Lots to do in the Mansfield area, including two state parks with trails and picnic areas. Malabar Farms and Mohican State Park.
Situated about 10 minutes outside of Mansfield is Malabar Farm. The home of writer Louis Bromfield was also known as the setting for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's wedding and honeymoon. It sits on a large amount of land out in an agricultural area. Malabar Farms is a state park and has a large visitor's center. I suggest you stop by to read up on agricultural life and learn about farming, crops and animals from the displays and learn more about the farm. Some items of Bromfield's are also on display, such as his typewriter. Tours of the "Big House" are $4 and tours of the farm are $2 or you can combine the two for $5. Tours run seven days a week Memorial Day through Labor Day and on some weekends at other times. There is also a restaurant and produce stand nearby. A hostel is situated in a two-story house along the entrance area to the property. There is a walking trail and several picnic tables, so you can pack a lunch. For more information about visiting Malabar Farm Historical State Park, visit http://www.malabarfarm.org/.
Mohican State Park
Located in Loudonville, this state park features hiking and biking trails, a covered bridge, Pleasant Valley Dam and Pleasant Valley Lake, camping areas and a lodge. Although you're in Ohio, driving through the area feels more like the Smoky Mountains or Blue Ridge Parkway area because of all the large pine trees. Be sure to be on the lookout for wildlife as a fox crossed the road during our visit. You can also take a picnic lunch or plan on having a cookout here. Picnic tables are located near the dam and picnic tables and grills are available in the primitive camping area near the covered bridge. If you don't feel like roughing it, there is a nice lodge located near the lake area. To plan your visit, check out the website at http://www.mohicanstatepark.org/
Other things to see and do in the Mansfield area: Two drive-in theaters; see Elektro the first robot; see The Ohio State Prison where The Shawshank Redemption was filmed; shop at Mansfield Mall and one of my favorite discount stores, Gabriel Brothers; dine in railroad cars at The Buckeye Express Diner.
***Coming up next weekend (July 13-15) is the Great Mohican Indian Pow Wow featuring shows and vendors.