The Riverwalk is owned by the City of Findlay and managed by the Hancock Park District (1987). It connects Anchor Park to Cory Street along the south side of the Blanchard River, provides excellent views of the Blanchard River, and encourages a slower pace. The Riverwalk was originally developed as a downtown improvement aimed at beautifying the area, encouraging economic and recreational benefits, and linking parks, trails, and neighborhoods to downtown Findlay.
In 1987, Riverwalk East was developed as a cooperative project involving City of Findlay, Hancock County Commissioners, Findlay Downtown Area Association, Friends of the Old Mill Stream, Inc., Hancock Regional Planning Commission, and the Hancock Park District. In 1988, Riverwalk West was developed. Funding for the Riverwalk came from state and federal grants, private donations, and local governmental agencies.
The Riverwalk marked the completion of a 10-year Riverfront Development Plan that included Riverside Park Development, boat rental areas, Waterfalls Area, Blanchard River Greenway Trail from Riverside Park to Clinton Court, Centennial Park, and Civitan Park. The Riverwalk development project won the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association’s top honor, the 1989 Outstanding Facility Award.
The project was selected from a field of several hundred projects statewide. The Ohio Parks and Recreation Association’s awards selection team said the local development won the award partly because it was obvious that the Hancock Park District received much local cooperation.
Time has taken its toll on the Riverwalk. Wood decking and railing, and asphalt are over 30 years old. Landscaping outgrew the designated space. Trees matured and blocked the view of the river from the Riverwalk. The condition of the Riverwalk leaves a lot to be desired. Riprap is unsightly, and it harbors unwanted vegetation and collects trash. Comfortable bench seating is absent. And vegetation and raised planting beds at the entrances block the view of the Riverwalk when wide-open views should be afforded.
The vision for a renewed Riverwalk focuses on the basics: provide new, modern building materials and quality trail surfaces, promote visitation and enjoyment with benches along the Blanchard River Greenway, provide openness so that the Riverwalk can be seen from Cory Street and Main Street, design signs that entice and offer the proper representation, and create a low maintenance redevelopment with views of the Blanchard River. The physical and visual connections between the reconstructed Riverwalk and the proposed North River Development Project by the City of Findlay is an important component worthy of consideration.