Visitors to the village of Swanton who enjoy the great outdoors may be inclined to visit one or more of the many parks in north western Ohio that are within easy driving distance and well worth a trip. Many residents also flock to these areas to indulge in outdoor pursuits such as hiking, cycling, fishing or bird watching. These include the 1,850-acre state Maumee Bay State Park that lies slightly further away, close to the state border and on the shore of Lake Erie.
This body of water was formed 11,000 years ago, when what was previously Lake Warren – this originated when the immense glacier that covered most of northern Ohio melted – receded leaving what would become known as Lake Erie in modern times, amid an enormous swamp which measured 120 miles long and 40 miles wide. Nowadays, aside from its beautiful setting, there are a wide variety of recreational activities available here where visitors can experience all the area’s natural splendor while relaxing or enjoying a favorite pastime. There are various types of accommodation available here too from camping facilities and cabins to rent to luxury lodges and private cottages with a multitude of trails linking together throughout and around the park. These trails are also popular with birders as the area is also known for its wildlife which includes many species of rare birds and butterflies so from large birds like the blue heron to amphibian and reptile species, there will be plenty to delight nature lovers as they explore the swampland forest and open marsh.
The Toledo Metropolitan Area is also home to several beautiful parks including the Oak Opening Preserve, a natural area of unspoiled land with a variety of walking, hiking and horseback riding trails for visitors to enjoy in the warmer months as well as ice-skating and a designated cross-country skiing trail for the winter months. This park features numerous different areas with a multitude of facilities including playgrounds, picnic areas, open shelters and various sports courts for the likes of volleyball, tennis and softball. The Pearson Park also has a fitness station and pond where visitors can rent pedal boats during peak season periods and there is also an information centre here which provides an interesting insight into the history of the black swamp area and more details about the local wildlife that have be en inhabiting the region for centuries. The Secor Park area also offers a selection of multi-purpose trails as well as an arboretum and nature discovery exhibition that is both educational and interesting. One of the latest additions to the Toledo Metro Parks is the Blue Creek Conservation Area situated in Whitehouse although this rustic landscape actually dates back to the late 18th century. This is located on the outskirts of the Oak Openings region and provides visitors with the opportunity to explore its glacial grooves, wetland eco system, oak savanna and quarry pond, where fishing is permitted. However, despite its more rural location, this area has a parking lot and temporary restroom near the entrance.