Mill Creek MetroParks offers over 2,800 acres of lush green beauty in the heart of Youngstown, Ohio. Some of the first trails I ever hiked are here in Mill Creek, and hiking is my favorite activity when I visit this park. Hiking, however, is just one of many activities that Mill Creek MetroParks has to offer. The list contained in this post is not meant to be a comprehensive list of activities, but should be used as a guide to discover some of what Mill Creek MetroParks has to offer.
10. Take a trolley ride through Mill Creek Park on the Cohasset Express
The Cohasset Express Trolley is a trackless trolley car that rides through Mill Creek Park. The park offers public rides that can be found on their calendar, or can be rented for events between the months of April to October.
9. Catch a concert at the outdoor Morley Pavilion
Morley Pavilion, located in the Wick Recreation area of Mill Creek Park, offers free weekly outdoor concerts throughout the summer months. Bring a blanket or lawn chair as there are no seats provided. Food and beverages are sold during events, and alcohol is prohibited. Check the Morley Pavilion web page for the latest concert announcements.
8. Talk a walk through Fellows Riverside Garden
Fellows Riverside Garden is one of the most popular destinations at Mill Creek MetroParks. This twelve-acre open garden features colorful plants and rose bushes artistically arranged between local art displays and gazebos. Tours are offered by reservation only, so be sure to check their website for additional information and a detailed map of the area. Many of the paths are paved or brick and easy to navigate. Beware if visiting during Mother’s Day weekend, as parking near Fellows can be difficult due to the crowds.
7. Explore Lantermans Mill
If Fellows Riverside Gardens is the most popular destination in the park, Lanterman’s Mill is a close second. Located between Lake Newport and Lake Cohasset sits Lanterman’s Mill, the Lanterman’s Mill covered bridge and the 24 foot waterfall that feeds water into Lanterman’s Mill. Built in the mid-1800s, Lanterman’s Mill is a fully functional mill. When opened for business, visitors can watch as grains get crushed into flower. Head down the steps to watch the mill’s workhorse in action as water from Mill Creek cascades onto the wheel that powers Lanterman’s Mill. Lanterman’s Mill is one of the most photographed spots in Mill Creek MetroPark.
6. Photograph Lake Newport’s Daffodil Meadow
Located on East Newport Drive is Lake Newport’s Daffodil Meadow. Daffodil Meadow was created in 1932 when Youngstown’s Garden Club purchased and planted 8,000 daffodil bulbs at this location. The meadow lights up with color every spring when the daffodils start blooming. Recently installed bird houses work in conjunction with the nearby Lake Newport Wetlands to ensure visitors have plenty of bird viewing opportunities. Please be considerate when parking as spots are limited in the area.
5. Kayak, or paddleboat, Lake Newport or Lake Glacier
Lake Newport and Lake Glacier offer a combined 100-acre open water and 40-acre wetlands to explore by boat and kayak. Fishing is permitted in the park’s river and lake. Kayaks and paddle boats can be rented at both lakes, or visitors can bring their own. Visit Mill Creek’s website for additional boating and fishing information, rental details and rules.
4. View Wildlife at the Lily Pond
The recently renovated Lily Pond at Mill Creek is a prime location to spot all sorts of wildlife in the area. Goldfish patrol the shorelines looking for their next meal, ducks frequently make their dramatic water landings in the pond while turtles can be found sunning themselves on rocks and floating logs. A recently added floating boardwalk and water filtration system was added to help the water quality.
3. Take a bike ride on the MetroParks Bikeway
Despite its name, the MetroParks Bikeway is open to walkers, hikers, skaters and bikers alike. The 11-mile bikeway was built as part of the rails-to-trails project in the area and follows a path between Austintown to Canfield. The MetroParks Bikeway is part of The Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway, a 100-mile long trail being built on former railroad tracks that, when completed, will connect Lake Erie to the Ohio River. A detailed bikeway map and additional information on the Lake-to-River project can be found on the MetroParks Bikeway website.
2. Play a round of golf in the park
Mill Creek Golf Course (41.034316, -80.695419)
Wick Recreation Par 3 Course (41.086924, -80.692595)
I will be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about golf, nor do I have a desire to ever play the game. With that said, Mill Creek MetroParks offers two golf courses to satisfy that golfing itch. The Mill Creek Golf Course features two 18-hole championship courses designed by Donald Ross (if that means something) that opened to the public in 1928. The Wick Recreation Par 3 Golf Course is an 18-hole course that will often host clinics for golfers of all ages.
1. Picnic in the park
Mill Creek MetroParks offers countless options for picnics around the park. Picnic tables and grills are scattered around lake shores and playground areas. Please adhere to the park rules and keep all fires contained to the grills and clean up any signs of your picnic when leaving.