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Where to find Outdoor Recreation near Mansfield, Ohio

Tonya Prater, Owner

Love the outdoors? We’re sharing ten of our favorite attractions where you can find outdoor recreation near Mansfield, Ohio.”

10 Places to find outdoor recreation in 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.

Enjoying a walk through the woods at Malabar Farm State Park.

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 is a popular attraction for outdoor recreation near Mansfield Ohio

  1. 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.

The Richland B & O Bike Trail

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

Springtime at Malabar Farm

  1. 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.

The top of Big Lyons Falls at Mohican State Park

  1. 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 is an option for outdoor recreation near Mansfield

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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 is one of the outdoor recreation options near Mansfield

  1. 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.

  1. Snow Trails

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?

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Ten favorite options for outdoor recreation near Mansfield

Jessica Lippe

Saturday 25th of November 2017

Who won?


Wednesday 8th of November 2017

I know so little about Ohio, so it's fun to learn more about it's beautiful natural attractions. I love that they turned an old railroad bed into a trail. I think there's something similar in the Northwest where I grew up -- people are always bicycling on it! I can see why your son would like to buy a home nearby. But tell me, the winters are pretty harsh, right? I guess that's what keeps everything so green!


Wednesday 8th of November 2017

Oh, and my favorite outdoor destination would have to be Zion National Park!


Wednesday 8th of November 2017

My favorite destination is the Pacific Northwest - so beautiful, and I love the culture.

Gretchen Garrison

Wednesday 8th of November 2017

We love going to Mahoney State Park which is halfway between Lincoln and Omaha in Nebraska.


Sunday 5th of November 2017

Ohio always surprises me! They take outdoor recreation seriously, which I totally love - makes me want to pay Mansfield a visit on my next road trip. My favorite outdoor destination has got to be Olympic National Park in the Pacific Northwest.

Tonya Prater

Monday 6th of November 2017

You definitely need to come back, Tara. Just let me know when you want to come for a visit. :) The attractions I mentioned in this post are all within minutes to a half hour from my home. Protection Status
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