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A Long Time Ago...at Fossil Beach in Tipp City

Located near City Park in Tipp City, Fossil Beach is an unofficial landmark where adventure-seekers can find ancient fossils that date back 450 million years before life moved on to land. In this article, learn about the geological history of Ohio. This includes that fact that if all of the fossils in southwest Ohio were removed from the ground, Cincinnati would be located below sea level!


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Which Towns in the Northern Miami Valley Came First? And How'd They Get Their Names?

After becoming a state in 1803, settlers began to flood into western Ohio. In their wake, they built and named towns that stand to this day. This article takes a look at when and how these towns came to be, as well as how they received their names. 


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The Lost Genius of the Hopewell

Around 2,000 years ago, Ohio was the religious center of the eastern United States and the Hopewell Indians who lived here. Tens of thousands of Native Americans from throughout the United States traveled to Ohio, almost as if it were a Mecca of the New World. The Hopewell built huge earthworks that aligned with the moon, sun and stars and lived in peace for nearly 500 years. This article explores the Hopewell and their earthworks, many of which are set to become UNESCO World Heritage sites in the near future. 


Unraveling the Serpent 

One of the great mysteries of prehistory is why so many cultures from different parts of the world spent so much time and effort building giant megaliths, monuments and earthworks to track the perceived movements of the sun, moon and stars.

Serpent Mound, in Peebles, Ohio, is one such place. There are many mysteries surrounding Serpent Mound, including who built it, when and who gave the builders the idea in the first place. This article explores all three questions.  


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The Humble Beginnings of the Stillwater River

A Father & Son Search for the Source of the Stillwater River 

The Stillwater River – a Designated State Scenic River that creates so much beauty in western Ohio – starts as a small trickle coming from a pipe beneath an old bridge in rural Darke County. Before last fall, I didn’t know this, but as a way to teach my son about local geology, we decided to look for the "beginning" of the river. This is what we discovered...


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Mystery Solved? New Research Sheds Light on 1937 Anna Earthquake Damage

Since 1875, more than 40 earthquakes have been cataloged in the Anna Seismic Zone in western Ohio. This includes the largest earthquake in Ohio’s recorded history, which took place on March 9, 1937 near the village of Anna in Shelby County. This article explores new evidence that indicates why Anna was so damaged.


The Dark Skies: Adventures in Astronomy

There are few places remaining in the eastern United States where you can see the night sky in its full glory. However, luckily for residents of the northern Miami Valley, many of these places, known as Dark Sky Zones or parks, are located nearby. This includes locations in West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania. 


Mounds of Evidence: What Was Life Like in the Miami Valley Before Us?

 There is little doubt that many homes and buildings in Miami County, and parts of Darke County, are located where ancient Native American burial mounds, earthworks and villages once sat. Or, that when we bicycle or walk the Great Miami Recreational Trail or the Tecumseh Trail we are using paths that have been trekked for thousands of years by generations of people.   

   The fact is, long before Europeans arrived in western Ohio, life had flourished here for millennia. In this article, learn from a local expert about what it was once like here.   


Cycling 100 Miles on the Great Miami Recreational Trail

Starting in Tipp City, this 100-mile round-trip bicycle journey uses the Great Miami Recreational Trail to travel to its current furthest point south in Middletown. This is a two-day adventure that passes through cityscapes, parks, small towns, historical areas and natural landscapes, along with many other great stops along the way.    


A List of 10 Secluded Hiking Trails
And Then 10 More!

Discover 20 secluded, and often lesser-known, places to hike in the northern Miami Valley.

Locations include a cemetery with amazing statues, a new trail that promises to keep expanding in Tipp City, three places that claim to be the "river's edge," boardwalk trails with amazing wildflowers in the spring and many other unique places.


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Day Trip on the Great Miami Recreational Trail

When cycling the Great Miami Recreational Trail from Tipp City to Piqua, a distance of about 23 miles when starting at Ross Road and ending at Swift Run Lake, there appears to be five distinct sections to the trail, not to mention dozens of things to see and do along the way. This article explores these five different sections and all of the interesting attractions to enjoy along the way.


Following the Great Miami River From Start to Finish

If you take a drive north of Indian Lake State Park and locate Township Road 85 in Hardin County, you can pull your vehicle to the side of the road, look across a field to a wooded area on a small hill in the distance and watch as the North Fork of the Great Miami River trickles down the hill on its way to the Ohio River. This article is a pictorial journey from the river's source to its end.


Indian Creek Distillery - A Destination for History & Flavor

When Indian Creek increases its line of small batch distilled liquors, the new labels are always inspired by a period of history and the re-telling of a family story.

In 2019, new products—and having to deal with new liquor laws—had owners Joe and Missy Duer feeling nostalgic, so they called it their “coming home year.” This article looks back at that memorable year and the distillery.   



Skunk Cabbage: A Stinky Name for a Helpful Plant

One of the first signs that spring is near in Ohio is the arrival of skunk cabbage in late January and February, often when there is still snow on the ground. The maroon flowering plant can be found in marshy and swampy areas, as well as near streams and woodlands. It keeps its maroon color well into spring, and it flowers before its leaves appear. Learn about the other interesting characteristics and uses of Skunk Cabbage in this article.


Virtual Farmer’s Market Offers Year-Round Variety of Local Produce, Goods  

The Miami County Locally Grown Virtual Market allows shoppers to support a wide range of local growers, artisans and producers while receiving a year-round supply of fresh produce and goods from one central location in Troy.   

“We are a 100 percent grower-produced market. The items listed by each of our producers is grown in their gardens, baked in their homes and created with their hands,” said Jennifer Ruff, director of the market.


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Unveiling the River's Edge Wildlife Preserve

The River’s Edge Wildlife Preserve, owned and maintained by Brukner Nature Center is a very special place. It’s filled with natural springs, several waterfalls, and a surprising birds-eye view of the Stillwater River. While not a large park, a loop hiking trail leads visitors through this diverse natural landscape. The park is known for its puffball mushrooms in the fall. There are also unique wildflowers along the river at the park.


Solar Powered and Self-Sufficient at WoodsWalk Farm Bed & Breakfast  

Mary Haldeman and her husband Mark live on a 60-acre self-sufficient, solar powered farm located just north of Piqua, and they grow everything from asparagus, cabbage and apples to cumquats, lemons and figs. They have no utility bills, use geothermal heating, and any wood burned in their fireplace comes from fallen trees and limbs on the property. And you are invited to experience it all!