Darke County Park District

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Contributed by Robb Clifford
Senior Naturalist with Darke County Parks

Created in 1972 and followed with the donation of Coppess Nature Sanctuary in 1974, the Darke County Park District now offers eight natural areas and four historic sites totaling over 500 acres are managed and maintained for your passive recreation needs. All Darke County Parks are open sunrise to sunset. Please park vehicles in designated lots and walk on marked trails. Help to protect the Parks by taking only memories and leaving only footprints. Please do not collect plants, animals or artifacts of any kind. Pets may be walked on a leash. Fishing is permitted with a state license. Biking is restricted to paved trails only.

Photo courtesy of Darke County Parks.

The Nature Center located at Shawnee Prairie Preserve, just outside of Greenville, is open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm and offers many programs for young and old throughout the year. If you have questions or concerns please call the Nature Center at 937-548-0165.

Alice Bish Park: Situated along the scenic Greenville Creek on Ohio Street in Greenville, this 5 acre park offers a paved public canoe access and a black-topped walking and biking path that connects to Greenville City Parks trails.

Coppess Nature Sanctuary: Spring wildflowers carpet the floor of this 32-acre mature oak-hickory woodland. Walk the 3/4 mile loop trail and be transported back in time to the wilderness of pre-settlement Darke County.

Drew Woods Preserve: This 15-acre pristine woodland is a limited access preserve used for scientific research under a lease agreement with ODNR. There are no trails or parking area, but Naturalist led public visits are held twice a year.

Eidson Woods Preserve: Our newest park is just beginning to take shape and promises to be a great addition to the district. Once open, Eidson Woods will provide 70 acres of beech-maple forest and 15 acres of prairie habitat.

Prairie Ridge Park: Situated along Greenville Creek on N. Broadway St. in Greenville, this historic park features the Anthony Wayne Peace Council House, 250 year old oak trees, a scenic trestle bridge, and a restored prairie.

Routzong Preserve: Observe spectacular spring wildflowers and brilliant fall colors while walking the loop trails of this 55-acre preserve of mature woodland and restored prairie. This park also features a memorial trees trail.

Shawnee Prairie Preserve: Over 2 miles of trails guide you through the woodlands, prairies, and wetlands of our largest preserve. The Nature Center located here features displays, library, gift shop, bird viewing area and meeting rooms for you to use and enjoy. The Log House is also located here and is the focal point for all of our historic interpretation which occurs throughout the year.

Tecumseh Point: A paved interpretive trail along Greenville Creek takes visitors to the historically significant Tecumseh Point, where the famous Shawnee War Chief burned fires from 1805-1808 in protest of the Treaty of Greene Ville.

Turkeyfoot Preserve: Named for the prairie grass, Big Bluestem, this preserve includes 60 acres of re-established prairie and managed wetlands. The wetlands are a premier birding area during spring and fall migrations, while the prairie hosts grassland nesting birds.

Winterrowd Wetlands: This 60-acre preserve of wetland, upland woods, and restored prairie provides habitat for a diversity of wildlife and bird species. trail from the parking area leads to an observation blind along the wetland’s edge.

Worth Family Preserve: Hike a mile loop-trail through the prairie, pine grove, thicket, and riparian forest of this 35-acre nature preserve. The trail will lead you to a beautiful, unaltered section of the state-designated Scenic Greenville Creek.

For more info and to stay up-to-date on all things at Darke County Parks, please visit Darke County Park District’s official web site.