Ohio : Safety by City
- Cuyahoga Falls
- Port Clinton
- Yellow Springs
Zanesville, Ohio, invites you to step back in time and embrace its rich history and vibrant present.
This city, situated at the confluence of the Muskingum and Licking Rivers, is a captivating blend of historic districts and landmarks that tell a tale of its enduring legacy.
The heart of Zanesville is steeped in history, with the Y-Bridge being a prominent symbol of the city’s past.
This three-way bridge, dating back to the 19th century, is not only an engineering marvel but also offers breathtaking views of the rivers.
The historic district of Zane’s Landing Park is a treasure trove of tales from the early days of settlement.
Here, visitors can explore sculptures and plaques that narrate the founding of Zanesville.
More than 60% of the city is in a historical district or includes historical buildings.
You’ll love the charm mixed with modern amenities while still offering that “Ohio Nice” appeal from residents.
Motorcycle enthusiasts flock to Zanesville, and several scenic routes spread like a spider web from its core.
There’s truly something for everyone in this town of 25,000 and plenty to do despite its size.
Warnings & Dangers in Zanesville
OVERALL RISK: LOW
When I tell you there's a low risk, it's really more about being an average risk. A few crime categories spike, but there's nothing in the crime data that makes this a town worth giving a higher risk.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
SEAT is the fixed-route service in Muskingum and Guernsey Counties, but I'd review the website to see if it offers enough routes for your needs. Taxis and rideshares are available, but a rental car is your best option.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
With an average of eight pickpockets and purse snatching a year for the past five years, that number doesn't seem too high. However, it is higher than many cities of similar size. On top of high theft rates, more than double the national average, we're giving this a medium risk.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Warm weather can mean severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, while winter weather can bring major snow storms and blizzards. You need to be prepared year-round for these conditions, so we're giving it a medium risk. Luckily, all risks come with plenty of warning.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Robberies aren't very common here, and the rate has dropped 65% since 2012, a great move in the right direction. This is a low risk.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
The risk is low here. It's a collection of smaller towns surrounded by rural areas. You should still know that gun crimes and mass shootings can happen in any American city. That makes it more important than ever to report anything suspicious that you see - just in case.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The most common scam here is one that has been trending nationwide. It's when someone spoofs the police or sheriff's phone number and calls people demanding money under threat of arrest. Residents are the main target of this scam. You can keep the risk low by reviewing the law enforcement sites before your visit to see about new scam reports.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Nothing in the crime data or recent news reports suggests there's a higher risk for women. It's a good place for families, retired people, and getaways with friends. Just use standard safety precautions as you would in any new city.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2022 Water Quality Report shows no violations and passing grades for all required categories. The report also details the improvements made to repair and replace aging pipes. This is a low risk.
Safest Places to Visit in Zanesville
VisitZanesville.com is the official travel website for the city.
It also covers the surrounding county.
You can download a travel guide without having to give personal information.
That’s always a plus in my book.
I especially love that they have an outdoor guide for those who want to explore nature and don’t need a list of restaurants and hotels.
Five scenic drives/motorcycle ride routes go in and around Zanesville.
For my travel dollars, I wouldn’t miss the Amish Country Drive or the Hocking Hills Drive.
The Lorena in Zanesville is a local legend, a historic steam-powered paddlewheel boat that once plied the waters of the Muskingum River.
Known for its ornate design and grandeur, the Lorena was a symbol of river travel during the 19th century.
Scenic rides are available for 75 guests at a time.
This is one of the premiere attractions in Zanesville.
The Wilds in Zanesville is a captivating wildlife conservation and safari park spanning over 9,000 acres.
Visitors can embark on thrilling open-air safaris to witness rare and endangered species in a habitat reminiscent of the African savannah.
The Wilds provides a unique opportunity to see creatures like cheetahs, rhinos, and giraffes in expansive, natural enclosures.
You can also book your own custom safari.
For a dose of culture, visit the Zanesville Museum of Art.
It showcases an impressive collection of American and European art, offering a glimpse into the city’s artistic side.
I’d also add the John and Annie Glenn Museum to your list.
It’s in nearby New Concord, and you’ll get to see Glenn’s path from his childhood bedroom to walking on the moon.
You can also learn about Annie Glenn’s work in speech pathology.
The Stone Academy Historic Site and Museum sits in a restored 19th-century building that played a critical role in the Underground Railroad and abolitionist work in Ohio.
You’ll get to see the space where slaves hid as they escaped to freedom.
Some notable attractions to see in town are the famous “Y” Bridge downtown and the World’s Largest Basket.
With so many historical homes and buildings in this region, review the options on the tourism website.
You’ll find everything from stunning mansions to log cabins that helped define Zanesville over the years.
Places to Avoid in Zanesville
Zanesville is a remote small town of 25,000 people.
This is a working-class community with a 27% poverty rate.
The south side of the city is the place to avoid, especially near the fairgrounds.
It’s not quite “too dangerous to drive through,” but it’s sketchy enough that avoiding it is a smart idea.
Most of the hotels here are in the center of the city, which is a safer place to be anyway than the south side.
To be clear, the south side of Zanesville isn’t the same as the town of South Zanesville.
The latter is also a safe place to visit.
The farther north you go, the safer you get.
That includes North Zanesville.
Since this is a town known for bikers and motorcycle groups, it’s best to avoid any confrontation.
That goes for getting involved in one you’re witnessing or starting a verbal argument.
There are biker gangs that can come through this area, but you won’t be able to tell at a glance who they are.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Zanesville
- Zanesville does have its own police department. You can call the main number at (740) 455-0700 with specific questions or follow them on Facebook @Zanesvillepd.
- Sign up for emergency alerts through the Reverse 911 system in Zanesville and Muskingum County. You need to stay aware of weather conditions throughout your trip, and these alerts will let you know if dangerous weather is approaching or possible.
- You can also sign up for Muskingum County Alerts and pick the important topics for your trip. These include water emergencies or other important community alerts.
- Zanesville does weekly tornado siren testing. That happens on Wednesdays at noon. The only other time the sirens would go off was if a tornado warning had been issued.
- Use the Citizen Request Tracker to report issues like potholes or a traffic signal issue. The link is on the city’s website. Every little bit of safety reporting helps.
- Zanesville is a popular stop on motorcycle scenic drives, so pay attention when you’re driving and be extra careful to look for motorcycles. Give them plenty of space to pass and merge.
- Pay special attention when kayaking near State Route 555 on the Muskingum River. The debris of an old bridge is there, and it can be dangerous if the water level is low or if you fall into the water.
- You’ll need a fishing license here to cast in any body of water. The Ohio Department of Fish & Game issues those. Hunting licenses require more safety training. You can read the guidance for that on the same Fish & Game website.
- Use Ohgo as your traffic app while you’re here. The program gives you real-time traffic information, live cameras along the route, and detailed construction zones. With so many scenic drives around Zanesville, you’ll likely use this free resource often.
- If you visit Amish Country, you should know that the Amish and Mennonites do not allow themselves to be photographed, and it’s disrespectful if you try to take a photo of them. You can take photos of the scenery. Just avoid focusing on Amish people.
So... How Safe Is Zanesville Really?
Zanesville is a fairly safe city to visit, and if the crime that does happen here concerns you, it will rule out a lot of American cities to visit.
The violent crime rate is just slightly above the state average and 25% lower than the national average.
As a visitor, you should also know that just 7% of violent crimes over the past five years happened against strangers.
Some might be surprised to find out there are gangs in rural Ohio.
Whether it’s prison gang members who have been released or gangs connected to Columbus, enough shootings have made headlines that the city and county are teaming up with Flock Cameras.
These cameras are put in the highest crime neighborhoods and alert police immediately to gunshots, long before a 911 call is even placed.
“I think it’s going to greatly benefit the community.
It gives officers the opportunity to respond more quickly than they were previously to reports of violent crime.
The cameras and gunshot detector systems are set up in areas that are specifically noted by law enforcement in our office, to have the highest rates of violent crime in our city,” said Muskingum County Prosecutor Ron Welch.
You can have an experience in Zanesville without even knowing about the violent crime if you stay away from unknown neighborhoods and don’t go looking for trouble.
The theft rate is one of the most concerning parts of my research.
It’s 122% higher than the national average. About one-third of that is related to shoplifting.
What that tells me is that there are people capable of stealing around you.
Never intervene if you see a shoplifter.
About 16% of thefts are related to car break-ins or accessory thefts, most of which can be avoided by locking your car and taking all personal belongings inside.
Zanesville isn’t the most dangerous or most exciting city.
It’s very average in a lot of ways, but hopefully, we’ve helped you find some fun things to do.
How Does Zanesville Compare?
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International visitors must secure a visa or visa waiver to enter the country. The U.S. State Department website outlines the eligibility criteria for a visa waiver. You can also utilize the Visa Wizard module on their site to assist in visa identification.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency you can use anywhere in the country. Don't wait until you get to Zanesville to exchange currency. Use a bank where you are a member or fly into an international airport that offers the service. Credit cards are widely accepted and preferred for their fraud protection.
Dress for the season, but bring various layers for spring and fall. The weather can change frequently. Summers are hot and humid. You'll want clothing you don't mind being soaked with sweat. Bug spray is important for any outdoor activity.
John Glenn Columbus International Airport is one hour west of Zanesville. Cleveland and Pittsburg are larger airports, each about two hours away.
Any destination with unpredictable weather that could disrupt travel plans warrants travel insurance. Ensure you also have health coverage at your destination if your current plan only covers your home country. Review rental car insurance provisions, too, so you know you're protected if there's a crash or unexpected need for roadside assistance.
Zanesville Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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Ohio - Safety by City