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Memorial Day weekend is always a great time to plan a trip around north central Ohio. There are so many great events going on, especially around the Back Roads and Beaches Route. Here are some suggested activities based on your riding style. All of the below suggestions can be found on or just around (within a mile or two) of the route. They can be found on the BRaB map)

Commencement weekend at Oberlin College

Hammer heads-“I’m just here to soak up the good weather and put in some extra training hours.”
Begin at Findley State Park, ride north and do the loop in a counter-clockwise direction. This will give you optimal hill climbing options, especially in the Dean Rd./Sperry Rd. area. Dean Rd. gets to 21%. Really want a challenge? Do some repeats. Once back at Findley State Park, you will have 60 miles in. For an added challenge, bring along your mountain bike and do a loop or two of the Thorn Mountain Bike Trail. If you’re out early Saturday morning you’re sure to see others out training on the route.

Dean Road historical bridge

Finish your day with a giant, organic burrito from the Agave in Oberlin. This weekend you can even take in a viewing of the classic film The Graduate, in the classic Apollo Theatre. Very cool!

Day two: Combine your training ride with a great upper body workout by hopping in a kayak at the Port Authority launch off Broadway in Lorain and paddle up the Black River to the Lighthouse. Kayaks can be rented here through Great Lakes Kayaking. Turn off into the Lakeside Marina, tie off and have a bite to eat while enjoying great views of the marina and lighthouse at the Jackalope Restaurant.

Views of the Lorain Lighthouse from the Jackalope Restaurant

“I want to pedal at my own pace while stopping to see great art, architecture and historical sites. And while I’m at it, I’d like to sample some great local wine and cuisine”

Fortunately for you, there are so many great exhibits, historical events and events going on, the worst part will be deciding what to do.

The Oberlin Heritage Center has an entire weekend of events including architecture walks, Underground Railroad walks, history programming and more. Click here for a full list.

Bacon House Museum Tours, Vermilion River Reservation, Sunday 1-4pm.

Right now at FAVA in Oberlin: facets: 14 artists working in glass. Don’t miss this exquisite exhibit. You can also see Woodblock/Linol
eum Prints by J.K. Mateer through May 26th at the FAVA South Gallery.

facets exhibit at FAVA Gallery, Oberlin

Also in Oberlin right now is Holding, an environmental art exhibit that features live silkworms spinning and weaving their way through sculpture. This exhibit has become a favorite each year with all ages at the Ginko Gallery.

Tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian Weltzheimer/Johnson House will be given throughout the Oberlin College commencement weekend. Click here for times.


Since it’s commencement weekend at Oberlin College, there are many performances and events. Click here for a full list.

Wine and Dine
Round out a long touring day in the saddle with great food and wine at these spots that are on or just off the BRaB route.

Live Music on the Docks Memorial Day Weekend at The Lube: May 23 – Vermilion’s new Quaker Steak & Lube. Catch some live entertainment with C.R.B. (Classic Rock Band) on Saturday from 5–9 pm with great views of the Vermilion River. (This used to be Red Clay Restaurant)

Live Music at Paper Moon Vineyards, Saturday, May 23 4pm-7pm

Matus Winery Celebration Cook-Out, Saturday, May 23 5:30 pm

Single Tree Winery:
Friday, May 22 Live music with Utah Witherspoon and Greg Moore 7-11pm

Saturday, May 23 Steak Fry $20 5- 7 pm Includes Steak, baked potato, salad, roll and a glass of wine. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

We’ve brought the kids for a little adventure, fun and a healthy challenge for the whole family—what’s there to do for us?
For those of you towing little ones (or accompanying your little ones on their own bikes), this is a great weekend for kids. Here are a few must do’s. (from a cyclists with three kids..these are kid tested) Beginning from the southern portion of the trail in

Canoeing or kayaking at Findley State Park; free paddle boats at the Wellington Reservation


Vegan pancakes at Black River Cafe; Silkworm Exhibit at Ginko Gallery; Swim at the Splash Zone; Explore Underground Railroad history and hear the story of the rescue of escaped slave John Price; Sunday night illumination on Tappan Square with pie and ice cream; pizza on Lorenzo’s outdoor patio.


Lunch or dinner along the Vermilion River at Quaker Steak and Lube; ice cream and putt-putt at Romps Dairy Dock; watch the boats from Main St. beach; River cruise on Mystic Belle out of Don Parsons Marina

Kayaking in Lorain with children


Lakeview Park, it’s the most awesome beach on Lake Erie-’nuff said; burgers on the patio of Jackelope Restaurant with great views of Lake Erie; rent a two-person kayak at Lorain Port Authority boat launch and check out many different bird species, the Lorain Lighthouse along with many other fascinating views along the way; charter (or pier) fishing for perch and walleye.

These are only a few options for a full weekend of fun and adventure. Plan your lodging and more complete list at the Visit Lorain County website.

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posted by lorain at 10:10 am

A kayaking trip up the Black River in Lorain

Here are some scenes from a Saturday kayaking trip up the Black River in Lorain. Later this summer the Lorain County Metro Parks will officially dedicate a new 27-mile boat/kayak trail from the Vermilion River Reservation to the Black River Reservation. Bird-watching on the Black River is spectacular. Click here for more information. Black River […]

posted by lorain at 8:08 am

Spring: Rebirth, Ritual and ReCreation

Of course, taking in a bike ride is a great way to kick-off the spring season. All along the Back Roads and Beaches route, art galleries, museums and performance spaces are alive with activity that reflects the current season. The Beth K. Stocker Art Gallery at Lorain County Community College is host to the exhibit, […]

posted by lorain at 1:01 pm

Winter’s not so bad

Yes, it’s February and you’re probably itchin’ to get out there and get moving. It’s been COLD here in north central Ohio! BUT, the good part is, there is still a lot to do outside. Take a hike in one of Lorain County’s fine Metro Parks or Findley State Park. Findley is a great place […]

posted by lorain at 2:02 pm
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