Mill Creek Park–Ford Nature Center
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Ohio Birding Day Hike
Mill Creek Park Trails
About Ford Nature Center
Tucked away in the northern part of Mill Creek Park stands a handsome stone mansion donated to the Park in 1968 by the children of the late Judge John W. Ford. The Ford Nature Center opened to the public in 1972 as the headquarters for the Park’s nature education programs.
The naturalist staff at the Ford Nature Center offers a variety of programming throughout the year including hikes, school programs, workshops, and special events.
Display areas at the Ford Nature Center include the Habitat Room which depicts plants and animals of four local habitats, the Discovery Room where children can use their senses to learn about the natural world, and a Live Animal Room with turtles, snakes, and other animals native to northeast Ohio.
The Ford Nature Center also houses the Vickers Memorial Library, a bird observation area, the Teachers’ Resource Center, and a gift shop. The grounds include wildlife gardens and walking trails. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll on the Virginia J. Axtmann Nature Trail For All People, a barrier-free trail with interpretive signs. Arrangements for group tours and school programs, as well as reservations for scheduled public programs, may be made by calling this facility.
From Ford Nature Center webpage
About Mill Creek Park
Mill Creek Park was established in 1891 by Volney Rogers as the first park district in Ohio. Mill Creek Park is the largest area of the MetroParks encompassing 2,882 acres of the MetroParks’ 4,400 acres. Recreation opportunities include hiking, biking, boating, fishing, golf, tennis, volleyball, picnicking, cross-country skiing, sledding, and much more. Mill Creek Park offers 20 miles of drives and 15 miles of foot trails.
Mill Creek flows through the Park in a northerly direction supplying water to three lakes. Mill Creek Park extends along the Mill Creek Valley from Western Reserve Road to the confluence of Mill Creek and the Mahoning River.
The northern section of Mill Creek Park includes Lanterman’s Falls and the Mill Creek Gorge. This area offers breathtaking views with its cascading waters; steep hillsides, beautifully covered with deciduous and evergreen trees; bold sandstone outcroppings; and numerous grass-covered meadows. South of the gorge, the land is rolling and partly wooded.
Hitchcock Woods, south of US-224, includes dense woods and extensive wetlands, undeveloped except for primitive trails. The Mill Creek Preserve, acquired with grant monies in 2006-07, extends Mill Creek Park to Western Reserve Road and features a 102-acre Category 3 wetlands.
The Newport Wetlands, located at the southern end of the lake, provide habitat for a variety of plants and animals. Visitors can experience this complex web of flora and fauna by walking the Albert E. Davies Wetland Trail, a boardwalk through the wetlands with interpretive signs along the way. Kayakers can explore the wetland habitat through water trails inaccessible from land. Hikers can access West and East Channel and Islands Trails and West Newport Trail.
From Mill Creek Park webpage
Restrooms are located at many parking areas and trailheads throughout Mill Creek Park.
The Mill Creek Park trail guide shows the locations of restrooms and handicap accessible trails.