Hiking Across Richland County

Summer is winding down and Autumn is a perfect time to take advantage of the weather and beautiful scenery. Get outside! Explore! The colder months are coming. Spending time in nature has been proven to improve mental focus, lower stress levels, increase creativity as well as boost the immune system. Whether you want to take a stroll on a park path, trek through the woods or just explore the local flora and fauna, we’ve got places for you right in your own backyard. Check out the list below for your next expedition into the great outdoors.

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There are lots of great places for intense hikes and leisurely strolls around Richland County. From the wedding site of Bogey and Bacall at Malabar Farm State Park, the paved 18.4 miles of the Richland B&O Bike Trail, and the amazing rich park landscapes at Gorman Nature Center and the Ohio Bird Sanctuary, find the one for you. Here are some of the most popular ones to choose from.

Gorman Nature Center
2295 Lexington Ave.
Mansfield, Ohio 44907
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
150 acres of park land in various terrains, from open fields, to woods and stream. Walk the 6 different intertwining trails totaling just over 3 miles.

Malabar Farm State Park
4050 Bromfield Road
Lucas, OH 44843
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
The Malabar Farm grounds contain several trails, most through wooded hilly areas. Some parts are handicap accessible and good for beginners while others are more difficult, crossing streams, cliffs and caves.
Butternut Trail: .83mile loop
Doris Duke Woods Trail: 1mile loop
Jungle Book Trail: .70mile loop
Pleasant Valley Bridle Trail: 5.27miles (horses and skis allowed)

Ohio Bird Sanctuary
3774 Orweiler Rd
Mansfield, OH 44903
Difficulty: Easy to Hard
This 90 acre nature preserve features 5 intertwined hiking trails. The Sanctuary has 4 miles of trails winding through meadow, riparian and old growth forest. A portion of the Wood Duck Trail, in the optimum birding habitat, is wheelchair accessible.

Pleasant Hill Lake Park
3431 State Route 95
Perrysville, OH 44864
Difficulty: Easy to Hard
Wander near your campsite, along the lake or get your gear for the long haul. Pleasant Hill Lake Park has more than 15 miles of trails connecting with Malabar, Mohican and equine trails. Easier trails are located within the official park, with further flung trails extending around most of the lake.

Richland B&O Bike Trail
18 miles between Butler and Mansfield
(Many stopping and starting points)
Difficulty: Easy
Bike or hike the historic Richland B & O Trail. Richland County became the 70th Rails to Trails project, and now provides and maintains 18 miles of scenic trail through the heart of Richland County, connecting the villages of Butler, Bellville, Lexington and the city of Mansfield.

Here are some more great places to go exploring!
Note: Most of these trails are marked with signs but a few are not. The addresses will get you close to the beginning of the trail. Please use caution.

Bicentennial Park
Lex-Ontario Road (Between Avon Dr and Cockley Rd)
Lexington, OH 44904
Difficulty: Easy
0.39 mile circular walking trail along the river. Flat path traversing open and wooded areas.

Charles Mill Lake Park
1277A State Route 430
Mansfield, OH 44903
Difficulty: Moderate
The Donaldson Hiking Trail located off Crider Rd across from Eagle Point. About a 2 mile loop including hills and woods.

Clear Fork Scenic Park Trail
341 Resort Dr,
Butler, OH 44822 (Clear Fork Adventure Resort)
State Rte 95 NE & Pleasant Hill Rd
Perrysville, OH 44864 (North end)
Difficulty: Easy to Hard
This 8 mile hike traverses 570 acres of The Clear Fork Scenic Park incorporating old-growth forest, rolling terrains and prairie flowers and grasses. This path connects with the B&O Bike Trail in Butler at one end and another trail maintained by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District at the other. The 8 miles includes two spurs including Valley View Spur, which with an elevation of 1,370 feet, is one of the highest points in Richland County. Skipping the two spurs will make the path about 6 miles.

Cooke Family Wildlife Conservation Park
4774 OH-13
Shiloh, OH 44878
Difficulty: Easy
This 163-acre park lies alongside the Black Fork of the Mohican River. It provides a mixture of grassland, forest, marsh and waterway. There is a 3-acre fishing pond, picnic shelter, 1.5 miles of hiking trails, and trap shooting range on the property.

Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve
7815 Olivesburg-Fitchville Road
Greenwich, OH 44837
Difficulty: Easy
One of the few remnants of Ohio’s old growth (primeval) forests. It’s said to have a spectacular display of spring flowers. Handicap accessible 1.25 mile boardwalk trail. Dogs not permitted. Good site for bird watching.

Fox Glen Park
496 W. Straub Rd.
Mansfield, OH 44904
Difficulty: Easy
Dirt path through wooded residential area, about ¾ mile.

Lexington Community Park
167 Plymouth St.
Lexington, OH 44904
Difficulty: Easy
Community park with flat grass walking path along the river. Direct access to the Richland County B&O bike trail. Bathrooms available.

Mansfield City Parks
Mansfield City includes several parks with surrounding roads for easy walking. Please be cautious of vehicles. Click the link above for a full listing. The two below are considered to be the best “trails”.

  • North Lake Park
    270 Westbrook Ave.
    Mansfield, OH 44906
    Difficulty: Easy
    ½ mile loop around lake. Beginning of the B&O Bike Trail.
  • South Park
    51 Wellington Ave
    Mansfield, OH 44906
    Difficulty: Easy
    Home of the historically famous Block House and Concerts in the Park. Road walkways and paths through the park.

Patriot Park
169-387 Plymouth St
Lexington, OH 44904
Difficulty: Easy
Open area walking trail along the river and in 16 acres of natural wild field area. The paths are flat and easy for walking. It has 0.77 mile circular path with 2 short crossing paths.

Shelby Upground Reservoir No. 2
50-58 Sherman Ave
Shelby, OH 44875
Difficulty: Easy
One mile paved walking path around the reservoir.

Shelby Reservoir No. 3
3846 London West Road
Shelby, OH 44875
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Walk the 1.25 miles of paved walking path around the reservoir or venture into the woods on the 3 mile nature trail.

Stoller Rd Trail
1909 Lexington Ontario Rd
Mansfield, OH 44904 (Trailhead Clear Fork)
3213 Marion Ave Rd
Mansfield, OH 44903 (North end-not marked)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
This four-mile dirt trail winds through woods and hills with some excellent views of the lake. There are also some more difficult upper trails created by area off-road bicyclists. These trails are more winding and cross several ravines. According to Just Walk Richland County, Stoller Rd existed before the dam was filled, parts of road can still be seen crossing paths.

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Just Walk Richland, part of the Richland Public Health, sponsors guided walks and hikes. Join them on a walk to meet up with more people and find new places to explore. Click here for more information.