This post is sponsored by Ohio. Find It Here. All thoughts, photos and opinions are my own.
We spent some time making memories and exploring Mansfield, Ohio this weekend. Whether you’re a snow bunny, a history buff, or a motorsports fanatic, Mansfield has experiences that immerse you in your favorite things, nestled right in the heart of Richland County. I have been wanting to visit The Ohio State Reformatory since I saw and realized, Shawshank Redemption is one of the greatest movies ever made and was filmed just a quick 60 minutes outside of Columbus. It does not disappoint and is well worth the trip to take a tour. Whether you’re a movie buff, history expert or are hunting ghosts, my opinion is firm, The Ohio State Reformatory is a MUST DO Ohio tour. And when is there a more perfect time than spooky October?
I’m not shocked I loved Mansfield, because I LOVE exploring Ohio and finding solace in its charming towns, but I was slightly shocked at how much Mansfield truly has to offer. Trails, trails and more trails! Any trail you can think of, is covered in Mansfield. Breweries, wineries, history, horses and ghosts. Take your kids to The Little Buckeye Children’s Museum, plan a relaxing or action packed girls weekend or make it a hot date.
Scroll to the bottom to find more great ideas on planning your next trip to Mansfield!
“I Have To Remind Myself That Some
Birds Aren’t Meant To Be Caged.”
The Ohio State Reformatory Experience
Stroll the halls and visit the cells of some of history’s toughest criminals. Tour the intact set of the world famous movie, The Shawshank Redemption. Whether you’re reliving scenes from classic films, hunting for the paranormal, or basking in beautiful Romanesque architecture, take a walk through history — at The Ohio State Reformatory.
Self Guided Tours
Explore the prison independently and at your own pace. Learn about the history of the facility and the many unique Hollywood and paranormal connections through their audio wand*, which works in conjunction with your self-guided tour.
Self-Guided Tours are currently available to be booked for September and October, but the tour route is abbreviated due to the Blood Prison Haunted House setup.
Tour Duration: Approx. 1.5 hours
The Shawshank Redemption is a film that stands the test of time as one of the best movies ever made. It is, far and away, still the best adaptation of any of Stephen King’s work, and it’s a solid display of the talents of both writer and director Frank Darabont and legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins.
Did you know Mansfield has a Shawshank Trail?!?
The Trail was made specifically for all of us movie lovers, who love to experience the movie magic for themselves. It’s as if you stepped right into the movie with each of the 15 filming sites you visit. Pack your car and gather your friends and keep an eye out for the Movie Site signs along the way! They’ll help you recognize where the filming sites truly are as you venture the same paths as Andy, Red, and even Brooks.
Bissman Building – Brewer Hotel
193 N. Main St., Mansfield, OH 44902
Only the front of this building was used in the movie. The actual hotel room where Brooks stayed was staged at OSR. While this building is not open to the public, we do encourage you to stop to take photos of the outside of the building. Parking is along the street and on the north side of the building.
KV Market (Food-Way Grocery Store)
359 West Fourth St., Mansfield, OH 44903
When the movie was filmed in 1993, this location was the E&B Market. It has since undergone extensive renovation and is once again home to a full-service supermarket offering fresh produce, meat, deli and hot foods. Make sure to take photos of the Shawshank painted murals on the outside and inside of the KV Market.
Shawshank Oak Tree
Near Malabar Farm State Park
Since the fall of the tree due to high winds on July 29, 2011 and July 22, 2016, the remains of the tree have been removed from the property. The location continues to be a filming site on the Trail
Visit HERE for all 15 Shawshank Trail Stops.
“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”
Zach could stand in the middle of the cell and touch each wall with this finger tips, tight quarters.
You can hear the jingle of the carrousel, humming along throughout the historic streets of Mansfield. Like taking a tour through history, perusing the downtown sidewalks of Mansfield can feel like taking a step back into time. Mansfield classics, City News-Suzy’s Smoke Room and Crowe’s Shoes have served downtown patrons for over 80 years! Upon closer inspection though, you can see the present days upgrades in modern breweries, bustling restaurants, cozy coffee shops among the Mansfield staples.
Don’t miss snapping all the Instagram-able moments through Brickyard Alley in the Carrousel District.
Wander the historic Mansfield Carrousel District, riding Richland Carrousel, stopping into boutiques, cafes and shops.
What to do in Mansfield
Touring The Ohio State Reformatory, riding the carousel and kicking back with a few beers from The Pheonix Brewing Company, is just one way to spend your day in Mansfield. Whether you’re just driving through town or looking to get away for the entire weekend, I’ve put together a list of things not to be missed in Mansfield, Ohio.
Malabar Farm State Park
Check out “The Big House,” wedding site of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, as well as Pugh Cabin (where the opening scene in “The Shawshank Redemption” was filmed).
4050 Bromfield Road, Lucas, OH 44843
Mt. Jeez, a scenic overlook, across the road from Malabar Farm, and enjoy stunning views where you can see seven Ohio counties. Within the Mohican Hills in Monroe Township, you’ll find one of Ohio’s most stunning summits. At 1,310 ft. tall, Mount Jeez offers a wide open, beautiful view of Ohio’s countryside. (You can find the path for Mount Jeez Overlook off of Pleasant Valley Road.)
If you’re on The Shawshank Redemption Trail, drive by the former site of Shawshank Oak Tree, which was destroyed in 2016 after being hit by lightning for the second time. (Bromfield Rd & Pleasant Valley Rd.)
Mansfield Art Center
700 Marion Avenue, Mansfield, OH 44906
Kingwood Center Gardens
Enjoy a self-guided tour the of brand-new Garden Gateway Visitors Center, a leisurely walk through 47 acres of formal gardens and a tour of Kingwood Mansion The former home of industrialist Charles Kelley King, Kingwood Center opened as a public garden and historic site in 1953.
50 N Trimble Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906
Mansfield Memorial Museum
Home to fascinating and quirky collections and exhibits, including Elektro, the world’s first Robot and star of 1960s kitsch movie classics.
34 Park Avenue West, Mansfield, OH 44902
Ohio’s only wax museum and home to one-of-a-kind collections of wood carvings, votive art and bibles. 500 Tingley Avenue, Mansfield, OH 44905
The Blueberry Patch
Ohio’s largest blueberry arm that’s also a restaurant, winery, gift shop and event space.
1285 W Hanley Rd Mansfield, OH 44904
Gorman Nature Center
150 acres of forests, prairies, ponds, streams and has over five miles of public trails
2295 Lexington Ave, Mansfield, OH 44907
What to Eat in Mansfield
We needed a quick bite to eat on our way to the Reformatory, and lunch at the Kingwood Center Gardens café was affordable, delicious, quick and easy. All of the makings of a perfect lunch on-the-go. I was in no way expecting gourmet, as Evelyn selected a Lunchable as her main course, but let me tell you, the Cuban sandwich in that little café was one of the best I’ve ever had (see below)! I wish I had also gotten a soup and salad.
Hudson and Essex
51 E 4th St, Mansfield, OH 44902
A restaurant and winery onsite at the The Blueberry Patch.
1285 W Hanley Rd Mansfield, OH 44904
Wishmaker House B & B
Try wine produced on site and DO NOT miss the cheesecake; it’s legendary!
116 Main St., Bellville, OH 44813
Mansfield Wine & Ale Trail Locations
Sip and sample your way along the 10 Wine & Ale Trail stops throughout Mansfield, exploring historic buildings, local food, and even some specialty themed wines and brews. Hear the history at a brewery that was a former mortuary or pay tribute to the filming sites from the locally filmed movie The Shawshank Redemption with Reformatory Red or Redemption IPA. Make it a weekend and explore them all!
1285 Winery at the Blueberry Patch
1803 Brewery & Taproom
Cypress Hill Winery
Explore Mansfield lodging options.
For more great ideas on exploring Mansfield visit Destination Mansfield.