Another former estate turned multi-purpose Ohio State Park, Quail Hollow maintains the beautiful manor house and associated buildings for meetings, tours, and as a nature center (open seasonally). But that's probably not why you're here. Those amenities, however, make a good argument for visiting Quail Hollow for a day of hiking, running, biking - and camping is available here, with a bit of pre-planning.
What Makes It Great
Deciduous Trail. Coniferous Forest Trail. Peatland Trail. Woodlands Swamp Trail. Beaver Lodge Trail. Get the idea? You'll need more insect repellant than sunscreen when you run or hike at Quail Hollow. Don't let that dissuade you; the park (even its wet swampy spots) is beautiful and lush. The softer trails make this a good place to log some miles that are gentler on your feet and other joints than pavement.
And as a reward for those miles, check out the sunny spot right in the middle, a flower-lover's delight.
Behind the historic manor house (the former estate of the H. B. Stewart family) the extensive gardens just beg you to stop and smell the roses, hydrangeas, tulips, sunflowers, and more. In fact, the garden is so gorgeous it is the frequent backdrop for bridal photographers.
Have to wait for a formal photo-shoot to end? Go inside - the manor house is open and you'll find a comfy seating area behind a one-way glass making a perfect place to spy on the birds and other wildlife that live (and put up with humans) in the garden. When it's open (see website for seasonal hours) the Carriage Nature House features live animals, hands-on nature activities, and interpretive programs.
Want to keep walking? A section of the Buckeye Trail runs through Quail Hollow; the segments on either side of Hartville straddle the Buckeye Trail'sMogadore and Massillon sections.
Who is Going to Love It
On the edge of Amish Country, Hartville has quite a few shops selling locally-made (delicious) chocolates, cheeses, and ice cream). The Hartville Flea Market is an indoor treasure hunt. If your other weekends are spent on DIY projects, you have to stop at Hartville Hardware, where the second story of the store holds an entire home to spark ideas (and new projects) you can do in yours.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
In addition to hiking, all of the foot trails (except the .5-mile Nature for All trail) are open to cross-country skiers when the snow piles up. Fishingis permitted on the small (2-acre) Shady Lane Pond. An Ohio Fishing Licence is required.
A 5-mile mountain bike trail and separate bridle trail are located inside the park. No fees are required to use either. A primitive campground is reservable for groups up to 25 people. It has a fire ring and picnic table, and is located about .25 miles from the nearest parking area. Water must be carried in and all trash packed out; contact the park to inquire about fees and availability.