Long’s Retreat and Chillicothe: Leisure, history and heritage
By Abbey Roy

Long’s Retreat and Chillicothe: Leisure, history and heritage

When we scheduled a return visit to Long’s Retreat Family Resort this summer, the bar had already been set pretty high.

With last year’s carousel rides, go-karts, swimming, arcade and great accommodations from which to enjoy it all, we weren’t sure how our experience could be topped in 2014.

Then a hot air balloon landed in the field across from our cabin (on purpose, of course), proving that this was going to be an epic trip.

Long’s is located in Latham, less than two hours’ drive east of Cincinnati and an hour and a half southwest of Columbus. While you may not heard of it unless you’re a Long’s regular (and there are quite a few of them), its nearest sizeable city is Chillicothe–an important stop along our journey this year.

One thing is for sure: Long’s is more than just a campground. In addition to cabins and spots for RVs as well as permanent and plain ‘ol tents-only sites, Long’s is a one-stop shop for travelers visiting for a day, week or season.


As mentioned, there are rides and entertainment for all ages. Our four-year-old enjoyed dominating at the mini go-karts (and riding the big ones with Daddy), riding the carousel with her little sister and she even accompanied me on a canoe trip down the lake.

Of course swimming was the highlight, and the slight chilliness of the lake didn’t seem to bother the swimmers who flocked there to test out the water slides or splash around.

My husband gave the Wave Rider a try, and his tubing-esque experience was a blast for the rest of us to watch.

The hot air balloon was one of many special activities that took place as part of Long’s “Splash into Summer” event, and though we didn’t hop into the lengthy line for ride, we did enjoy watching the balloon light up late at night while we sat by the campfire after the kids were in bed.

We spent one day of our stay exploring Chillicothe. Along the way, we enjoyed a satisfying meal at the Old Canal Smokehouse and a drive through the impressive and historic downtown area.

Our return trip the next day brought us to Adena Mansion & Gardens, the 2,000-acre estate of Ohio’s sixth governor and United States Senator Thomas Worthington. We enjoyed touring not only the serene grounds and historic homes, but also a museum that helped us understand the history and culture behind the structure and grounds.

We also visited the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, where we stopped into an on-site museum to learn about the ancient earthworks and burial mounds of the Hopewell people.

One last bit of advice: If you’re planning a trip to Long’s Retreat or Chillicothe this summer, don’t forget to add Tecumseh! to your list. The outdoor drama runs from June 6 to Aug. 30 and tells the story of the Shawnee leader and his fight for his Ohio homeland (more on that in a future blog post).


About the Author

Abbey Roy is a Kent State University journalism graduate. She writes a weekly column entitled the Bargain Advocate for the Newark Advocate and Media Network of Central Ohio and enjoys spending time with her family - her husband, Seth, and two daughters, Analeigh and Aria - reading, being outdoors (especially in the woods, water or both), bicycling and photography. She also makes a mean zucchini bread. You can email Abbey at abbey.m.roy@gmail.com.