Activities & Attractions: Portage County

HIDDEN GEMS:  Akron Area  / Cleveland Area

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS:  Akron  /  Summit County  /  Portage County  / Medina County

MUSEUMS / THEATER / OPERA / DANCE


Dusty Armadillo
Kick up your heels at one of Ohio’s largest country nightspots! Originally built in the 1920's, the 5,000-square-foot, solid maple dance floor offers a great space for line-dancing, two-stepping, east and west coast swing or just grabbing a partner for a slow dance. Dance lessons are offered several nights a week. The Dusty is also where you’ll hear the best local and regional country bands, as well as national acts, performing throughout the week on the Armadillo stage. (3147 State Route 44, Rootstown 44272; 330.325.0647; dustya.com)


Kent State Ice Arena
Kent State University’s ice rink is a family-friendly facility serving both the university community and surrounding communities. The rink is open to the public all year long for recreational skating, lessons, youth hockey programs and a special College Late Night Skate every Wednesday night. The arena is also home to the Kent State ACHA Hockey Team, Kent State Figure Skating Team, six area high school teams and a figure skating club. (650 Loop Road, Kent 44242; 330.672.7465; kent.edu/recservices/ice-arena)


Fencing Lessons
The Kiraly Fencing Academy offers fencing classes for every age.

The Kiraly Fencing Academy
En guarde! The Kiraly Fencing Academy offers classes in both Japanese and European swordsmanship. Private and group lessons, demonstrations and seminars are also available. They even offer fencing parties, for an unusual twist on a birthday, corporate outing, or other celebration. (304 North Howard Street, Akron; 330.762.4866; kiralyfencing.com)


May 4 Visitor Center
The May 4, 1970 Site & Memorial is just outside Taylor Hall on the Kent State University campus. / Photo: Chris Heltzel

May 4 Visitors Center
The events of May 4, 1970 placed Kent State University in an international spotlight after a student protest against the Vietnam War ended in tragedy, with four students losing their lives and nine others being wounded at the hands of the Ohio National Guard. Fifty years later, the May 4 Visitor Center on the university’s campus commemorates the event. Displays include four exhibits honoring each of the students killed. You can also take a walking tour of the site of the shootings, while listening to a documentary narrated by notable civil rights leader Julian Bond. The chapters of the documentary are keyed to the seven Walking Tour trail markers. Listening devices are available for check-out at the Visitor Center and the Kent State University Library. (147 Taylor Hall, 300 Midway Drive, Kent 44242; 330.672.4660; kent.edu/may4visitorscenter)


Portage Hike & Bike Trail
The Portage Hike & Bike Trail is 13 miles long. / Photo: Andrea S. Metzler, Portage Park District

Portage Hike & Bike Trail
The Portage Hike & Bike Trail, part of the Portage Park District, is 13 miles of paved trail and serves as a link between several neighborhoods and towns along the Ravenna-Kent-Akron corridor. The main trail starts east of downtown Ravenna, on Peck Road, and connects to downtown Kent. Another segment begins near Dix Stadium on the Kent State campus and extends to Middlebury Road on the Summit-Portage county line, where you can pick up the Freedom Trail into Tallmadge and Akron. A third short section northwest of downtown Kent, the Franklin Connector, takes you west from Hudson Road to the Summit Metro Parks Bike & Hike Trail. (330.297.7728; co.portage.oh.us/portage-county-park-district/parks-maps/pages/portage-hike-bike-trail)


Girl with Horse
Trinity Farm offers therapeutic riding lessons for children and adults with and without disabilities. / Photo: Michelle Hushion

Trinity Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center
Trinity Farm provides a combination of therapeutic, recreational and agricultural programs in an inclusive environment. At this nonprofit facility, people with and without special needs benefit from the physical and emotional rewards of working with horses. Lessons, competitions, group volunteer events, educational events and veterans’ programs are all offered at the facility. Rolling pastures, an outdoor dressage arena, a jump field, walking paths and one of the largest indoor arenas in Northeast Ohio make Trinity Farm a truly special equine center. (7821 Ferguson Road, Streetsboro 44241; 330.618.0654; trinityfarmtec.org)


West Branch State Park
Catch a beautiful sunrise at West Branch State Park. / Photo: Mike Steele

West Branch State Park
West Branch State Park’s 2,650-acre lake, with its many forks and coves, is extremely popular with anglers, boaters and swimmers, while the park's 5,379-acres of meadows and woodlands provide an excellent backdrop for camping, hiking and horseback riding. The lake is designated for unlimited horse-power; you can rent boats and other water-sports equipment at the West Branch Marina (5678 Marina Drive, Ravenna 44266; 330.296.9209). There’s also an 18-hole disc golf course, a nine-hole golf course and a dog park. (5570 Esworthy Road, Ravenna 44266; 330.296.3239; parks.ohiodnr.gov/westbranch)


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