Best family recreational place


Savannah Monks

Nelson Ledges Quarry Park is located at 12001 State Route 282 in Garrettsville.

Irene Bowser, Reporter

FIRST: Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park

Local hikers, runners and casual walkers can find natural landscape, trails and waterfalls about 40 minutes from campus. 

Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park offers four scenic hiking trails, getaway rentals and two waterfalls. 

At Cascade Falls, one of Northeast Ohio’s tallest waterfalls located at Nelson Ledges, visitors can hike underneath or above it to see the natural view. 

The park also features natural rock formations and caves for visitors to navigate through. 

Park manager John Trevelline said he is enthusiastic about Nelson Ledges’ uniqueness and considers walking through the caves as nature’s air conditioning. 

For visitors who want a getaway and explore all of the natural scenes and locations, visitors may reserve a group facility or an overnight rental, or they can choose to stay at the campgrounds. 

Trevelline described a trip to Nelson Ledges as a quick, accessible, easy and unique experience for everyone. 

“I remember going to the park as a child and being mystified,” he said. “Even as an adult I am still as excited.” 

SECOND: Beckwith’s Apple Orchard

Beckwith’s Apple Orchard, established in 1878, is a family-owned-and-operated business.

Sally Beckwith, the fourth-generation owner, said she loves being involved with Kent State students, and many of her employees are Kent State alumni. 

She said people in the community come to be out with nature and explore the orchard. 

“After Covid, there is popularity in wanting to do an event outside,” Beckwith said.

Located across the street from The Portage County Hike and Bike Trail, visitors can go for a bike ride and then take a stroll through the apple orchard. 

The fruit is picked, washed and sorted by employees for customers – visitors are not allowed to pick their own fruits.  

“It’s not an expensive outing, especially for college students,” Beckwith said.

A selection of peaches, nectarines and corn begin in late July.  Apples, pumpkins, gourds and cider are then sold in the fall. 

“It was super fun and something nice to do on a fall day,” sophomore marketing major Riley Wolfe said. “I went last year and got some apples and a jar of honey. I took pictures out in the orchard.”

The orchard has a gift shop with items such as candles, soup and honey, and there is also a bakery selling fresh goods and desserts. 

Beckwith’s Apple Orchard is closed in December and will reopen in the summer when its produce is ready to harvest for visitors. 

THIRD: Spins Bowl

Spins Bowl offers a spot for a date, birthday party or a friends and family outing. 

The bowling alley has just under 40 games and 32 bowling lanes. 

“Nobody else has anything quite like that,” general manager David Caipen said. Kent students and community members can take advantage of the all-you-can-bowl special held Sunday to Thursday nights for just $10 per person. 

Caipen said he recognizes the strong community aspect of Spins Bowl, and he enjoys seeing the regulars throughout the week.  

“My favorite thing is definitely the people.” Caipen said. “You get to meet a ton of different people and never really know what’s gonna happen.”

Irene Bowser is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].