For those who enjoy hiking or simply taking a stroll along a scenic nature trail, you will find several beautiful places to explore in and around the Swanton area in north-western Ohio. Some trails can also be explored by bicycle too and there are many connecting routes for hiking, walking and cycling all within a short distance of the village, in particular around the Toledo Metropolitan districts originating from the Oak Openings Metro Park.
This a 4,000 acre metro park in Lucas county which offers over 30 miles of well-marked trails that cover some of the region’s most beautiful terrain which is as diverse as it is scenic. Nature lovers will be enthralled with the abundance of flora and fauna in the area which includes a multitude of differing plant species, trees and wild flowers while hikers can marvel at the immense sand dunes that are located in the area, miles away from any body of water. Also close to the city of Toledo you will find the Boardwalk Trail in the heart of the Maumee Bay State Park and this 2.4-mile boardwalk will lead you through the center of a marsh ecosystem where you can take in a swamp forest containing marshland species like the white oak, ash, willow, hackberry, and red maple as well as viewing the local wildlife in its natural habitat, plus there is also the opportunity to view it all from above by taking a connecting trail to the overlook. This elevated deck area is only 10 feet high but will enable you to see right across the region, including Lake Erie to the north of the state,
Experienced hikers who prefer a more challenging route, may want to give the 17 Mile Trail – just outside Toledo to the South and within easy driving distance of Swanton – a go, but this is definitely not for amateurs! This is deemed to be one of the best long hikes in Ohio and takes in part of the shores of Lake Erie along the way with the route weaving past inland sand dunes, creek beds and sandy trails and also takes hikers through oak and pine forests. While there are shorter trails connecting to this, the main route is a long and winding path that can take a day or two to complete in full depending on the pace taken and the stops made along the way as there are plenty of amenities provided for your convenience en-route. For those who prefer to really get away from it all then the 3-mile Cottonwood to Toadshade Loop may be more to your taste as this encompasses 170 acres of almost virgin forest that is all that remains of the Great Black Swamp that dominated this uninhabited area in centuries past. Towering trees overshadow much of the area with many between 200 and 500 years old while tall, broad species cottonwood, oak, tulip tree, ash, maple, beech, hickory, and basswood all add to the density of the dark, swampy forest areas.