CONNECTING PEOPLE, PLACES AND PARKS

Introduction

Ottawa County is home to several outdoor recreation destinations. As a way to highlight these destinations, the Park District of Ottawa County is teaming up with the Ottawa County Health Department to offer an all-new Outdoor Hiking Challenge program running September 1 – November 30, 2023.

Participants will earn an Outdoor Hiking Challenge Winter Hat by hiking 8 out of 12 Ottawa County hiking destinations. Hikes will be self-guided and on the honor system. A series of Guided Walks will also be offered throughout the autumn season. Record your hikes on the log sheet (Guided Walks may also be recorded on the log sheet). Completed log sheets must be received by December 8, 2023, to earn your Winter Hat.


The Hiking Destinations (Self-Guided)

1. East Harbor State Park – ODNR

East Harbor State Park | Ohio Department of Natural Resources


2. Marblehead Lighthouse – ODNR

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park | Ohio Department of Natural Resources

3. Meadowbrook Marsh – Danbury Township

Meadowbrook_Marsh_Map

4. Cedar Meadow Preserve – Catawba Township

Cedar Meadow Preserve | Ohio Department of Natural Resources

5. Nehls Memorial Nature Preserve – Black Swamp

Conservancy/USFWS Dr. Robert L. Nehls Memorial Nature Preserve

6. North Coast Inland Trail – Park District,

Elmore, Genoa North Coast Inland Trail – Ottawa County Parks

7. Veterans Park – Oak Harbor

https://www.oakharbor.oh.us/departments/public_works/parks.php

8. Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Main Unit – USFWS

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge | Visit Us | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

9. Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Marinewood Unit – USFWS

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge | Visit Us | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

10. Magee Marsh Wildlife Area Boardwalk – ODNR (closed Nov 17th – Dec 3rd)

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area | Ohio Department of Natural Resources


11. Massie Cliffside Preserve – Put-in-Bay Township Park District

Massie Cliffside Preserve – Put-in-Bay Township Park District

12. Port Clinton Waterfront Trail – Port Clinton

Home - City of Port Clinton


Guided Walks

Sunday, September 10, 1-2 p.m.

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fox Unit: Meet at the Fox Unit across Route 2 from the Visitor Center off of N Lickert-Harder Rd for a guided (~1 mile) hike on the storybook and prairie trails. This hike will be geared towards kids exploring the outdoors.

 

Saturday, September 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Lakeside Daisy Glacial Grooves Hike, Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve,

Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve | Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ohiodnr.gov)

Entry gate to glacial grooves area is 0.4 MI south of main preserve entrance on Alexander Pike. Roadside parking is available at both the main entrance and across from glacial grooves entrance.

All are invited to enjoy a guided hike of the restricted-access area of Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve. ODNR – Division of Natural Areas staff will lead visitors to some of the most extensive glacial grooves and best preserved alvar habitat in northern Ohio. Join us for this exciting opportunity to experience the native landscapes and unique geological features that make this nature preserve something special to Ohio.

Sunday, September 17, 1-2 p.m.

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Main Unit: Meet at the Visitor Center

for a guided (~1.5 mile) hike on the boardwalk and through the South

Woods trails as we look for birds and other wildlife. Binoculars can be

checked out at the Visitor Center at no cost. 


Wednesday, September 27, 9 – 10 a.m.

Toussaint Creek Wildlife Area, 11087 W. Toussaint-Portage Rd, Oak Harbor 43449

https://ohiodnr.gov/go-and-do/plan-a-visit/find-a-property/toussaint-creek-wildlife-area

Wildlife Communication Specialist Kelly Schott of the Ohio Division of Wildlife will lead a walk along the dikes of Toussaint Creek Wildlife Area discussing the importance of wetland restoration and management, wetland flora and fauna, and the history of the area.

 

Wednesday, October 4, 10 – 11 a.m.

Great Egret Marsh Nature Preserve, Marblehead

The Nature Conservancy's Great Egret Marsh Preserve | Ohio, The Heart of it All

Join the Ottawa County Health Department on a scenic walk along the Great Egret Marsh Preserve. This trail, a part of the West Harbor Basin, winds along a narrow pool of Lake Erie backwater that geologists believe was once the channel of the Portage River. Learn about mindfulness practices for your mental health as well as the many ways walking and time outdoors lead to healthier lives. This park was created in 2013 with help from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, and the 150 acres here call many waterfowl, including the Great Egret, home.

 

Wednesday, November 8, 9 – 10 a.m.

Depot Park, Elmore, on the North Coast Inland Trail

North Coast Inland Trail – Ottawa County Parks https://ottawacountyparksoh.org/parks-and-trails/north-coast-inland-trail

Park District Director Jannah Wilson will lead a guided walk on the North Coast Inland Trail. Meet at Depot Park, Elmore.


Download Digital Outdoor Hiking Challenge Form

Forms are also available at:

Park District of Ottawa County Office

3979 E Knoll Crest Drive in Port Clinton

OR

Ottawa County Health Department

1856 E. Perry Street in Port Clinton.

 

Submission information

Submit your log sheet by texting a photo to (419) 707-4051, emailing a photo to shill@ottawacountyparksoh.org, or returning completed log sheet to the Park District of Ottawa County Office located at 3979 E Knoll Crest Drive in Port Clinton.

One entry per person. Winter Hats will be distributed in December.


Partnering Agencies: