Hancock Park District offers an abundance of trails where individuals and families can walk or hike and remain socially isolated while getting outside for healthy fresh air and exercise.
It is recommended you don’t use picnic shelters, playground equipment and other “touchable” surfaces during this uncertain time, but open-air trails offer an activity with ever-changing scenery. Included here are the park features that remain open to the public despite closures of buildings.
Aeraland Recreation Area
1141 TR 243, Fostoria
Aeraland is a rural county park in a quiet country setting. The scenic South Branch Portage River flows through the 74.8 acres. You can picnic, hike and birdwatch in relative isolation and solitude. The Highline Trail offers the perfect hike for spotting wildflowers, including Erigenia bulbosa— commonly known as Harbinger-of-Spring or Pepper and Salt. Features include river views of the South Branch Portage River, Highline Trail, Upland Trail and Goose Lake.
Riverbend Recreation Area
16618 TR 208, Findlay
Riverbend Recreation Area was HPD’s first park along the “big bend” of the Blanchard River, and the 129-acre park offers varied habitat for wildlife. You can birdwatch and take photographs or spend some family time in the ample open space is playing yard games. A multi-use loop trail and nature trails weave through clearings and tree canopy where you can relax in restful solitude. Features include Giertz Lake with two fishing piers, a multi-use loop trail, nature trails, bridle trail and access to the Blanchard River Water Trail.
Litzenberg Memorial Woods
6100 US 224 West, Findlay
Litzenberg Memorial Woods contains 227.7 acres on the north side and south side of the highway. You can use the natural hiking and bridle trails in the midst of woods, wetlands and prairie, and the area serves as the western terminus of the 20-mile Heritage Trail.
Blanchard River Nature Preserve
22006 CR 17, Forest
With a strong emphasis on environmental preservation, you’re limited to hiking, birdwatching, and landscape and wildlife photography at Blanchard River Nature Preserve. There’s also a quiet walkway to the river’s edge as well as boating and fishing via a primitive river access site. This area is the start of the 37.6-mile Blanchard River Water Trail during rare times when there is enough water.
Blue Rock Nature Preserve
Edgar and Bank streets, Findlay
The 11.3-acre Blue Rock Nature Preserve is a showcase of natural succession, serving as a neighborhood park and oasis and offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of life. You can visit a small wetland and woods and enjoy hiking and birdwatching along the 0.3-mile Lady Bug Loop Trail.
Oakwoods Nature Preserve
1400 Oakwoods Lane, Findlay
Oakwoods Nature Preserve is a 227.5-acre outdoor complex that contains diverse habitat, nature trails and two lakes, plus the Richard S. “Doc” Phillips Discovery Center (which is currently closed). You can see wetlands, woodlands and prairie on multi-use trails and nature trails. The also includes a boat launch, fishing pier and observation area at Shank Lake.
Riverside Park Waterfront
McManness Avenue, north of East Main Cross Street, Findlay
Riverside Park Waterfront is 7 acres in size and owned by the city of Findlay, but managed by Hancock Park District. At the historic and popular destination, you can walk in an area intermingled with the sounds of urban life and nature. The park is located along the Blanchard River Greenway Trail. There also are observation areas, a stone walking trail around the old reservoir and a view of the dam and waterfalls.
East Main Cross Street, east of McManness Avenue, Findlay
The 0.5-acre Waterfalls Area is across the river from Riverside Park Waterfront. It provides a soothing respite among the waterfall and majestic sycamore trees. You can walk along the Blanchard River Greenway Trail, portage canoes and kayaks and access the Blanchard River for fishing.
East Main Cross Street and Bright Road, Findlay
The 1-acre Eastpoint Area offers fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and it serves as a wayside destination for resting, relaxing and enjoying the waterfront and as the eastern terminus of the Blanchard River Greenway Trail.
Taylor Street, south of Clinton Court, Findlay
Civitan Park is a 3-acre neighborhood park open to the community with a multi-use trail and the Blanchard River Greenway Trail.
Cross Avenue, east of Blanchard Street, Findlay
The 5-acre Centennial Park offers an outdoor fitness center (but use caution with touchable surfaces) adjacent to the Blanchard River Greenway Trail.
Great Karg Well Historical Site
Liberty and River streets, Findlay
The 0.5-acre site features a monument honoring the Great Karg Well. The quiet destination offers access to the Blanchard River for fishing.