Day Trippin’: Wheeling Part 2

“Day Trippin with Uncle Mike” is a Pickerington Online series featuring fun trips within a few hours of Violet Township, Ohio. Michael Nicodemus is a biology professor, birder, travel enthusiast & uncle.

December 29, 2022
by Pickerington Online Contributor Dr. Michael Nicodemus

There is too much to do in the Wheeling area for just one day, so, this is a follow-up to the first Wheeling day trip. In this installment, we went to areas near Wheeling that are a little ways off the beaten path. Photo by Rachel Moore

Oglebay Park

Oglebay Park is a beautiful 1650 acre park that was donated to the city of Wheeling nearly 100 years ago by Earl Oglebay. It has attractions and activities for a broad range of interests nestled among the Appalachian foothills. The landscaping is well-maintained and dotted with the occasional sculpture. There are many locations in the park where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the green hills receding into the horizon.

Oglebay Resort – Lodging

If you would like to stay in the park, Wilson Lodge has fancy rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, and a sauna and jacuzzi. If you aren’t highfalutin’ there are also cabins available and nearby hotels. Photo by Michael Nicodemus

Oglebay Resort – Nature

There are around five miles of paved trails and many more unpaved trails in the park. Additionally, there are winding roads through the park. You will almost always see deer in the park, but you are also likely to see other mammals and birds, often including flocks of turkeys. Photo by Michael Nicodemus
Photo by Michael Nicodemus
Photo by Michael Nicodemus

Oglebay Resort – “The Good Zoo”

The “Good Zoo” is small, but much beloved by children. It has 50 species of animals, 20 of which are endangered. There is a petting zoo, a train, and a playground. It is open daily from 11 am to 3 pm. Admission is $11.95 for adults and $7.95 for children ages 3-12. Admission is free for children younger than 3 and guests staying at either Wilson lodge or cabins. Members of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium pay half price.

Oglebay Resort – Schenk Lake

Schenk Lake has opportunities for fishing and boating. There are often waterfowl on the lake for birdwatchers to enjoy. Sometimes, the park holds classical music concerts by the lake in the evenings. Photo by Michael Nicodemus
Photo by Michael Nicodemus

Oglebay Resort – Glass Museum

The glass museum has diverse examples of the glassware that defined the artistic expression of the Wheeling area during the 19th and early 20th century. Photo by Michael Nicodemus
Photo by Michael Nicodemus

Oglebay Resort – Farmhouse Sweets and Treats

The Sweets and Treats Shop has ice cream and an assortment of food and craft gifts. The interesting (or really weird, depending on your point of view) thing is that they sell Christmas and Halloween items year round. Photo by Michael Nicodemus


Oglebayfest combines Octoberfest, a folk festival, an art show, and a country fair into one event. There are 4-H competitions, displays of frontier skill, chainsaw wood carving, German exhibits, and many kinds of good food. The event occurs every year in October. Oglebayfest Photos by Susan Tyska

Oglebay Resort – Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights happens every year from early November to early January. Many of the displays are built in part by students at Wheeling Park High School. Over a million people see the lights every year. If you want to beat the crowds, do not go right around major holidays. By ten or so at night, the traffic thins considerably, but it may not be an option for those with young children. The slideshow below shows more of the light displays:

Country Roads

West Virginia is criss-crossed with wild, scenic backroads, wending through dense woods or agrarian landscapes. There are many scenic vistas and small rustic towns. My best advice for finding them is to start out with a full tank of gas and then just explore. Just go out and get lost and then find your way out. Most of my favorite discoveries came from being somewhat intentionally lost. If you are not into the getting-lost idea, then Rt. 88, which goes through Oglebay is not a bad place to start. After Oglebay, it heads north through a handful of small towns, through valleys and ridges, along streams and farms. Just about any road off of Rt. 88 will take you through even more rugged and beautiful landscapes.

Brooke Hills Playhouse

Brooke Hills Playhouse has plays throughout the summer that are performed in a modified barn. It has an intimate, country feel, providing for a different kind of theatrical experience.

Drover’s Inn

Drover’s Inn was built in 1848. When you eat at Drover’s, you do feel like you are eating in a 19th century roadside inn. The tables and decorations are from various periods in the history of the inn. When you go to Drover’s, get the wings. It seems ridiculous to go to a 19th century inn to get buffalo wings, but their wings are some of the best I have ever had. They also have an array of other types of “bar food”.

Check out Uncle Mike’s previous adventures:
Day Trippin’ – Amish Country
Day Trippin’ – Cinci Part 1
Day Trippin’ – Grandview
Day Trippin’ – Wheeling Part 1