Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Wood County, OH

  • Published 2022/10/30

An area sprawling with natural sites and historic locations, Wood County gives you opportunities for enjoyable activities and worthwhile experiences.

The county lies in northwest Ohio, bordered by the Maumee River on its northwestern side.

It was established in 1820 and initially had Perrysburg as its county seat, later changed to Bowling Green in 1870.

Wood County was also named after Captain Eleazer D. Wood, who built Fort Meigs during the War of 1812.

Other cities included in this county are Northwood, Rossford, and a small portion of Fostoria.

Two census-designated places, Rudolph and Stony Ridge, along with several villages, townships, and unincorporated communities, also comprise the county.

This county is full of possibilities for learning, discovery, and fun; see plenty of amusing specialized museums, visit the scenic parks and reserves or hop to art exhibits dotted around the area.

If you want to discover more, here are the best things to do in Wood County, Ohio.

Explore the Fort Meigs Historic Site

View of Fort Meigs Historic Site

Triple Tri, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fort Meigs Historic Site was built during the initial attacks of the British on the Northwest Territory in 1812.

The fort sits on a bluff with a view of the Maumee River on Perrysburg, named after Ohio Governor Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr.

The museum and visitor center are open all year, while the reconstructed fort welcomes tourists from April to October.

Firing at Fort Meigs Historic Site

Adamkriesberg, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit this historic site from Wednesdays to Sundays on self-guided tours with paid admissions.

Take time to explore the different exhibits at the museum, such as the Legacy of Freedom: Fort Meigs in the War of 1812, with original artifacts that depict the story of Fort Meigs.

Wander around the area and relive the past when soldiers stood their ground during the War of 1812.

Exterior view of Fort Meigs Historic Site

Brian Stansberry, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can also join the Garrison Ghost Walk and hear about the scary tales of soldiers who once served at the fort and walk past campfires and buildings at night.

Don’t forget to grab some souvenirs and unique gifts at the Museum Store, like exclusive shirts, hats, stickers, and more; choose from an array of history book selections, with toys, candies, and books for kids.

You can also book private events and celebrations at the Fort Meigs Historic Site Visitor Center.

See Classic Automobile Displays at Snook’s Dream Cars

Drop by Snook’s Dream Cars in Bowling Green if you’re into cool, classic automobiles.

This attraction features the extensive collection of Bill Snook, currently operated by his son Jeff Snook.

The recreated 1940s Texaco gas station welcomes you to a showroom with various memorabilia displays ranging from model cars to vintage car accessories, toy cars, signs, oil cans, advertisements, and more.

Set your eyes on featured models from the 1930s to the 70s, including convertibles, coupes, roadsters, and more; you’ll see famous car models made by Ford, Pontiac, Chevrolet, and Jaguar, among others.

Curious little ones can also enjoy coin-operated machines like pinball slot machines and the Model-T Kiddie Ride.

You’ll surely get the vintage vibes of Snook’s Dream Cars, so take snapshots for remembrance and visit the gift shop for something to take home.

Go for a Nature Hike at W.W. Knight Nature Preserve

W. W. Knight Nature Preserve gives you day-tour activities to enjoy with the family.

The late William Windus Knight’s family donated the 44-acre area, which can be found in Perrysburg.

The Nature Center was opened to the public in 2005, offering various educational programs.

Stay on the Lookout in Nature Area and spot some birds dropping by the area.

Go hiking on the trails and boardwalks, pass through wetlands, scenic prairie, and remnant swamp woods, or take your family on a fishing trip.

Also visit the Nature Playscape, the pollinator, and beautifully landscaped sensory gardens.

Enjoy the outdoor activities at W.W. Knight Nature Preserve.

Tour the Carter Historic Farm

Carter Historic Farm is both a working farm and a cultural heritage center that harks back to the region’s Great Depression era.

The farm is located in Bowling Green and is open to visitors from Fridays to Sundays with free admission.

Experience life and farming in the early days of the Depression recreated through interactive programs, displays, and various events like farm play and chores, demonstrations, Farm Summer Camp, and many more.

Visit the single-room Zimmerman School dating back to the 1890s and imagine sitting as a student during that era.

The farm also offers Fruit and Vegetable Activity featuring early agricultural practices and techniques for growing crops in gardens, fields, and orchards.

Meet the cats on a Barn Cat Activity like Bad Eye, the farm’s official greeter, along with Elly May, Sue, and Scruffy.

You can also join Carter Historic Farm’s Chicken Activity to learn about the farm’s different chicken breeds, see Merino Sheep’s breed at the Sheep Activity, and the Myotonic goat breed during the Goat Activity.

Marvel at Colorful Blooms in Simpson Garden

Signage of Simpson Garden

Rosamar /

Simpson Garden is a public space that hosts 11 acres of impressive rolling gardens in Bowling Green.

The Corner Garden offers a mix of shrubs, greens, perennials, and stunning annuals, while the East Entry Garden has additions of bulbs that add color during the growing season.

Sit in the shady Willow Walk, see more colorful perennials at the West Entry Garden or visit the 1.3-acre Shade Garden designed with lines of ornamental plants.

Beautiful pinnk colored flower at Simpson Garden

Rosamar /

Take your little ones to the Children’s Discovery Garden, a hands-on teaching garden featuring the Underground Room, the Silly Garden, Potting Shed, The Storybook Garden, Mr. McGregor’s Garden, and the Herb Garden, all offering a fun learning experience.

Drop by the Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden to see these creatures perch on the trees and plants and get into a more relaxing mood at the Sensory Garden.

Observe other gardens, including the Sculpture, Upland, and Peace Gardens, all presenting different species of flora.

Pretty Purple flower at Simpson Garden

Rosamar /

See over 30 species of trees at Terrific Trees, the geometric line of trees at the Alée, the lovely Daylily Walk, and various medicinal plants at the Healing Garden.

Enjoy a relaxing stroll at Simpson Garden!

Visit the National Construction Equipment Museum

The National Construction Equipment Museum is a unique attraction and one of its kind in Bowling Green.

The facility preserves and showcases various machines, artifacts, and exhibits highlighting the history and development of construction machinery from the early 1800s to the present.

You’ll view a collection of over 90 machines from the late 1800s to the 1960s.

Discover the history of industries like construction, surface mining, and dredging in the region and how these industries thrived in different periods.

There’s nothing quite like the machine exhibits at the National Construction Equipment Museum.

Go Rappelling at Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve

Drop by Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve in Perrysburg for a more adventurous time.

The Sawyer family donated the park area that used to be a limestone quarry.

Find and explore several elevations, artifacts, and geological features in the area.

Alternatively, go around the woods and view scenic spring wildflowers, which the Preserve is known for.

Go for an exciting climb and join a rappelling program; the site is a popular venue for experienced climbers.

You’re advised to prepare complete gear and check their website’s guidelines for rappelling.

The Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve is open daily for day tours.

Drop by the Toledo Lake Erie and Western Railway and Museum Inc.

The Toledo Lake Erie and Western Railway and Museum Inc. is another specialized museum you can visit in Grand Rapids.

Little ones can ride on the Grand Rapids Motorcar Trains, drop by the shops, and enjoy snacks at the restaurants.

Witness an array of locomotives featured on the museum grounds, such as the Ann Arbor #1, the first diesel locomotive by the Ann Arbor Railroad, and the 62, an ALCo locomotive built for the RF&P.

See the industrial switcher 112, built for US Steel and utilized in limestone operations; the 202, a passenger train used for many years by the organization; and the Ohio #5109, which served as a yard switcher for Chesapeake and Ohio.

There are also several coaches, cabooses, freight equipment, and maintenance equipment you can see on display at the Toledo Lake Erie and Western Railway and Museum Inc.

Dig Into the Past at Wood County Museum

Wood County Museum during autumn

Mbrickn, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wood County Museum in downtown Bowling Green aims to promote and showcase the county’s rich history.

The building was formerly the Wood County Infirmary known as the County Home, until it was converted into a museum in 1975.

Visit the various exhibits on topics like mental illness, global diseases, and more at the Pestilence House and Lunatic Asylum areas.

Walk along the Lyle Fletcher Arboretum with trees and shrubs planned under the direction of the Wood County historian and professor.

Likewise, stroll the lovely Adam Phillips Park, named after the Wood County pioneer, then visit the pond area popular for bank fishing.

Take a short walk on the Oil Derrick trail or head to the longer Log Cabin trail towards the south part of the property.

Walk inside the county’s first refrigeration model, way before electric refrigeration was created; this was utilized to preserve food served to residents in the Infirmary.

Kids can also enjoy their visit with a Scavenger Hunt around the Museum and Traveling Trunks activities.

Before leaving, check the Wood County Museum Gift Shop for must-haves, local arts, edibles, accessories, pampering essentials, and books.

Enjoy Water Activities at Orleans Park

In Perrysburg, Orleans Park is an outdoor attraction to bring your family to.

The park lies along the Maumee River, making it a famous fishing location in the area.

Launch your jet ski or boat or paddle on your canoe or kayak to enjoy the lake waters.

While you’re there, grab some packed lunch and set a picnic at the tables or stroll the walking path on the riverside to Fort Meigs State Memorial, which is connected to the park.

During winter, enjoy sledding on a small hill in the park area.

Slow down and spend a relaxing day at Orleans Park.

Browse Art Collections at the Bowling Green State University Art Galleries

Bowling Green State University Arts Galleries in the downtown city area offer free and open art exhibitions to the public.

Artworks are presented in various mediums by recognized artists, art groups, regional artists, and even students and faculty.

Browse and appreciate different masterpieces in the three galleries: the Dorothy Uber Bryan Art Gallery, the Willard Wankelman Art Gallery, and the Hiroko Nakamoto Gallery featuring Japanese Arts.

Catch various interesting contemporary works, from political to cultural and social issues and themes.

You can also find featured exhibits with some artworks for sale.

Bowling Green State University Art Galleries holds different exhibits every time, so there’s something new to see on each visit.

Try Creative Activities at 577 Foundation

577 Foundation in Perrysburg is open to visitors and aims to foster creativity and learning.

The foundation began as a way to honor Virginia Secor Stranahan’s values and passion for learning and love for the environment.

Visit the 577 Welcome Center & Curiosity Shop, formerly the Book Center, and scan through thousands of book collections, view artistic pottery displays and browse different art supply selections.

Learn pottery techniques and skills with studio classes under the direction of a Ceramic Artist or the Pottery Studio Manager.

Try your creativity with fiber art classes at the Cottage and House, from basics like fundamental sewing skills to crochet and embroidery, or join more experienced classes like machine sewing, basket weaving, and more.

Sign up for your preferred art mediums in drawing, painting, woodcraft, fused glass, and others, try the Culinary Arts class, or focus on your well-being with Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Meditation classes.

You will learn about home gardening or nature conservation at 577 Foundation if you have a green thumb.

Other Things To Do Nearby

See the Animal Exhibits at Toledo Zoo

Aquarium at Toledo Zoo

DreamingKoala, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Around 25 minutes from the county area, you’ll find Toledo Zoo in Lucas County.

Big and small kids will surely enjoy the different zoo attractions and experiences like the African Carousel, Safari Railway, and Aquarium Adventure Trail.

Discover the prehistoric animal giants like American Lions and Mastodons in Ohio: After the Ice exhibit or view the tropical oasis in the Tropics exhibit.

Amphitheatre at Toledo Zoo

DreamingKoala, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Experience an interactive nature trip at the Wetlands & Lakes and check out the larger-than-life exhibit at the Oak Forest.

Otherwise, explore the waterways at the Rivers & Streams attraction, and enjoy the beauty of plants and wildlife at the Native Prairies.

Meet the zoo animals like the African Penguin and Kagu birds, mammals like the Addra Gazelle and Colobus Monkey, and reptiles and amphibians like the Bushmaster and Tuatara, among others.

An old bear at Toledo Zoo

DreamingKoala, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the invertebrates like the Leaf-Cutter Ant and Karner Blue Butterfly and catch the aquarium animals like the Bichir, Blacktip Reef Shark, and Pacific Sea Nettles.

If you get hungry, stroll through the food concession grounds and find some restaurants, including Beastro Beer & Wine Garden, Cafe at The Museum, and Southside Grill.

Toledo Zoo also offers overnight programs, such as Family Overnight, Spend the Night at the Zoo, and Twilight Trek in the Zoo.

Visit the Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site

Perfectly lined trees at the Fallen Timbers Battlefield

Zack Frank /

The Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site are located in Maumee, approximately 20 minutes from Wood County.

The 187-acre open area of the Fallen Timbers Battlefield was the site of the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, which ended the Northwest Indian War.

You’ll find the 9-acre Fallen Timbers Monument located south of the battlefield, listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Another monument you’ll come across is General Wayne’s 10-foot bronze statue, also recognized as a Historic Landmark, which presents a significant event in U.S. history.

Take some time to look at the two stone markers representing the wounded U.S. troops and the Indian casualties during the war.

Likewise, visit the Turkeyfoot Rock, a rock linked to American Indian ceremonies and offerings.

A few minutes’ walk is Fort Miamis, a British fort that played a role in the Fallen Timbers and War of 1812, where much of the earthwork is intact.

Metroparks Toledo administrates The Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site.

Observe Heavenly Bodies at the Ritter Planetarium

Exterior view of Ritter Planetarium

MrJacon000, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The University of Toledo’s main campus houses the Ritter Planetarium, around 30 minutes from Wood County.

They host a Friday night program for the public and a Saturday afternoon program designed for young audiences.

Virtually travel through space and time in an interactive night sky with a state-of-the-art digital projector and surround sound, providing a superb full-dome experience.

Hear about discussions on astronomical events and learn from the answer and questions afterward.

Catch sight of the stars and planets on the telescopes if the weather allows.

Finally, tour the Helen and Elgin Brooks Observatory and see the 14-inch telescope inside the 12-foot dome at McMaster Hall.

Final Thoughts

Wood County has plenty of historical sites and natural locations that offer unique experiences.

There are also lots of art stops, parks, and themed museums that you’ll find amusing, along with family-friendly attractions to enjoy together.

If you’re interested in history, love natural landscapes, or are into the arts, you’ll have a wonderful time visiting this county.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and enjoy the best things to do in Wood County, Ohio.

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