The Sap Is Running. Time for a Trip to Geauga County

Bonnie and I took a trip across Geauga County this past week.  We were celebrating one of the first sunny days in many weeks.

We stopped at Fowler’s Mill which has been around for over 175 years on the western edge of the county.  The neat thing here is that after all those years it is still a working mill.  They tell me that while much of their flour is produced elsewhere they do still grind local-grown corn into cornmeal just as they did 175 years ago.  You can buy a bag of the freshly ground meal in their store on the first floor.  You can also find jams, jellies and some other locally produced items.

Fowler’s Mill is located at 12500 Fowlers Mill Road, near Chardon.  The phone number is 800-321-2024 or you can visit their website at

This is a perfect time to visit Geauga County since it is also maple syrup time.  Yep, the sap is running in the maple trees as we get some warm days after freezing nights.  A perfect place to see the process is at the Burton Chamber of Commerce Log Cabin on the square in Burton.  Just about every maple tree in the park and along city streets is sporting a silver sap bucket to catch the drip,drip,drip of the clear fluid that oozes out of the trees this time of year.  At the log cabin they have the evaporators going and turn the sap into golden maple syrup, which in turn is sold to tourists who stop by.   A gallon of the golden syrup this year will cost about sixty dollars.

The Burton Log Cabin is located at 14590 East Park Street in Burton, 440-834-4204 or you can visit their website at

I always ask friends who live in the area for recommendations for a place to eat when I visit an area.  I had two recommendations for Alley’s Grille, located in the Harrington Square Mall on the west side of Middlefield.

I had a cup of their corn chowder, which I learned is made from scratch like the other soups they serve each day.  It was very good.  Lots of corn and chunks of potato in a rich creamy sauce.  Bonnie and I both had Asiago Chicken Salad that was on special that day.  It came on a bed of fresh greens, very-well prepared and served with a hot gorgonzolla/Italian dressing that complimented both the chicken and greens.  Prices were reasonable, service was good  and everything was very clean.

The only drawbacks we found is that it is a bit hard to find tucked away off a hallway inside the little strip mall.  The other problem, they are only open for lunch, except on Friday when they serve a fish dinner until 8 PM.  They are closed both Saturday and Sunday.

Alley’s Grille can be found at 15561 W. High Street, Middlefield, 440-632-9280.  They do not have a website.

Most everyone who follows my travels knows that I really enjoy oddities.  If it’s big and unusual I like it.  We got to visit Middlefield’s “Big Cow” at Settler’s Village, a collection of art and craft shops on the north side of Middlefield.

The cow, created by artist Chris McConnell is big.  It is 16 feet long and 7 feet tall and made from 25 junked automobile hoods that Chris and an assistant pounded and cut into pieces to create the huge Holstein cow.  The cow has become a landmark and joins Chris’ other work a giant wooden horse and buggy in nearby Mesopotamia.

The big cow can been found lying on the lawn in front of Settlers Village at the corner of Nauvoo Road and State Route 608, Middlefield.  For more information contact the Geauga  County Tourism Council at 14907 N. State Street, Middlefield, 800-775-8687 or visit their website at

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