Pretty wooded and riverside trails are spun around the pristinely restored early 19th century Allaire Village and Howell Iron Works Company. As you stroll past the row houses, blacksmith shop or the bakery, a clear picture starts to take shape of what daily life might have looked like in the 1830s – reflected back in paintings stationed in front of many of the points of interest along your path. A giant iron furnace that you can partially climb into towers over a row of benches – an ideal spot for taking a minute to understand how this heart of the whole enterprise worked. One end of the pretty, half-mile Bog Iron Ore Trail sets off from here, looping back to the blacksmith shop by the lake.
From April to November, the village comes to life with traditionally-dressed artisans at work in each of the buildings on weekends, and tickets required for admission. Details here.
This is time travel at its most charming and convenient. You can from the early 19th century to the beginning of the 20th at adjacent Pine Creek Railway – then drive around the corner to the Cretaceous period (on the Dinosaur trail)!