The Portage Park District will celebrate the 40th year of its most popular park, Towner’s Woods, with a community celebration at 4:00 pm, Saturday October 8th . The public is invited to attend the festivities which will include a formal proclamation of the anniversary by public officials, historical hikes, a nature photo booth, campfire, music, refreshments, and a food truck. Towner’s Woods is located at 2264 Ravenna Rd. in Franklin Township.
Towner’s Woods was acquired in phases by Portage County in the 1970’s as a potential water supply, with later additions of land by the Park District. It was developed as parkland and dedicated to the public in the year of the County’s Bicentennial in 1976. The park consists of 241 rolling acres of mixed forests, diverse high quality wetlands and old fields in both Franklin and Ravenna Townships. Foot trails throughout the park provide easy to strenuous hiking and renowned cross-country skiing.
The event will also mark the dedication of two new features: a 0.6 mile Wetlands Trail on the park’s east side and the newest park addition—the 7.4 acre residential property near the front of the park, including the pond that is visible from the main trail.
The park has a lot to offer, including a 2,000 year-old Hopewell Indian burial mound overlooking the pristine Lake Pippen, one of the few mounds in Northeast Ohio. KSU Professor Emeritus Mark Seeman will present on the Hopewell history and culture and lead a hike to the mound.
Towner’s Woods is also located on the former Erie Railroad line. The 1928 Brady Interlocking Switch Tower at the park entrance was used to switch the lower set of train tracks before modern technology took over. Recently repaired and painted, the building has great potential for other uses and will also be open that day for viewing with various displays.
The Park District is working on a master site plan of improvements, and the public is invited to provide feedback on the draft ideas that will be on display that day.
4:00pm- Speakers on the past, present and future of Towner’s Woods Park
5:00pm- Hopewell Mound Hike
5:30pm- New Wetlands Trail Hike
5:00-7:00- Campfire and Music
4:00-7:00pm- Photo Booth, Historical Displays, Info Booths, Refreshments, Food Truck
The Portage Park District’s mission is to conserve Portage County’s natural heritage and provide opportunities for its appreciation and enjoyment. For more information call (330) 297-7728 or visit www.portageparkdistrict.org