Driving on a Chicago to Millersburg road trip will lead you past Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. The 90-mile Heritage Trail in Elkhart County, IN, allows you to experience elements of Amish heritage, and you can explore Amish shops and other types of boutiques at various small towns on the way. There are two national parks near your route and numerous state and national preserves as well. Chicago, Toledo, and Cleveland are large metropolitan cities that are on your route and are easy to add to your Chicago to Millersburg road trip itinerary.
Indiana Dunes National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park is located south of Lake Michigan and contains 15 miles of the lake's coastline on the northern border of the park. The towering sand dunes are the main attraction, but the park has numerous available activities. With more than 50 miles of hiking trails in the park, visitors can experience diverse landscapes of rivers, marshes, bogs, prairies, beaches, and woods. The Dunes Succession Trail on West Beach is a strenuous climb of 270 stairs with a beautiful scenic view of Lake Michigan and the city of Chicago at the top. You can enjoy recreational activities in all seasons in the park, such as ice fishing, snow skiing, and snowshoeing in the winter and fishing, swimming, and non-motorized boating in the summer. There are spring wildflowers in April and May and brilliant fall colors in autumn.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Step into the past when you visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park and experience a taste of life in the 1800s in the Great Lakes region of Ohio. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located just below Lake Erie and is close to the cities of Akron And Cleveland. The reclaimed Cuyahoga River runs through the park, and visitors can enjoy paddling activities and fishing opportunities on this now pristine watershed. Hikers can walk along a portion of the original towpath of The Ohio and Erie Canal, which was built to connect the Ohio Valley to the Erie Canal. Popular activities in the park include hiking to Brandywine Falls, riding the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, and touring the Canal Exploration Center. In the winter months, people come to Cuyahoga Valley to cross-country ski and snowshoe.
Findley State Park
Findley State Park was built in the 1930s with help from the Civilian Conservation Corps, who planted stands of maple, white ash, oak, beech, red pine, and black cherry. The 838-acre park is heavily forested, and there is a variety of wildlife inside the park, like raccoons, deer, foxes, and beavers. The butterfly sanctuary contains specimens of the rare Duke's skipper butterfly. The park is a popular destination for hiking and mountain biking, and the trail system is connected to the statewide Buckeye Trail. The trails are particularly inviting during the spring and fall seasons.
Mary Jane Thurston State Park
Mary Jane Thurston State Park is on the Maumee River and offers excellent fishing for everyone. The river is home to channel catfish, white bass, walleye, crappie, sheepshead, pike, smallmouth bass, bullhead, and more. Within the park, there are designated hunting areas for animals and waterfowl. The landscapes are varied and contain marshes, prairies, and dunes, and hikers can walk on several nature trails. There are also six miles of multi-use trails in the North Turkeyfoot Area, and you can explore portions of the old Miami and Erie Canal. The park's archery range includes static and 3-D targets, which are set at 10, 20, 30, and 40 yards. Only field tips are allowed.
Matthiessen State Park
Matthiessen State Park is located a few miles southwest of Chicago and will afford you a quiet respite from your Chicago to Millersburg RV road trip. You can see interesting rock formations, abundant plants, and various species of animals. Walking along the miles of nature trails will take you through forests, prairies, canyons, and creeks. The Interior Canyon Trail has stairs, rocks for stepping, and bench-cut trails as it travels to the top of the Upper Dell.
The Chicago Pier is an iconic symbol of Chicago and juts out over Lake Michigan for 3,300 feet over the water. The pier is full of fun sights and sounds from the various shops, eateries, gardens, and venues. The Centennial Wheel rises 200 feet into the sky and offers a wonderful view of the city and the water below. The carousel recreates the spirit of the Chicago Pier's original carousel of the 1920s, and the 36 hand-painted rides replicate styles from carousels over the years. The rounding boards at the top of the carousel display scenes of the history of the pier.
Toledo Museum of Art
The Toledo Museum of Art is ranked as a top museum and houses a collection of more than 30,000 objects and artifacts in 45 galleries. There are notable works like Fragonard's "Blind Man's Bluff," Ruben's "The Crowning of Saint Catherine," and van Gogh's "Houses at Auvers." Old Masters like Holbein, Rembrandt, El Greco, Turner, Tissot, Picasso, Calder Degas, Monet, Matisse, Miro, Bearden, and Kiefer are well represented, and there are modern paintings by Henry Moore, Willem de Kooning, and Sol LeWitt. Other collections include Roman, Egyptian, Greek, Japanese and African art. The Toledo Museum's glass holdings are principal collections of historical significance in the glass industry and are displayed in the Glass Pavilion. The complex also contains a Peristyle concert hall that seats 1,750, a lecture hall, fifteen classroom studios, a café, and a gift shop.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has one of the largest groups of primates in North America, which includes a number of western lowland gorillas. The zoo is one of the oldest in the U.S., and today it serves as both a zoo and an important preserve and educational facility of various species of animals. The zoo is divided into Northern Wilderness Trek; Australian Adventure; The Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building; Waterfowl Lake; The RainForest; African Savanna, and Asian Highlands. Besides the main collections of animals, the complex also has a botanical garden and an insectarium.
Elkhart epitomizes the heart of northern Indiana, and you can find much to see and explore in this charming city. The city has a number of cultural and historical venues, like the Ruthmere Museum, which is the former home of a prominent Elkhart family; the Lerner Theatre, a historic Beaux-style theater built in 1924; the Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum; and Linton's Enchanted Gardens, a nine-acre garden which offers a train tour. Elkhart Campground is a large, 25-acre RV park that is located in Elkhart and is close to Chicago. You may need a dump station, and it is an easy matter to find one near Elkhart.
Toledo is about halfway along on your road trip from Chicago to and is located in Maumee Bay on Lake Erie. Toledo is known for its history of glasswork, and visitors can view a comprehensive collection of glasswork at the Toledo Museum of Art. The Toledo East/Stony Ridge KOA Journey RV park has all the features you would expect when staying at a traditional KOA, and you will have a number of choices when searching for a dump station around Toledo.
Cleveland has all the exciting activities and attractions of a large, urban city. You can visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, spend a day at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, visit any of the nine historic theaters in the Playhouse Square Center district and walk along the interesting Lake View Cemetery, which has the graves of James Garfield and John Rockefeller. Willow Lake Park is conveniently close to the city and has plenty of amenities. There are several choices of dump stations nearby.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Chicago to Millersburg, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Chicago or Millersburg.