When the great glaciers of the Ice Age completed their work in the area that later became Tuscarawas County, they left behind a beautiful valley that with some helping hands eventually produced a playground for people of all ages and tastes. And when it's time to play, Tuscarawas County's residents utilize many ways to maximize their enjoyment. Tuscarawas County's peaceful landscape offers lush areas for many types of outdoor recreation while its villages and cities also feature parks and playgrounds for hours of pleasure. Several specialized indoor recreation complexes provide opportunities for activities during inclement weather and the colder winter months. Festivals and other events celebrating the county's unique heritage and culture also dot the calendar throughout much of the year, showcasing entertainment, activities, food and fun. And the area's numerous challenging golf courses steadily have gained a reputation as among the best in the state and region.
Golfing vacations to Tuscarawas County have become commonplace in recent years, with the various packages available through the courses and lodging facilities. The lakes of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District entertain an estimated 5.5 million visitors annually in Tuscarawas and the surrounding counties of east-central Ohio. Constructed in the 1930s for flood control in the area, the 10 lakes in the MWCD jurisdiction have become an outdoor recreation paradise where boating, fishing, camping, swimming, hiking, hunting and even lakeside residences now are commonplace. Portions of Atwood, Clendening, Leesville and Tappan lakes are located in and surround the county, and with free launch ramps and marinas on each lake, access to these public lakes is readily available.
Lake parks at Atwood and Tappan lakes offer camping, family vacation cabins, planned and special activities, hiking trails, swimming beaches and more. Each of the lakes is distinct in its size and characteristics, with varying species of fish and differing horsepower limits for boat motors. Atwood Lake Park also is the home of the annual Atwood Area Fall Festival, held the first weekend in October. The three-day festival offers a giant craft show, car show and living history encampment, along with food prepared solely by area civic and community organizations and constant entertainment.
The county seat, New Philadelphia, boasts lovely Tuscora Park, which consistently is considered one of the state's most attractive municipal parks. Although maintained by the city, an amusement park located inside Tuscora Park is managed by a community service organization, New Philadelphia Rotary. The amusement park includes a roller coaster, ferris wheel, batting cages, rides for younger children and more. In addition, the park features an old-fashioned carousel which attracts visitors from throughout the nation and world since it is one of a few of its kind remaining. Newlyweds, couples celebrating special anniversaries and others marking birthdays and noted occasions have planned their festivities to include visits to the carousel. But that's not all at the park. A stocked fishing pond, eight lighted tennis courts, a large swimming and diving complex, concession stand, game fields, basketball courts, miniature golf and ball diamonds also are available. Picnic and activity shelters are rented for group events and the park also is home to Quaker Stadium, which hosts a myriad of community football, soccer and track activities.
Recently, a center for teens, Park Place, opened in the park. With computer facilities, sandwiches and soft drinks, along with video games and other activities, the center has become a recognized location for safe and fun teen entertainment in a relaxed environment with adult supervision. In neighboring Dover, indoor and outdoor facilities are available at Memorial Hall and Dover City Park. Memorial Hall contains a gymnasium and several meeting rooms and is utilized for community basketball and volleyball leagues, as well as receptions, meetings and other group activities. Various senior citizen programs also are held in Memorial Hall. At Dover City Park, youth, scholastic and adult leagues are played at the facility's baseball diamonds, tennis complex and basketball courts. A swimming complex and picnic shelters also are available and teen dances and other activities are held in the park's indoor event center.
The city's widely recognized football complex, Crater Stadium, hosts football games, soccer, and track and field events. Uhrichsville, Dennison and Newcomerstown also have park facilities with varying features and swimming complexes. Uhrichsville City Park includes basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, picnic shelters, playground areas and a miniature golf course. At Dennison, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, a picnic shelter and a children's playground are available at the village park. Newcomerstown's Cy Young Memorial Park boasts numerous picnic shelters, a baseball complex and a children's playground. Other communities in the county feature parks with various facilities, including game courts, playgrounds, shelters, ball diamonds and other amenities.
The Tuscarawas County YMCA is located nearly in the middle of Dover and New Philadelphia. A sprawling complex of indoor and outdoor activities throughout the year, the YMCA has several thousand members of all age groups and programs open to members and non-members alike. With frequent renovation and expansion programs over the past few decades, the Tuscarawas County YMCA boasts a large indoor swimming complex, whirlpool, large gymnasium complex, spacious locker facilities, a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor training area, racquetball and tennis courts, outdoor ballfields and soccer fields, meeting rooms and more.
Youth and adult instructional and league activities are held throughout the year and various other services are available. Out on the links, a myriad of courses and challenges await golfers who enjoy variety and convenience within a drive of only a few minutes in all directions to public golf courses. The Dover-New Philadelphia area is home to Oak Shadows Golf Club and Green Valley Golf Club. Oak Shadows features an 18-hole championship course with several other amenities, including a full pro shop, snack bar and a PGA professional on site. Green Valley also offers an 18-hole championship course with a lounge and restaurant, pro shop, PGA pro and other features. Big Bend Golf Course and Five Waters Golf Club are located in the Uhrichsville-Dennison area. Big Bend at Uhrichsville features a nine-hole course along with a pro shop, snack bar and other amenities. Five Waters Golf Club at Midvale includes a nine-hole regulation course along with a nine-hole par-3 course, and offers a pro shop, clubhouse and banquet and party room. Sugarcreek is home to Willandale Golf Club, which offers an 18-hole championship course along with a pro shop, driving range and the services of a PGA pro. Wilkshire Golf Course and Zoar Village Golf Course are located in the Bolivar-Zoar area. Wilkshire features an 18-hole championship course, PGA pro, clubhouse and snack bar. Zoar also has an 18-hole championship course to go with a complete pro shop, snack bar and other amenities.
Union Country Club at Dover is a private club with a regulation golf course and offerings such as swimming and tennis facilities, formal and casual dining and more. In addition, Tuscarawas County's location provides ease of travel to several dozen award-winning public and private golf courses within about 100 miles. Some of these include Atwood Lake Resort's championship 18-hole course and lighted par-3 course at Atwood Lake, River Greens Golf Club near West Lafayette, Fire Ridge Golf Course at Millersburg, Tam O'Shanter Golf Course at Canton and Longaberger Golf Club near Newark.
The warm-weather months of spring, summer and fall may be perfect for golf, and they also are an ideal setting for the numerous outdoor festivals and events which celebrate the area's heritage and culture. Dozens of events are held throughout the year in nearly every community, with the Tuscarawas County Fair at Dover in September topping the schedule. Some of the noted events around the county include the Ohio Swiss Festival at Sugarcreek, First Town Days Festival at New Philadelphia, Canal Dover Days Festival at Dover, Tuscarawas County Italian-American Festival at New Philadelphia and the Clay Week Festival at Uhrichsville. With its location and natural beauty, Tuscarawas County is an ideal location for families to live, work and play. The ease of travel to all points in the county and the large number of quality recreation areas and facilities helps Tuscarawas County residents lead rich, active lives. Information about the county's recreational facilities and amenities is available at numerous outlets and on the Internet.
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