At a time when indoor activities in close proximity to others is frowned upon, and social distancing is highly encouraged, outdoor recreation is at a premium. With this in mind, there is no time like the present to discover the Crawford Park District and everything it has to offer.
The Crawford Park District’s mission is to create, preserve, protect and manage a system of parks, nature preserves, and recreational facilities – all publicly owned by the citizens of Crawford County for their leisure and enjoyment. In addition to six parks located throughout the county, the Park District also offers organized nature programs and activities. Most are centered around the Lowe-Volk Nature Center, featuring 25 exhibits including live wildlife.
Lowe-Volk is located just west of Crestline. Its two miles of trails wander through wooded forests, wetland, and old field habitats. The park is handicap accessible with a floating fishing dock and boardwalk trail along the beginning of the 130-mile Sandusky River.
Unger Park was the first park developed by the district. Its 53 acres on the edge of Bucyrus consists of restored prairie and bottomland woods. A three-mile trail system winds through the forest and along the Sandusky River. The trails are open to horseback riding June through October. The park is a popular destination for migratory birds, and is home to over 100 species of plants.
Sears Woods encompasses 137 acres, with a 1-mile loop trail through upland forest and along bluffs overlooking the river. It’s known for its abundant display of wildflowers beneath the canopy of towering nut trees. The fall foliage is spectacular, and wildlife plentiful – from songbirds to whitetail deer.
Daughmer Prairie Savannah is the largest and best preserved remnant of deep soil prairies at the easternmost extension of America’s heartland. It contains the largest remnant, a Bur Oak Savannah. The area is known for its variety of grasses in both dry prairies and wet marshes.
Heckert Nature Preserve is made up of 43 acres of upland forest, river bottom, and old field habitats. It features a 1-mile hiking trail that winds along beautiful flora from spring wildflowers to fall foliage. Butterflies and birds are a common sight, as well as frogs and salamanders in the damp bottomland.
Sandusky Wildlife Area is home to squirrels, turkeys, and numerous whitetail deer in its forests of oak and hickory. It offers a fantastic hunting opportunity by permit only for Crawford County residents who are lucky enough to be drawn in the annual lottery.
If you haven’t taken advantage of all the recreational opportunities offered by the Crawford Park District, now is the time to do so. For more information about the district’s programs and facilities, visit www.crawfordparkdistrict.org.