Ever wanted to go on a safari? Like feeding exotic animals…or maybe you don’t even know if you do!? Well, have I got a suggestion for you! Rolling Ridge Ranch is an 80 acre animal park that features almost 200 animals and birds that you can not only take up close and personal pictures of, but feed and touch. The animal farm offers covered open-air horse drawn wagon rides that allow you to look in the eyes of zebras, camels, ostriches, and water buffalo (to name a few) and feed them if you are so daring…or not so daring. I will just write that *I* did, and so can you. Hubby, the kids, and I recently visited Rolling Ridge Ranch and had a great time.
Rolling Ridge Ranch is located in Millersburg, Ohio, which is about 2 hours east of Central Ohio in the heart of Amish Country. The drive is fairly easy, and takes you through the more picturesque areas of Ohio where the hills roll and the trees canopy the road with beautiful green leaves. On our journey out, we passed an old canal, lots of fruit stands, Harley riders, and horse drawn buggies with Amish men who smiled and tipped their hats as we drove by. What lovely people, of course, my sarcastically silly husband didn’t make any friends – the Amish we encountered really didn’t get his sense of humor.
My buddy Patti over at thatpatti.com told me Rolling Ridge Ranch was interactive and a “little gem of a find.” She wasn’t kidding! We drove in, paid admission, and checked in with the guy running the wagons. There was plenty to keep us busy as we waited for our turn. The farm not only offers the wagon rides to view animals, but it houses other animals in cages, such as lemurs, pheasants, parrots, and monkeys. They even had petting zoo area and a bin of ducklings that you could touch and hold. My kids loved being able to coo at a soft little ducking and gently pat its feathery body. A playground with plenty of jungle gyms to climb was also on the grounds – just in case you have children that need to run it out after sitting in the car for a while.
Our name was called after a very short wait (and on a Saturday none-the-less!), and Sam, who seemed to be a local Amish farmer, was our guide on the wagon tour. He gave each rider a bucket of feed on the house and informed us that the animals will come right up to the wagon. He went on to say that the animals with large horns need to be fed under your bench or you risk getting whacked (in a bovine sense, not a mafioso sense). *Little hint – try to sit on the right bench of the wagon when you get on because there is more animal action on that side.* We started out on our bumpy trek through the grounds and were greeted by the cutest pot-bellied pigs. Then the zebras came up and my daughter flipped out. She could barely wait to hold out her feed bucket.
The wagon ride was about an hour and we saw a tremendous amount of animals. It was amazing to see water buffalo, wildebeest, and antelopes without having to travel to Africa or Australia. I even touched the tongue of a Watusi cow, not bragging or anything. Remember, though, that these are still wild animals. I’ll warn you about the ostriches – they peck, so watch out. Oh, and llamas have quite an attitude.
3961 County Road 168
Millersburg, Ohio, 44654
If you are interested in a dusty day on a farm with animals you don’t get to see in your backyard, check it out:
- It is an outside farm, so wear appropriate clothing and lots of sunscreen.
- Pack your lunch if you plan to eat there, but if you forget it you’ll be passing through a little town that offers plenty of Amish cooking. *Please note: there were a ton of flies everywhere, which made eating in the lunch area not so fun. Perhaps put a blanket out somewhere away from the animals.
- Follow the rules. Messing with wild animals is serious business, so don’t joke around. AND, don’t try to feed them with your hands. Use the bucket.
- They have port-o-potties, and there is a sink to wash your hands in the lunch area. Be sure to wash after your wagon ride.
- Bringing babies is okay, just be prepared to hold them and keep them toward the inside of the wagon away from the animals.
- There is an admission coupon on their site.
April, May, September, & October
Monday - Friday 9-4
Monday - Saturday 9-5
|Wagon Ride Price|
|Children (3-12) 2yr old and under free||$10.95|
|Senior Citizens 65 or older||$10.95|
|Drive Thru In Your Own Car|
|Children (3-12) 2yr old and under free||$6.00|
|Senior Citizens 65 or older||$7.00|
|15 people or more $8.95Wagon Ride
(prices subject to change)
* Advance Reservations Required for Groups
Please call in for dates available for 15 or more people (330-893-3777)