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I scream, you scream

We all scream for ice cream…at the end of this runway

There’s a treat at the end of Runway 6 at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport (SGH) in Ohio. Young’s Jersey Dairy, midway between the towns of Springfield and Yellow Springs, and within spitting distance of the SGH runway, is a happy place to visit when you are in the area.

The “area” is a part of the vast infrastructure of more than 150 public-use airports in Ohio, rival to North Carolina as the birthplace of aviation. Ohio’s vast number of airports makes it a pleasure to fly, and the state honors its aviation roots with museums, trails, and monuments to its most famous brothers, Orville and Wilbur. With its flat, open green fields and views a mile wide, Ohio is an aviation mecca.

While joy is a simple reason to fly, sometimes you need a tangible reason. Hence our proverbial $100 hamburger and pancake breakfasts. But may I suggest something more sublime? Something sweet, tasty, creamy, and oh-so-satisfying, which of course is ICE CREAM (yes, I’m screaming). For 155 years, Young’s Jersey Dairy has been in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The small dairy has expanded to include not only a massive ice cream parlor, but also a sandwich shop, retail store, petting zoo, and more.

Young’s Jersey Dairy produces about 75,000 gallons of ice cream per year and about 44,000 pounds of cheese. Half of the cheese produced is sold as cheese curds. They maintain a herd of Jersey cows. Young’s Jersey Dairy company began in 1946. Beginning in the 1950s, the family began selling milk to the public, expanding to cheese and food items such as sandwiches and hot dogs in the 1960s. Today they are best known for their homemade ice cream.

Local pilots at SGH will advise you that this is the place to visit; courtesy cars are available. Try the Cow Patty ice cream—double dark chocolate with toffee, cookies, and chocolate chips. The annual sale of ice cream pints is March 28 through 31, so pack a cooler in your airplane.

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Click images to enlarge and view captions.

Young’s ice cream is made on the farm. The ice cream is made from a 15-percent butterfat mix (pasteurized milk, cream, and sugar mixture). The ice cream has a smooth, creamy texture and blends well with many flavors. Mint chocolate chip is a flavor of the month in March. Photography by David Tulis.

Happy California cows

In the town of Independence, California, the seasonal Eastern Sierra Ice Cream Company is giving aviators a reason to fly. With uniquely named and always homemade flavors, a stop here is the perfect treat on a warm spring or summer flying day. Try Winter is Coming (peppermint with peppermint candies) or Sunshine (saffron and orange, made to celebrate the solstice each year) for something different, or stick with the classics or sorbet. The small-batch ice cream company prides itself on 100-percent natural cream scoops made from “happy California cows” and also offers nondairy options crafted from “wholesome ingredients.”

Also worth trying are the refreshing sparkles—ice cream, homemade syrup, and sparkling water—and milkshakes. The ice cream is available in pints to go as well, so bring your best cooler if you want to take some home.

The Eastern Sierra Ice Cream Co. is walking distance from the Independence Airport (207) and has a restroom for patrons and a shady deck to enjoy your selection. It opens for the season in late March and typically closes in October; check the website and social media for more info. —Alicia Herron

Photography by Chris Rose.
Zoomed image
Photography by Chris Rose.
Photography by Chris Rose.
Zoomed image
Photography by Chris Rose.
Julie Walker
Julie Summers Walker
AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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