TRIMBLE, OHIO – Rural Action has launched a new social enterprise designed to teach residents and tourists about the rich history and biodiversity of the Ohio Appalachians while providing economic opportunities for local experts who will serve as guides and storytellers throughout. along the way.
âOur dream is to make it easy for the many expert guides in the area to organize tours and experiences, to be paid well for their expertise, and to deepen the sense of belonging of visitors and residents to Ohio. Appalachians. â says Madison Donohue, tourism specialist at Rural Action. That dream comes true with the launch of Appalachian Understories: Guided Experiences in Southeast Ohio.
For decades, organizations like Rural Action, Sunday Creek Associates, Ohio Hill Country Heritage Area, Southeast Ohio History Center, Little Cities of Black Diamonds, and Buckeye Trail Association have seen Ohio’s bouncy Appalachian forests and rich human history as some of the area’s greatest assets. Local leaders of such organizations like Cheryl Blosser, John Winnenberg, Tom O’Grady and Andrew Bashaw have seen this potential for years, having tour groups to learn about places such as Robinson’s Cave in New Straitsville, Tecumseh Theater in Shawnee and biodiversity along the Buckeye Trail.
Appalachian Understories will create sustainable economic activity around these two regional strengths: biological diversity and cultural history. Ohio’s Winding Road, a network at the forefront of tourism efforts in the region, is also a big supporter of the business.
Activities will include guided bike tours, nature hikes, backpacking trips, and more.
Appalachian Understories tours will focus on the natural and cultural history of the cities featured on each tour. Passionate and knowledgeable historians and guides will bring tales of yesteryear to life and educate participants about the natural landscape.
With offerings such as a Spring Wildflower Hike and the Wild and Edible Plants and Mushroom Walk, Appalachian Understories will provide an immersive experience in the natural world, helping participants learn outdoor skills such as building lights, basic hiking expertise and shelter construction.
Specific visits will be scheduled throughout the year targeting a range of interests. In addition, it will be possible to schedule private events for up to 15 participants for birthdays and other group outings.
If you’re interested in collaborating with Appalachian Understories to lead a tour and share your passion and expertise, email [email protected] or call us at 740-677-4047 ext. 300.
To learn more and to book a tour, visit the Appalachian Understories website: AppalachianUnderstories.com.