A Visit to the Wilds in Cambrige Ohio

Have you ever been on a wildlife safari? How about on a wildlife safari in Ohio? While typical, Midwestern wildlife is common in Ohio—even in the cities we frequently have deer and random critter sightings—the thought of a safari adventure to see semi-openly roaming giraffes or cheetahs in Ohio is a surprising one to many. The small town of Cambridge, Ohio, is home to a rather unique wildlife preserve and conservation center: The Wilds. The Wilds offers a wide range of tour and trip options to individuals, couples and families alike. It is a wonderful opportunity to observe animals in a more “free” setting than local zoos or aquariums.

Our last trip to The Wilds was a few years back. We like to combine a visit to Cambridge with a tour through Northern Ohio’s Amish Country—turning it into a weekend getaway. We visited over the 4th of July on our last trip and the weather was beautiful. The girls loved seeing the animals running or lounging under trees. In some cases, the animals were so close to the tour route that we had exceptional views.

There have been a number of changes to The Wilds since our visit in 2009. Our oldest daughter attends an eSTEM academy and just visited The Wilds last week—she shot some cool photos of camels getting up and close and personal with the tour buses. She is planning an updated post with new photos of the site in its current state in the upcoming weeks.

We have not participated in the family camp tour—but it is on our list of things to do in the near future before the little girls are too old to want to hang out with mom and dad! While the two older girls have gone camping with Dad, the “baby” and I are new to the world of camping. I would love for the scenery and atmosphere of The Wilds to create our first big family camping experience.

If you are “in the neighborhood” and have not yet done so, it is certainly worth the drive to make a visit to The Wilds. When we were there, there was an older couple that made a weekly trip to The Wilds from the Whitehall area of Columbus to volunteer at the site. They were absolutely wonderful to chat with—and held both a wealth of knowledge as well as a genuine love of the preserve. Once you visit The Wilds, the site does hold a special place that seems to draw you back—just as it did for that couple for so many years.

There are so many valuable educational resources and camps available for youngsters through The Wilds. While our eldest daughter has strayed from the biology/veterinary path—there is an incredible summer opportunity for high school students with an interest in wildlife preservation and veterinary medicine to attend an on-site exploratory camp and work at the facility. Our middle daughter, although 7, is already chomping at the bit for such an opportunity!

If you are visiting as a family—check out my Columbus Stay at Home Mom Examiner site for insights into braving the experience with little ones! For more information on The Wilds, visit the website.

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  1. We went there several years ago and loved it! I can't wait to go with our little ones in the future!



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