Explore 900 acres of nature preserves

2014_03_18 - Steyer - Sandusky River Bridge

Sandusky River at Steyer Nature Preserve towards sunset

Snow-covered rock formations at Steyer

Snow-covered rock formations at Steyer

OK, I admit it. I’m fan of parks, and this county has a bunch — 30 at my last count (future post.) What isn’t as well known, though, is that it also has ten gorgeous nature preserves, a nature preserve being (according to wikipedia) “a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest.”

People here care about quality of life and made a deliberate push almost 20 years ago to create the Seneca County Parks District (SCPD)–which manages eight of the ten preserves– to protect and enhance the outdoors here. These eight compliment the two local state nature preserves, providing almost 900 acres of pristine outdoor woodland, wetland, grassland, and waterway.

Activities you can pursue at the preserves include:

  • Walking trails (almost all)
  • Equestrian trails (Springville Marsh and Bowen)
  • Canoeing and water access (Steyer and Clinton)
  • Fishing (Garlo, Steyer, Clinton, Forrest, Tiffin, Mercy)
  • Hunting (Steyer)
  • Picnicking (almost all)

In addition, each preserve has its own unique assets. For example, Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve has a nature center, observation decks, bluebird trails, a butterfly garden, a restored blacksmith shop, and a 37-acre lake. Steyer Nature Preserve, on the other hand, has oak trees more than 300 years old, was a site where Native Americans lived, and offers one mile of view and access to the state scenic Sandusky River. Here are the ten preserves:

Seneca County Nature Preserves Location Acres  
Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve County – SW 292  
Springville Marsh State Nature Preserve County – SE 161  
Steyer Nature Preserve County – N 141  
Collier State Nature Preserve County – S 115  
Bowen Nature Preserve County – NE 65  
Clinton Nature Preserve Tiffin 33  
Forrest Nature Preserve County – S 33  
Tiffin University Nature Preserve Tiffin 30  
Mercy Community Nature Preserve Tiffin 22  
Zimmerman Nature Preserve Tiffin 5  
 Totals   897  

So, based on my experience so far at three of them (Steyer, Mercy, Tiffin), I heartily recommend checking them out if you’re not familiar with them or exploring one you haven’t yet. Let me also share a few pictures of my visit to Steyer this month:

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