Kirtland, Ohio is a small town in northeast Ohio approximately 20 minutes east of Cleveland. Well-known for being the location of the first Mormon Temple (LDS), Kirtland has quite a few attractions worth exploring in this scenic town.
Kirtland is surrounded by horse and cattle farms with a large portion of the town that still remains forest preserves and park areas. The Kirtland Visitor Center is a good place to start your visit in the area. The center will show you the history of the Latter Day Saints movement in this area under the guidance of Joseph Smith between 1830-1838.
The Whitney Store built in1820
Reconstructed Sawmill & Ashery
Some of the buildings you will tour are 80 percent original like the Whitney general store and the Whitney home. The first Mormon temple is just around the corner from the visitor center and can be toured (no photography inside).
A short drive from the Kirtland Visitor Center is the Lake Metroparks Penitentiary Glen Reservation and the Holden Arboretum. At the Penitentiary Glen Reservation, you can take a guided hike through the gorge that divides the park in two or take a ride on one of the small scale steam engine trains that will take you around the rim of the gorge. Venture out on your own on one the many other hiking trails. This park also serves as a rehabilitation center for hundreds of injured or orphaned animals.
The Holden Aboretum is a great place to take in all the beauty of nature with walks through over 20 miles of wooded trails, stroll through the butterfly garden, wildflower gardens that include over 400 native Ohio plants, sit by ponds filled with water lilies and surrounded by stunning flowers. The Aboretum is quite a delight for bird watchers too (bring your binoculars).
The new Murch Canopy Walk, at 500 feet long and 65 feet high, makes you feel like you are walking along the tree tops.
The Emergent Tower stands at 120 feet in height, when you reach the top you peer over the forests to see lakes, farms, and the town of Kirtland. Unfortunately, rain clouds gathered and I could not see Lake Erie. The Aboretum offers tram tours May -October. Dogs are also welcome but need to be on a leash. You can plan a special event at the Aboretum, popular for weddings and photography sessions.
Lake Metroparks Farmpark, once an Arabian Horse Farm, is a working farm on 235 acres. This is a terrific place for the whole family to spend an entire day, there is so much to do and learn here.
Experience milking a cow or making cheese, learn the different breeds of horses or dogs, and pet newborn animals. At the Plant Science Center you will learn about plant life,the hydroponics greenhouse, and find out why bees are so important to us. You can also watch the maple sugaring process (in season).
At the Visitor Center you can shop at their gift shop or have lunch at the café. There are tons of activities and events throughout the year, so there is always something going on at the farm and why thousands of visitors continue to visit. This is a favorite spot among local Ohioans.
Need an afternoon spot of tea and scone after all your exploring? Look no further than the Reminisce Tea Room.
Charming ambiance with a wonderful variety of teas, pastries and desserts. A plentiful lunch of salads, soups, and sandwiches or an entrée of Quiche, Crepes or Chicken Pot Pie and others to choose from. You will leave more than satisfied!
Next door to the Tea Room is the Sweeter Than Honeycomb Bakery.
Crème puffs, bread pudding, oversized cookies and huge brownies. They also offer cakes, cheesecakes, scones, and hand dipped chocolates and so much more. Nice selection and reasonably priced!
Kirtland is an ideal town for doing a little sight-seeing, learning Ohio history, and enjoying all that our great outdoors has to offer. But, don’t forget the sweets!
Kirtland Visitor Center @ 7800 Kirtland Chardon Rd, Ph: (440) 256-9805
Kirtland Temple @ 7809 Joseph St, Ph: (440) 256-1830
Lake Metroparks Penitentiary Glen Reservation @ 8668 Kirtland Chardon Rd Ph: (440) 256-1404
Holden Arboretum @ 9500 Sperry Rd Ph: (440) 946-4400
Lakes Metroparks Farmpark @ 8800 Euclid Chardon Rd, Ph: (440) 256-2122
Reminisce Tea Room @ 9328 Chillicothe Rd Unit A, Ph: (440) 606-5020
Sweeter Than Honeycomb @ 9328 Chillicothe Rd, Ph: (440) 622-0491
*******All pictures taken by Simple Sojourner unless otherwise noted