Miles of Fun on the Shenango River Water Trail in Mercer County, PA

by Peggy Mazyck

Spring is here, and it’s time to plan an outdoor adventure that the entire family will enjoy. The Shenango River Water trail offers 1, 4, 8, 12 or 23 miles of fun.

The trail is class I rapids, with a few riffles to add some spice as it flows gently through canopy forests and pastureland. The total distance is about 23 miles, but numerous take out/launch sites provide convenient points to match diverse interests. Carried Away Outfitters has a fleet of kayaks and canoes for your waterways adventure. Part of your rental fee includes a shuttle to or from your destination. They also offer paddle boards and bicycle rentals. Contact them at 724-343-1313.

You may begin your float just below the dam in Pymatuning State Park, floating through Jamestown. A few miles further, at Halfway Rd., is a take-out/launch site just beyond the bridge on the left. Three more miles brings you to Porter Rd. takeout, located again just beyond the bridge, river right.

After eight miles of leisurely paddling, you arrive in Greenville’s Riverside Park. Here are picnic pavilions, flush toilets, potable water, and Greenville’s amenities within walking distance.

Further down the river, you will reach Kidds Mill Covered Bridge Park, a great place to take a break and have lunch. Here, there are picnic tables and clean pit toilets (maintained by the Shenango Conservancy). Stay left to land.

The balance of the land between the covered bridge and Big Bend is owned by the Corps of Engineers. It has not been logged in many years and is totally undeveloped.  It is arguably the most beautiful part of the upper reach.

Toward the end of the float is a launch below the bridge at New Hamburg. Finally, the last “take-out” on the Water Trail is at “Big Bend,” maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. Big Bend is just before the river flows into Lake Shenango.

For fun on the waterways, come to Mercer County, PA.

Hit Broadway Musical Guys & Dolls Will Be Performed at the ACTS in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA – Guys and Dolls, a hit musical since its 1950 Broadway premiere, is based on Damon Runyon’s stories of gangsters and gamblers of the New York underworld in the 1920s and 1930s. Frank Sinatra incarnated Nathan Detroit, and Marlon Brando played Sky Masterson in the one and only singing role of his career. Detroit pleads, “Luck be a Lady” when a roll of the dice decides his fate. It’s a sure bet that Guys and Dolls makes the audience winners with each magical performance.

The Area Community Theatre of Sharpsville (ACTS) has assembled a talented cast that will showcase the hit Broadway musical Guys and Dolls March 17 – 26, 2017, at the Pierce Opera House at 100 N Mercer Ave, Sharpsville, PA 16150.  Guests are invited to immerse themselves in a world of gangsters, gamblers, and other characters of the New York underworld in this romantic comedy.

Purchase tickets online with a credit card (a convenience fee applies); call the box office at 724-815-4388; purchase tickets on the night of the performance, if available; or purchase in person on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. at the Opera House or in person at Muscarella’s Cafe Italia in Sharpsville.

ACTS has partnered with Muscarella’s Cafe Italia in Sharpsville for a 20% discount on meals the day of the performance. It is highly recommended that theatergoers make reservations in advance to take advantage of this offer.

For more information visit www.actsharpsville.org.

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, WaterFire Sharon, PA outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County PA as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

Now Let’s Talk Golf

by Peggy Mazyck

It’s not too early to schedule your group golf outing to Mercer County. The Mercer County Golf Trail travels from the Grove City Area of Mercer County to the Shenango Valley and bordering Ohio area. The trail is an outstanding choice for overnight golf trips from Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

There is no shortage of golf courses or challenging holes in Mercer County. Here you will find a variety of 4 and 4 ½ star courses within a half hour or less drive of each other. The area has become a mecca for golf groups looking for great courses and great value. The low green fees offer some of the most competitive and affordable pricing you will find anywhere in the United States.

The rolling terrains, perfectly manicured greens, and tree-lined fairways are a beauty to behold and a pleasure to play. Oak Tree was named in the top two public golf facilities in western Pennsylvania by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pine Lakes Golf Club and Resort is a 4 ½ star and PGA approved practice facility offering great stay and play packages. Tam O’Shanter Golf Course, Spring Valley Golf and Lodge, Yankee Run Golf Course, and others too numerous to name make our area a golfer’s paradise.

Excellent golf packages are offered through area accommodations. Groups, couples and individuals can enjoy a relaxing golf experience with all the planning completed for them, including all the amenities that the group desires. Accommodation choices include top-rated hotels and inns, resorts, and unique lodging. Your accommodation will be glad to give you insider tips on the best restaurants and bars for your evening pleasure. Visit www.GolfMercerCountyPA.com to request a Play and Stay quote. We invite you to experience for yourself why we are one of America’s top golf destinations.

Kraynak’s Easter Bunny Lane: A One-of-a-Kind Attraction Delighting Visitors to Mercer County, PA for More Than 50 Years!

Mercer County, PA – Every winter/spring during the Easter season in Mercer County, PA, families flock to a very special place to view an extraordinary attraction. Kraynak’s Easter Bunny Lane in Hermitage, PA, will open this year on February 20 and will be on display through April 17. Open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Kraynak’s is closed Easter Sunday.

Visitors to Kraynak’s are welcomed by a one-of-a-kind attraction known as “Easter Bunny Lane,” a 300-foot long indoor avenue decorated in an Easter theme. Enjoy the first blossoms of spring with lighted trees and animated figures at work and play.

For 2017, displays will include Cottontail Farm, where chickens lay lighted eggs; a Jungle with many animals; and “Cupcakes” with little houses and egg paths. At the end of the lane are religious sections.

Visitors will also enjoy browsing Kraynak’s 12,000 square foot Toyland which has a great selection of games and toys for children of all ages. There is a 30,000 square foot gift shop with decorations for the home, church, or business. Kraynak’s also features a flower boutique shop, greenhouse, model trains and accessories, and a candy department. These departments are open year-round.

Admission to Easter Bunny Lane is free. Bus tours and groups are welcome. Groups wishing to visit are asked to call and make reservations at 724-347-4511. Kraynak’s is located at 2525 East State Street, Hermitage, PA 16148.

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, WaterFire Sharon PA, outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County, PA as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

Enjoy Winter Fest and a Chili Cook-Off at Buhl Park in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA – Spend the day at Buhl Park on Sunday, February 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to enjoy the wonderful things that winter has to offer. There will be plenty of outdoor activities, including dogsled demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides, a snow angel area, a freeze-pop scavenger hunt and the Great Snowman Challenge. The Youngstown Phantoms, a minor league hockey team, will be on hand to sign autographs and add to the fun. 

One of our area’s favorite storytellers, Miss Victoria, will share Snowzilla by Janet Lawler and spin a few of her own wonderful tales about snowmen and even a snow lady. You can snap a picture with a visiting Snowman, get your face painted, or go sled riding. A new feature this year is a free shuttle from 12 – 4 p.m. to take visitors and their sleds to the sled ride hill and back to the Casino parking lot. Attendees will also be able to enjoy roasted marshmallows on an open fire or purchase hot dogs, popcorn, and hot chocolate.

The Chili Cook-off is another great feature of the Winter Fest. Entrants will be serving up their homemade chili and competing for first place and bragging rights. The Chili Cook-off takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Casino ballroom. Anyone can submit their chili, but must be pre-registered by February 3, 2017. Participants must provide two gallons of chili, their own crock pot, serving spoon, and 10-foot extension cord. A table, spoons, napkins, and chili cups will be provided. A first-place prize will be awarded, and the winner will be announced at 1:45 p.m. The number of applicants will be limited. For more information on entering the Chili Cook-off, please call 724-981-5522, ext. 102, or e-mail marylynn@buhlfarmpark.com.

More information about Winter Fest is available at www.buhlfarmpark.com  or on the park’s Facebook page.

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, WaterFire Sharon, PA outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County PA as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

Get Away from Frustrations of the Big City This Winter: Relax at a Mercer County Bed and Breakfast or Country Inn

Hollywood Little Acres 1 By Peggy Mazyck

The charming Bed & Breakfasts (B & Bs) and Inns in the Mercer County, PA, area provide the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the work week. If you are looking for some quiet time away in a unique setting, check into a Mercer County Bed and Breakfast or Country Inn.   The rooms in these accommodations display a distinctive personality. Each room is decorated differently and themed after a famous person or activity. The innkeepers provide personal service and offer a wealth of inside knowledge on the best places to go and things to do.

In the Mercer area of the County, Casa Da Costa Bed & Breakfast is a stunning historic brick Greek Revival style home built in 1929. It’s not only impressive on the outside, but the inside boasts high ceilings, ornate crown moldings, and large, comfortable, and inviting living areas reminiscent of days gone by. Experience the rustic charm of Plants Herb Farm B & B nestled on 80 acres atop a hill overlooking a panoramic view. Rent the entire two-bedroom cabin for a relaxing private retreat.

Seven Sisters Bed and Breakfast at McEwen Falls in Fredonia is situated on 60 acres of farmland with a wooded ravine and 20-foot waterfall. Relaxation at Seven Sisters Bed & Breakfast at McEwen Falls can include soaking in a Jacuzzi bath, massages, champagne and chocolate, wine and cheese, and many other specialty treats.

Terra Nova House B & B is located three blocks from Old Towne Grove City and Grove City College. This 1901 Victorian style B&B still maintains the beautiful Victorian elegance, slate roof, high ceilings, and spacious style of the era. They are the recipients of the 2016 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and the 2015 Award Winner from Booking.com for achieving an overall guest review of 9.9 out of 10.

The Sharon/Hermitage area showcases two luxury properties: Buhl Mansion Guesthouse and Spa and Tara-A Country Inn. Both properties are offering a January Cabin Fever Special. Stay one night at the standard room rate and get the second night 50% off. Buhl Mansion Guesthouse and Spa is a luxurious “castle” and has been ranked as one of America’s Top 10 Romantic Inns. This 1890s mansion offers 10 opulent guestrooms with fireplaces, Jacuzzis, a full-service space and royal service. Tara-A Country Inn is an 1854 mansion featuring 27 luxurious guestrooms with fireplaces and Jacuzzis. Overlooking the Shenango Lake, the inn has heated pools, acres of beautiful gardens, and award winning gourmet and casual dining.

In the Greenville area, Hollywood Little Acres Bed and Breakfast sits on seven acres with ponds, a treehouse, gym, and tiki bar. This bed and breakfast showcases an elegant rustic themed living room with a 50-inch TV and a fireplace. Western Farm Bed & Breakfast Cottages features all-season modern cottages in a quiet wooded area overlooking a ravine. A full farmer’s breakfast is provided each morning.

For more information on unique getaway accommodations in Mercer County, PA, go to www.VisitMercerCountyPA.com or call 724-346-3771.

 

Two New Fabulous Extended Stay Properties Open in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA welcomes the opening of two new extended stay hotels in Grove City that cater to travelers who like the amenities of home: the Candlewood Suites, Grove City, PA, and the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Grove City/Mercer Outlets.

The Candlewood Suites, Grove City, PA offers 82 guest rooms with fully equipped kitchens, 42-inch flat screen HDTVs, DVD players, plush recliners, and executive work stations. The hotel features a heated outdoor pool in the summer months, is pet friendly, and has an outdoor gazebo grill area.

Other amenities include free guest laundry, an expanded, free 24-hour fitness center, business center, and the Candlewood Cupboard, offering a variety of food, beverages, and personal care items to purchase. Candlewood Suites is ideal for the extended business traveler, relocating families, or anyone displaced from their home from an unfortunate circumstances such as a fire or flood. To book a room at Candlewood Suites in Grove City, call 724-748-6900.

The TownePlace Suites by Marriott Grove City/Mercer Outlets will hold its official grand opening on January 12, 2017. Located next to the Grove City Premium Outlets, the TownePlace Suites offers 96 suites in sizes including studio king, studio double queen, and one bedroom. Amenities include a free, hot breakfast buffet, fully equipped kitchens in every room, pet friendly and smoke free accommodations, free high speed internet, an indoor heated saltwater pool, a fitness center, and a business center. The TownePlace Suites is handicapped accessible.

During the month of January 2017, TownePlace Suites by Marriott Grove City/Mercer Outlets is offering a “Friends and Neighbors Promotion” available to everyone at a $69 rate. Call 724-748-6322 and ask for the “Friends and Neighbors Discount.”

Both hotels welcome one- and two-night stays in addition to extended stays. Mercer County, PA is happy to welcome these two properties as they provide great amenities and comfortable stays for the traveling public.

Bull Riding, Bronc Riding, Barrel Racing, and Bull Hockey Featured in Mercer County, PA

Photo courtesy of Donnie Thompson Photography

Mercer County, PA – From now through May 2017, visitors to Mercer County, PA can enjoy Dave Martin’s Bullride Mania Rodeos at Sundance Arena’s heated indoor arena in Fredonia, PA.

The shows take place every first Saturday of the month from now through May 2017 and also on the third Saturday in January, February and March. Special edition rodeos will be held on February 11 and February 25, 2017. Continue reading “Bull Riding, Bronc Riding, Barrel Racing, and Bull Hockey Featured in Mercer County, PA”

This Holiday Season, Experience Wonderful Downtowns of Mercer County, PA

By Peggy Mazyck

The holiday season is a wonderful time to experience the transformation that’s occurring in the downtowns of Mercer County. You don’t have to travel far to find one-of-a kind gifts, outstanding service, great dining experiences, and enjoyment of the arts. This holiday season, discover the treasures in your own back yard. The downtowns of Mercer County will delight you with the options they present. Mercer County PA shopping, dining, and activities are yours to enjoy!

Sharon

If you haven’t been to downtown Sharon lately, you are missing out because a new Downtown Sharon has emerged in the last few years. The traditional favorites of Reyers Shoes, Daffins Candies, Donna’s Diner, The Winner and the “original” Quaker Steak and Lube are still amazing, but there is so much more to experience. Now dozens of new boutique shops, arts experiences, and diverse local dining options add to your shopping enjoyment. The new line-up include wonderful shops and restaurants such as Designs by G!, Gallery 29, the Urban Barn, Brewtus Brewing Company and more. The welcoming atmosphere, attractive streetscapes and friendly service make downtown Sharon, PA jump to the top of your “must do” list this holiday season.

Mercer

The borough of Mercer sits on the highest point in the County. The courthouse square is the center of activities with the majestic Mercer County courthouse towering as a beacon. Beautiful Victorian-style homes line the streets of this picturesque village. Antiques and specialty shops include Mercer Junction showcasing a Lionel train display reminiscent of childhood days and antiques and collectibles at the Courthouse Square Dry Goods. This lovely Victorian village with its courthouse square has much to offer the holiday shopper.

Greenville

Greenville is a beautiful small town whose downtown has undergone a complete makeover in the last few years. Main Street flourishes with local restaurants, cafes, and unique specialty stores. Stops such as Twin Temptations, Cobwebs and Couture, The Depot Saloon and more promises many opportunities for a special holiday enjoyment experience.

Grove City

Grove City is known for exceptional shopping, but there is more to Grove City than just the outlets. Olde world charm abounds in Grove City.  Olde Town Grove City showcases a charming, old-fashioned downtown center with unique shops, delicious dining and even a nostalgic movie theatre. Some of the first things you notice as you stroll downtown are the wonderful murals on the buildings and the unique sculptures gracing the parking lot entrances.  The holiday shopper will love the diverse boutique and specialty shops and dining opportunities lining the streets of Olde Towne Grove City in Mercer County, PA.

6th Annual Racing Event Comes To Mercer County PA

Big Dog RC will host the 6th Annual “Show Down in the Snow” Indoor RC (remote control) Car Racing event on December 17, 2016. The event draws amateur and professional drivers from around the eastern United States and Canada who will drive their 1/10 scale cars at scale speeds of over 400 miles per hour! Drivers will showcase their talents in more than 12 different classes of RC racing on both dirt oval and off-road racing tracks.

“Last year, the event had over 230 entries,” said John Raskob, who owns Big Dog RC with his wife, Robin. “We had drivers ranging from 5 to 75 years old, with both men and women competing,” John said. Continue reading “6th Annual Racing Event Comes To Mercer County PA”