If you are courageous, you can follow in my footsteps, for I am truly a hero.
Did I save a life? No. Did I punch a Nazi? No. Did I stop a fire? No.
I have braved the “Here’s the Scoop” Lorain County Ice Cream Trail, a glorious Candy Land path connecting 13 ice cream shops.
Yes, such a thing exists, and it’s sure to keep you cool during this summer’s blistering heat.
Here’s how it works: Through Sept. 3, buy a $1 lanyard and passport at the Lorain County Visitors Center, 8025 Leavitt Rd., Amherst Township, then hit the trail! Get a 25-cent discount on any ice cream product along the way and be sure to have your passport stamped at each stop.
Return the completed passport to get a festive pin and enter for a chance to win free ice cream for a year.
In a bid to win Father of the Year honors, I loaded my kids — six-year-old Rylin and four-year-old twins Max and Camryn — into the minivan July 5 to hit three stops along the trail.
We had one rule: Whatever the friendly scoopers suggested, that’s what we’d get. “What do you have that’s amazing? What’s your specialty that you make better than anyone else?” I asked at each waypoint, and the ice cream gods provided.
At Dairy Grove in North Ridgeville, we discovered the Mad Scientist (and its sidekick, the small-sized Lil’ Scientist): vanilla soft serve, blue slushy, and gummy worms, all topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry.
The neon concoction certainly looked like it had been whipped up in a lab — and tasted like it packed all the sugar produced last year in South America.
How did it measure up? Max said it was “delicious” and “the best,” while Rylin would only eat the worms. Camryn helped me wolf the bulk of it down.
Next on the adventure was Hastee Tastee in Amherst, where an apple pie flurry was the staff recommendation: soft apple filling with cinnamon and graham cracker bits flowing over the top of the cup.
Rylin was over the moon about it — “It’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream!” — until I revealed the amazing taste was a fruit, her sworn enemy. Max, who baffles me as a non-ice-cream person, actually took several bites; Camryn more or less held me down and finished the rest.
Our final stop of the day was at Cowhaus Creamery in Oberlin, where the gentleman behind the counter suggested going with the classics: two scoops of hard sweet cream vanilla and Mr. Handsome chocolate.
It tasted homemade and put the kids over the edge into a sugar coma, a kind of ice cream nirvana. (It also earned a “Daddy, I love you,” from Max, making this officially my favorite story ever.)
And there we were, fat and happy.
I never thought I could have enough ice cream, yet after stop number three on the trail the Hawks were completely full and couldn’t have eaten more had we tried.
Will you help us finish the trail? Are you a hero? Write in to tell us what amazing flavors and combinations you discover along the trek!
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Morgan Vincent serves up an apple pie flurry at Hastee Tastee on Cleveland Avenue in Amherst, one of 13 stops along Lorain County’s ice cream trail.
Max Hawk digs into a bowl of vanilla at Cowhaus Creamery on East College Street in Oberlin.
Need some inspiration for mid-summer trips and activities to keep your family busy? Our July series has you covered!