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Amenity: Event Center

Cooke Family Wildlife Conservation Park

This gorgeous 163-acre park is located along the Blackfork of the Mohican River, 10 miles west of Ashland. It has over three miles of hiking trails that run through a unique mixture of prairie grasslands, hardwood forests, pine forests, wetlands, swamps forests, marshes, beaver ponds, and floodplains.

The 16-acre marsh that lies in the park is home to a myriad of wetland loving birds, mink, muskrat, amphibians, and a wide variety of native sedges and unusual plants. The winding Black Fork River which is surrounded by floodplains that host an unusually large population of leopard and pickerel frogs. The river is available for fishing with a State of Ohio license. Beavers have occasionally damned up a tributary entering the river.

The park was made possible by the Cooke family of Ashland, and being an avid sportsmen, the park includes a trap shooting range and a three-acre fishing pond. The enclosed pavilion over looks the beautiful three acre pond. This park also has hunting access, which is restricted during parts of the hunting season. Hunting for deer (bow and gun) turkey, and small game is permitted at this site.

Freer Field

This 78-acre park lies near the heart of the city of Ashland. Freer Field has two miles of hiking trails, including a one-mile paved loop that seems to be in constant use every day of the year by hikers, runners, bikers, strollers, and more. These trails travel through several habitats. There are 30 acres of woods – half of which are magnificent stands of hickories, oaks, and other hardwoods – and the other half a peaceful pine forest full of holly bushes.

The trails also travel through grassy meadows that draw birds and butterflies with the variety of native grasses and wildflowers. The trail circles a large grassy area that offers opportunities for kite flying, frisbee throwing, and other family fun.

This park is a popular site for community events such as BalloonFest. There is a historic barn at Freer Field and a unique playground that was designed to be used by children of all abilities. Parking is available by the barn and off of Park Street.

Freer Field was donated to the Park District in 2008 by the Ashland County Commissioners to remain as open green space and to never be developed. Today, the park still benefits kids and their families. The new visitor center provides a space for families to picnic in the open air pavilion, reserve the community room for any occasion, and utilize the public restrooms. These restrooms and lobby are open from dawn to dusk year round. The visitor center also provides office space to staff which is open to the public from 8 a.m. to Noon Monday through Friday.

The park district has provided a new program “Everybody Rides” at Freer Field which provides hadicapped or disabled adults and children access to adaptive bicycles to ride on the paved trail. The bikes were purchased for the Park District by the Samaritan Foundation and a private interested citizen. These bikes available to the extent we have citizen volunteers to help us with the program. Citizens interested in volunteering should call the Park District office at 419-289-3524.

Pine Hill Park – Sauers Farm

The 283-acre Pine Hill Park was created by combining two land parcels – 186 acres of the historical Sauers family farm and 97 acres of woodland owned by the Crall family. The property naturally divides itself into Crall Woods and Sauers Farm, each with its own district and unique characteristics.

Pine Hill Sauers Farm
This 99-acre park is a hiker’s delight with over three miles of trails that wind through a mixture of habitats. There are roughly 25 acres of tranquil hardwood forest, with a deep ravine and meandering creek. Visitors will also enjoy 25 acres of mixed young forest and thickets, full of song birds and the highest butterfly population in the park district. There is another 25 acres of prairie grasses and wildflowers that are calming to walk.

The land was aquired by the Sauers family and Clean Ohio grant. The heart of the park is the Sauers family homestead. ACPD park managers live in the historic farmhouse, which is not open to the public. There are several other buildings, including two timber framed barns. The oldest barn was built in the 1850’s and is available for rental. It also serves as home for a two-story cider press from the 1880’s. An orchard on the property grows 45 varieties of apples which help supply the stock for the cider press demonstration held at the park. The homestead area also has a fishing pond, a picnic area, a playground, and a 12×20 picnic pavilion.

From 2018 to 2020, a concrete paved parking lot was added, a public restroom facility, playground, and picnic pavilion.

Reserve Sauers Barn at Pine Hill: Sauers Barn location offers picturesque hiking trails, picnic areas, fishing pond, new playground, and new handicap accessible restroom facility with a paved parking lot. The barn contains an 1850’s cider press and farm implements from the 1800’s. There is currently no running water at the site, but has electric capability and ample table/chairs. Rental also includes tables and chairs for 250 people. For more information, or to reserve a date, please contact our park office at (419) 289-3524.