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Marietta-Washington County

Marietta-Washington county is a place of bold beginnings and new adventures for travelers of all ages. Established in 1788 Marietta is known as the first settlement in the Northwest Territory. This picturesque river town with European ambiance is conveniently located just off Exit 1 on I-77. Named by the Smithsonian Magazine as the #6 best small town to visit in 2014, Marietta is positioned at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers. Its brick streets are lined with lush hardwood trees and opulent Victorian homes. Our city is always alive with activity, modern yet delightfully old.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Marietta Trail Systems

As one of the nation's best adventure towns, Marietta is home to six of the most popular hiking trails in Ohio- more than any other place. Whether you prefer a route long or short, easy-going or challenging, the Pioneer City has a path to meet your pace. 

The River Trail: Is a 3 .5 mile, fully accessible, paved, multi-use path on mostly level ground wrapping around Marietta's historic district along the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers, leading from the Lafayette Shopping Center to Indian Acres Park and the Marietta Aquatic Center.

The Marietta Trail Network: is an 18+ mile long system of rugged terrain perfect for hiking or mountain biking. These off-road trails located near Marietta High School are maintained by the River Valley Mountain Bike Association. The Network is open to bicycle and foot traffic only and use during wet or muddy conditions is discouraged. 

There are other ways to get your boots dirty without leaving town. The trails of Kris Mar Woods, North Hills and the North Country Trail are full of adventure.  The Kroger Wetlands Trail, one of the shortest and simplest in town, leads to a nature preserve bursting with activity. 

Washington County

Explore the wilderness of Washington County on one of six marked hiking trails at the 500-acre Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area. Or, go further into the woods at the Wayne National Forest. Situated in the hills of southeast Ohio, the forest includes more than 300 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Churches of Marietta

The characteristic domes of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption rise high above the tree-lined brick streets of ministerial section of old Marietta inviting the faithful to enter and worship.

The first catholic mass was held near this place in 1749- before the country was born- when a French expedition clebrated mass at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers.

Recently, the Vatican elevated St. Mary's Church with the designation of a minor basilica- a merit bestowed on places of historic and cultural significance. This means that Pope Francis has conferred certain privileges on the church.

The Marietta landmark is one of just 80 sites in the United States to have this papal honor.

The Spanish Renaissance style church dedicated in the early 1900s rises from a platform ten feet above the street to a height of more than 100 feet.  The stained glass windows, which are from Munich, Germany, came through the British blockade on continental Europe just before the First World War.

Artworks adorning the immense cathedral include four series of Biblical stories- paintings depicting the life  of Christ, mixed media sculptures of the stations of the cross, and paintings representing the stations of light. The life of the Holy Mother is vividly portrayed in stained glass with the assumption coming to life in sculpture at the focus of the house of worship.

Faith was so important to Marietta's founding fathers that they set aside a portion of town reserved for the support of religion called the ministerial section.  Today this part of historic Marietta still hosts some of the most architecturally significant churches in the state.

 The First Congregational Church at 318 Front Street was built in 1906 to resemble a Boston Church attended by Rufus Putnam . Both of the church buildings featured two "bell cones" or towers, which were visible from the river.

The First Unitarian Universalist Church at 232 Third Street was built in 1856 by John Slocomb. It is one of Marietta's most stunning Gothic structures with bricks handmade from clay taken from the ancient earthworks at Sacra Via. Slocomb was also the architect of St. Lukes Episcopal Church and The Castle.

Ascending toward the heavens, the historic churches of Marietta are high in architectural splendor.

An Ariel view of The Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption