Love the outdoors? We’re sharing ten of our favorite attractions where you can find outdoor recreation near Mansfield, Ohio.”
Mansfield, Ohio is conveniently located between Cleveland and Columbus and is in close proximity to both Ohio’s Shores and Islands area and Amish Country. Visitors to the community enjoy touring the Ohio State Reformatory and driving along the Shawshank Trail, shopping at the antique and specialty stores in the Carrousel District and sipping a glass of wine at Winery 1258 at the Blueberry Patch.
You’ll find things to do in Mansfield range from sipping craft beer at the Phoenix, to enjoying the holiday lights and decor at Kingwood Center, to dining on ethnic dishes at Chinatown Restaurant or Athens Greek Restaurant.
Benefits of living in Mansfield offers the opportunity to enjoy life in a mid-sized town that’s small enough that you’re likely to run into someone you know at the local grocery store, but big enough that you have some cultural options like plays and nightlife that you find in a larger town. We also get the bonus of less traffic.
There really is quite a bit to enjoy living here, but one of the benefits of living here and why what drew us back to the community after a brief move a few years ago is the proximity to parks and outdoor recreation near Mansfield. I’ll share some of our favorite outdoor spots.
Outdoor Recreation near Mansfield
Gorman Nature Center
Gorman Nature Center has been a favorite park for my family since my kids were toddlers. The Visitor Center offers educational programs for the community, including children’s workshops. Gorman Nature Center features five miles of hiking trails that are dog-friendly.
Richland County B&O Trail
The Richland B&O Trail is a former railroad bed turned bike trail that covers 18.5 miles throughout Richland County and connects Mansfield to the smaller communities of Lexington, Bellville, and Butler. This is a popular trail that is open to joggers, walkers, bikers and inline skaters year-round.
The Clear Fork Reservoir
The reservoir is a great place to fish, kayak, boat, hike or relax with a picnic lunch at one of the picnic areas. New to the reservoir is a disc golf course which I’m excited to try out.
Malabar Farm State Park
Malabar Farm welcomes hikers, cross country skiers and horseback riders. Primitive camping and stargazing are available. The Butternut Trail leads to a cave that visitors can experience. Fishing is also available near the Big House. A favorite attraction at Malabar Farm is Mt. Jeez which allows a scenic view of the surrounding properties.
Mohican State Park
A short drive from Malabar Farm State Park, the Mohican area is a popular outdoor venue. The park features hiking, mountain biking, and camping. During the summer, visitors can float down the Mohican River in inner tubes to cool off. Popular sites within the park are Big Lyons Falls and the Gorge Overlook. RV and tent campers will find plenty of camping options along the Wally Road Scenic Byway as well as in the Mohican State Park Campground.
Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve
Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve is one of the best places in Ohio to view spring wildflowers and the swampy surroundings provide visitors ample opportunity to view amphibians during the spring and summer. A wooden boardwalk leads visitors through the Beech-Maple trail. Sadly, due to damage to the Ash trees from the Ash Borer Beetle, part of the trail has been closed as a safety precaution. Dogs are not permitted on this trail.
Black Fork Wetlands Preserve
The Black Fork Wetlands Preserve is owned by Ashland University. While used by students and teachers to study the birds, trees, and shrubs in the wetlands, the property is also open to the public. The boardwalk leads back through the marsh allowing guests to observe many birds and waterfowl. This is a great place to hang out and take some photos of the birds.
Charles Mill Lake Park
Charles Mill Lake Park offers boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, hiking, and camping. You’ll also find a shuffleboard course, bocce ball and Frisbee golf course onsite. Charles Mill is also a popular area for birdwatchers.
Pleasant Hill Lake Park
Pleasant Hill Lake Park is a popular spot for speed boats, jet skis, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. The park also has 88 miles of hiking and bridle trails that connect to Mohican State Park and Mohican State Forest.
Snow lovers are thrilled to have our very own ski resort within Richland County. Snow Trails offers downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing during the winter season.
Do you have a favorite destination for outdoor recreation near Mansfield? If not, what is your favorite outdoor destination?