Discover the joys of birding in Northwest Ohio throughout the Hancock Park System. In addition to providing great exercise, birding is a relaxing, inexpensive way to spend time outdoors with family and friends.
The Hancock Park District has an ongoing Bird Monitoring project. All skill levels are welcome; first-time birders can learn about birds or veteran bird watchers can become better at identifying their feathered friends. This hands-on, in-the-field approach to monitoring environmental changes is one of the ways volunteers experience a wide range of physical and mental activities. Bird Monitoring outings are listed in the Seasonal Program & Event Guide.
A camping getaway is a great way to unwind and reconnect with friends and family. The Campground located at Riverbend Recreation Area offers four tent camping sites. Each camping site includes a picnic table and fire ring. Waste water drains, trash receptacles and a barrel containing non-potable water with a bucket for extinguishing campfires are located along the edge of the woods.
Waterless restrooms and a drinking fountain are available in the Big Oaks Activity Area. All potable and non-potable water is available on a seasonal basis only. Rental is $15 per site, per night, with eight people per campsite. The cost to reserve the entire campground for camping or special events is $60
Winter is a great time to explore the outdoors. Both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing provide great workouts and are far more affordable and accessible than their downhill cousin. You’ll enjoy another full season of outdoor recreation on a variety of Hancock Park District trails.
As part of our Leisure Education Initiative, the Hancock Park District conducts Beginner Cross-country Ski Workshops that cover the basic fundamentals, including proper use of equipment and how to glide, climb hills, stand up on skis, turn around, and get into the rhythm. Workshops are subject to proper snow and weather conditions.
Hancock Park District’s Leisure Education Initiative involves a series of outdoor recreation skills instructional courses that introduce outdoor recreation activities, teach fundamental skills and encourage participation in outdoor recreation over the course of a lifetime.
Raccoon Run Winter Sports Center, located at Riverbend Recreation Area in Shelter 3, rents cross-country skis and snowshoes during good weather and snow conditions, weekends and holidays. Group outings can be arranged, for times other than public openings, through the Hancock Park District Administrative Office.
An 18-hole disc golf course is available at Riverbend Recreation Area, near Shelter #3 in the Big Oaks area. Public programs on instruction and tournaments are held throughout the year for all levels of experience.
A walk through a stunning landscape not only calms your nerves but improves your spirits. Being in the majesty of nature works wonders for stress relief. And people who walk on a regular basis enjoy better overall health, markedly less stress and are more energetic in general.
The Hancock Park District has a variety of trails for walking and hiking located throughout the Hancock Park System.
Find companionship and solace while developing better reflexes and coordination on horseback. Designated horseback riding trails have been established at Litzenberg Memorial Woods and Riverbend Recreation Area.
As part of our Leisure Education Initiative, the Hancock Park District also partners with the University of Findlay’s James L. Child, Jr. Equestrian Complex and their associates to offer a hands-on Horseback Riding Program for beginners. Instructional content covers basic horse care and safety (feeding, catching a horse in a stall, putting on a halter, leading a horse, and grooming), basic tacking up and riding skills (mounting, dismounting, walking, stopping, guiding, jogging, and loping), bathing the horse, cleaning the saddle, and an advanced riding demonstration at which time other styles of riding are covered.
Hancock Park District’s Leisure Education Initiative involves a series of outdoor recreation skills instructional courses that introduce outdoor recreation activities, teach fundamental skills, and encourage participation in outdoor recreation over the course of a lifetime.
Residents and landowners of Hancock County have the opportunity to participate in the Hancock Park District’s Hunting-with-Permission Lottery program provided in cooperation with Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. Hunting at Litzenberg Memorial Woods occurs during a three-month period, from November through January.
Additional information about the Hunting-with-Permission Lottery program can be obtained by contacting the Hancock Park District at 419-425-7275.
Park visitors are welcome to participate in “Geocaching” and “Letter Boxing” activities in the Hancock Park District. A PERMIT/APPLICATION FORM is now required to hide a cache in any HPD park area in order to limit the impact on native plants and animals in certain management areas. Application forms can be downloaded from the HPD website or can be obtained at the HPD office.
Hancock County and Putnam County
Sawmills, gristmills, and waterpower shaped a region for Native Americans and settlers and carved an area out of the Ohio wilderness bounded by rivers and the Great Black Swamp. As history tells it, the earliest known settler of Hancock County was a Frenchman by the name of Jean Jacques Blanchard who arrived in 1769. In 1908, William “Tell” Taylor wrote “Down by the Old Mill Stream” while sitting on the banks of the Blanchard River. Life prospered from the river, villages and cities grew, and transportation moved people and goods to build the economy. Today, the Old Mill Stream Scenic Byway extends 52 miles through Hancock and Putnam counties, while showcasing the Blanchard River, natural resources, and parks and recreation with a nice blend of cultural and historic attractions along the way.