and when we travel.
Mosquito Lake State Park
Mosquito Creek Lake is one of the largest inland lakes in Ohio, and it provides plenty of recreation opportunities along its shores.
Paddleboarding, kayaking, boating, fishing, swimming, camping, you name it, you’ll find it here in this nearly 10,000-acre park (7,000 acres of water). Plus, the park is dog-friendly and provides a beautiful dog park for your four-legged family members.
Mosquito Lake State Park is also ideal for families with a clean, manicured beach that has free life jackets available for day use and a beautiful playground nearby. Keep in mind that Ohio’s state parks provide free entry, so if you’re looking for an affordable way to make memories as a family, then visiting a state park is a great option.
Kayaking in Trumbull County
While you’re welcome to kayak on Mosquito Creek Lake, and we did see people doing so, if you’re a beginner or looking for a smoother kayaking experience, then we suggest checking out Mahoning River Adventures.
MRA is the perfect option for people like me and my husband who want a relaxing experience where we can sit back, paddle occasionally, and take in the scenery. You’ll find that experience along the Mahoning River. The river is smooth and slow-moving, so you’re not fighting against the current.
When arriving at MRA, you’ll receive your safety gear along with a safety briefing. The kayak you select will be loaded onto a trailer, then you will board a shuttle bus to be transported upriver to the starting point.
If you prefer to take your own kayak, then you’ll be happy to know there is an option to bring your own kayak.
Once you’ve been transported up the river, the driver/guide will unload the kayaks and set them up on the launch pad. Kayakers will climb in their kayaks, and the guide will push you off in the water, so you don’t even need to worry about getting wet! It’s that easy.
Your trip downriver to the endpoint will take about two and a half to three hours depending on how fast or slow you paddle.
Camping in Trumbull County
While you’ll find plenty of places to camp in Trumbull County, my husband and I stayed at Chestnut Ridge Park & Campground.
We checked in to the campground and were warmly greeted by the hosts and owners, Denise and Don. Originally, we planned to stay at the campground for two nights, but a heat advisory and storm warning prompted us to stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Niles/Warren location hotel for one night.
Don showed us the options for tent campers, and we opted to select a spot between two campers. The spots are large and shaded, and we had a picnic table and a fire ring with a short walk to the rustic bathhouse with toilets and showers.
Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret. While we love to be outdoors and camp, I can’t say I’m much for roughing it. My husband and kids even tell me I’m bougie – and I’m okay with that.
So, our tent camping setup looks a bit different than what you’d normally find in a campground. I’m all about the air mattress, blankets, pillows, rugs, and fairy lights. Awww … heavenly.
Chestnut Ridge Campground is in a gorgeous setting and is great for families. There’s a beautiful pond with a swimming area and catch and release fishing. Sand volleyball, basketball hoops, cornhole and new playground equipment are provided, and there is also an on-site game room.
The campground was quiet, and the other campers were friendly and courteous during our stay. My husband and I are looking forward to returning with our family for some more camping.
Historic Sites in Trumbull County
While our primary focus was on the outdoors, my husband and I also love history, so we had to check out a few historical attractions in the area. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list –simply things we could fit on this trip.
Newton Falls Covered Bridge
I love covered bridges and seek them out regularly, so I was excited to make a quick stop at the Newton Falls Covered Bridge. This bridge is the second-oldest in continuous operation in the state of Ohio that is in the original location. This town lattice truss bridge was built in 1831 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
The McKinley Memorial Museum and McKinley Birthplace Home and Research Center
The McKinley Memorial Museum is stunning inside and out. On one side of the memorial, you’ll find the public library, on the other side, you’ll find the memorial. In between is the Court of Honor where you’ll find an impressive 12-foot-tall marble statue of President William McKinley.
The museum honors President McKinley who served as the 25th president of the United States before he was assassinated in 1901 during his second term in office. Inside, you’ll find artifacts from his private life and presidency. Of particular interest are his Civil War weapons, including the sword he carried.
The museum was built on the site of the one-room schoolhouse the president attended as a child and the efforts to build the memorial were spearheaded by McKinley’s close boyhood friend, Joseph G. Butler Jr., a well-known civic leader, and industrialist.
Just a block or two over, you’ll find the McKinley Birthplace Home and Research Center. Though this structure is not the original home, it is built in the same location as the original home where McKinley was born. The home has a total of eight rooms, four rooms downstairs and four upstairs, with a gorgeous staircase in the foyer.
The home is furnished with items from the time, but of particular interest to those who enjoy quirky things like me, is the headstone of McKinley’s grandmother in one of the upstairs bedrooms. A Trumbull County historian discovered her headstone partially buried in the Niles Union Cemetery. It was replaced and given to the McKinley Birthplace Home and Research Center to care for it.
The research center houses a collection of campaign buttons that were used in McKinley’s presidential campaigns; he was the first to use campaign buttons as well as a larger-than-life lithograph poster.
Interestingly, if you take your time and look closely, then you’ll also see the mugshot of the man who shot and killed President McKinley on display.
Peter Allen Inn
Peter Allen was the first medical doctor in Trumbull County. One of the oldest homes in Trumbull County, the Peter Allen Inn has been lovingly restored and renovated to preserve the stunning Federalist architecture with extensive molding on the outside around the roof, doors, and windows.
This is my husband’s type of stop, and while I ran inside to take a peek at things, he was admiring the woodwork on the exterior.
Today, the Peter Allen Inn is a bed-and-breakfast, lounge, and restaurant that is also a gorgeous event center for weddings and special events.
Trumbull County Walking Tour – Millionaires’ Row
My husband and I love history, and my husband especially has an interest in architecture. It must be the contractor in him, what do you think? When he found out Warren is home to one of the remaining historic Millionaires’ Rows, he couldn’t wait to learn more. We spent the better part of the last morning in town walking along Mahoning Avenue with our trusty printed guide checking out the homes where influential people once lived.
A few of our favorites included the Perkins Mansion, which has been converted to Warren’s City Hall. Over the years, five U.S. presidents have walked the halls of this Victorian Italianate mansion.
Women’s Park, which sits across from the Harriet Taylor Upton House, is stunning.
Harriet Taylor Upton was an active proponent of the women’s suffrage movement. Her influence was so great that several presidents traveled to Warren to meet with her.
The Kinsman House was built by General Perkins for his daughter as a wedding gift.
And make sure you stop in the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau while you’re in town. It’s housed in what was the former Connecticut Land Title Office.
The Warren Courthouse Square and Trumbull County Courthouse are not to be missed. Just make sure you visit during the week so you can peek inside this stunning building as well.
We took a self-guided tour, but the Trumbull Historical Society also offers various walking tours throughout the year.
Unique Shopping in Trumbull County
You know a gal has to shop while she’s exploring, and Trumbull County has some unique offerings that my husband even enjoyed.
End of the Commons General Store
The oldest, continuously operating general store in the state of Ohio, the End of the Commons General Store is in Trumbull County’s Amish Country. In the fourth-largest Amish community in the world, it’s common to see a line of horse-and-buggies lined up outside.
With wood plank floors and thick beams overhead, I imagine the End of the Commons General Store looks much as it would have looked when it was built in 1840. You’ll find shelves lined with baking supplies, souvenirs, penny candies, games, toys, glass sodas and the highly recommended fry pies.
Not one to pass up a roadside attraction, I couldn’t resist a photo opp with the huge wooden horse-and-buggy across the street from the store.
FarmGirl’s Artful Clutter
This private property opens several times a year for visitors to stroll through the perennial gardens that are eclectically decorated using found and upcycled “junque” from picking in barns and garage sales.
Kimmer Shimko Wolfinger’s style encourages visitors to think twice before tossing something in the trash and shows that common items like bicycles, coolers and typewriters can make a beautiful addition to your garden. I love decorating my home with items that my husband, a contractor, brings home, so this style of decorating the flower beds certainly inspired me. I found myself thinking of the items I have in the garage that could be repurposed.
In addition to the beautiful flower beds for the pollinators, you’ll find three cute chicken coops and a studio with a selection of garden art, vintage items, repurposed items and delicious chemical-free honey on this 5-acre, bee-friendly farm. The gardens offer a respite from busy life and a quiet place to reflect. Kimmer even has a memory garden with dancing angels to honor those close to her whom she has lost in the past year.
Follow FarmGirl’s Artful Clutter & Such on Facebook for future event listings.
This is THE store for book lovers, and I didn’t spend nearly enough time in this store to do it justice. This one-of-a-kind bookstore features over 100,000 used books, with more on the way! This shop is the perfect stop for a rainy day when you want to browse through stacks of books in search of that bound treasure.
I snagged several out-of-print books during our short visit and could have spent much more time browsing.
I don’t want you to think that Market Square is just a bookstore – it’s also home to the oldest, continuously operating soda fountain in the state. Plus, it offers an on-site deli, as well as produce, gift items, and odds and ends you’d expect to find in a store that sells a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I get the feeling you truly never know what you may find, which is certainly part of the appeal.
If you enjoy geocaching, then make sure you check out the new geocaching trail that just launched in Trumbull County. Hint: There’s one at Market Square. Check out the Trumbull County GeoTour for more info.
Autumn Lily’s Collections
Autumn Lily’s Collections is much more than an antique store. If you’re looking for gifts while in Kinsman, then this store is your go-to stop. While the owner, Lisa, specializes in antique and collectible glass, she also has a variety of items made by local artisans and craftspeople.
You’ll find a line of purses, travel gear, quilts, wood crafts, metal works and more. Don’t miss the men’s lounge for men who may want to browse a more masculine selection of antiques, as well as the gorgeous Tiffany-inspired lamps and window panels. I even found a gift for my husband before I left.
Culinary Adventures in Trumbull County
Trumbull County did not disappoint! We tried some amazing food during our visit. From mouthwatering BBQ to farm-to-fork Buddha bowls and Italian delicacies, there’s no shortage of delicious food options to tantalize your taste buds.
Pop in and grab a sub to go or dine in this cute sub shop. In addition to the baked subs, Sub Stop offers interesting side items. I highly suggest you order the Tabasco Mushrooms, carefully seasoned with just a slight hint of heat.
Rhonda’s Emerald Diner
Rhonda’s Emerald Diner offers traditional diner fare in an old-school train car. We had great food and service in a fun atmosphere.
And for those who are interested, Rhonda’s also serves boozy shakes. Yum!
Outside in the parking area, you’ll find several train cars, a phone booth and a Sinclair dinosaur, so make sure you look before or after you eat.
What started as one of the first meaderies in the Mahoning Valley, Woodland Cellars now draws people from around the state for its wine, ciders and meads. My husband and I sampled all three, with the pear cider being our favorite. The atmosphere at Woodland Cellars was friendly, warm and welcoming.
Good Intentions Market & Café
Good Intentions Market & Cafe is part of Red Basket Farm, a four-season farm in Kinsman. The market welcomes people to gather, sit, and eat good, healthy, intentional food in a beautiful setting.
Housed inside the beautifully renovated 150-year-old Kinsman Town Hall, you’ll find produce from Red Basket Farms, a selection of gift items, Ohio wines, craft beers and more.
Stop by, sip a drink on the outdoor patio or grab a seat inside, and relax while enjoying a delicious meal. I enjoyed the Asian Buddha Bowl with a peach, and my husband ate a healthy hot dog with onions and sauerkraut. Both were delicious.
Cafe 422 is part of the Trumbull County Italian Food Trail. This unique trail offers 45 local stops for locals and visitors to experience. We tried two of the delicacies known to Trumbull County at dinner, Peppers & Oil and Italian Greens, not to be confused with the popular southern favorite.
The secret to eating the Peppers & Oil dish is to load your peppers (not too many at a time) on a slice of bread. While you don’t need to butter the bread, my husband did prefer that option. You eat the Italian Greens dish the same way.
For my main course, I had a delicious chicken Marsala, and my husband enjoyed the chicken Francaise that was part of a three-course meal. The servings were generous, and the food was tasty.
Cockeye BBQ was delicious! We enjoyed pulled chicken and brisket with fresh pork rinds. If you haven’t had freshly fried pork rinds, then you are in for a treat. It was suggested that we also try the ice cream at Cockeye Creamery, but we were so full that we will have to wait until our next trip.
For those who like to drink with their meal, you’ll find a large selection of craft beer and adult slushies with alcohol. I had the pineapple slushie, but, honestly, I preferred it without the tequila.
My husband and I had a great time exploring Trumbull County. As you can see, we covered a lot of ground in the three days we spent in the area, but all the experience did was whet our appetite to see more, do more, and, of course, taste more.
We can’t wait to return to continue our truly Trumbull experience.