Located partway between Dayton and Cincinnati, Middletown is a small city in south-west Ohio that was founded by Stephen Vail in the early 19th century. Its rich history is intertwined with the Miami-Erie Canal and the city boasts several fine museums and nature sanctuaries to explore.
Things to do in Middletown
Aviation enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Butler County Warbirds, which occupies a historic hangar at the Middletown Regional Airport. Its collection includes a Fairchild PT-19 that first took flight in 1939 and a bright-red Grumman AA-5 dating to 1972 that can be hired for sightseeing flights around the region.
Another museum not to miss in Middletown is the Canal Museum, which is housed in a charming stone building that was erected in 1982 as a replica of a lock tender’s house. It is located on the route of the historic Miami-Erie Canal (in operation between 1825 and 1929) and showcases what life was like in Middletown during this period.
On the other side of Middletown is Bull's Run Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum, which sprawls around the last free-flowing section of Bull’s Run Creek. Once used as a grazing pasture for bulls, the land is now managed as a nature sanctuary, with regular sightings of squirrels, box turtles and deer. You can stroll through the arboretum to admire the native tree species and spring-blooming woodland wildflowers or spot diverse birdlife around the bird-feeding stations.
Getting around Middletown
Middletown is a 35-minute drive from the centre of Dayton and 40 minutes from Dayton International Airport. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is around an hour’s drive from Middletown while downtown Cincinnati is 45 minutes away. Buses are the main means of getting around Middletown, although most locals prefer to drive.