Where to ski across country: Tiffin, area counties offer country to cross on skis

PHOTOS SUBMITTED Skiers take part in a class at Hancock Park District’s Raccoon Run at Riverbend Recreation Area. The park district offers learn-to-ski classes Saturday mornings when snow conditions are good for skiing.

Although the snow from the early-January deep freeze disappeared quickly with the mid-week thaw, the potential for more snow this weekend — or later this winter — might make good cross-country ski conditions.

When there’s a good snow base, trails in areas parks make good places to cross-country ski or snow shoe. In most cases, skiers must have their own equipment, but Hancock Park District rents equipment at Raccoon Run in Riverbend Recreation Area. HPD also offers classes on many Saturday mornings when snow conditions are good for skiing.

Here are a few ideas:

In Tiffin, Hedges-Boyer Park and Schekelhoff Park are available for cross-country skiing, said Nick Basting, recreation coordinator for Tiffin Park & Recreation Department (www.tiffinparks.com, (419) 448-5408).

He said skiers were using Hedges-Boyer during the recent snow. He suggested the route cross-country runners run during the annual cross-country carnival also would be good for skiing.

Cross-country skiers at Raccoon Run cross a historic bridge during an afternoon of skiing.

Although the paved trail at Schekelhoff park off Water Street sometimes is plowed for use by walkers, Basting said the sides of the trail would have snow for skiers.

Seneca County offers a few options in the county parks.

Seneca County Park District (www.senecacountyparks.com, (419) 447-8091) Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve, 6777 S SR 19, Bloomville, is the best spot of skiing in the county parks, said Program Director Linda Rose.

“We actually had cross-country skiers at Garlo (last) Monday,” Rose said. “Garlo would be my first choice in county parks. Clinton is second choice and Bowen third. Forrest is OK if you stay up top in the meadow area.”

Garlo preserve has more than 7 miles of trails.

Cross-country skiers enjoy an afternoon on the trails at Raccoon Run near Findlay. At the Raccoon Run concession, the park district rents skis and equipment on a first-come, first-served basis when snow conditions are good.

Clinton Nature Preserve, at 400 E. TR 132, offers more than a mile of trails, while Bowen Nature Preserve, at 11891 E CR 24, Republic, has almost 3 miles. Forrest Nature Preserve is at 701 E. CR 6.

According to the All Trails website (www.alltrails.com/

trail/us/ohio/upper-sandusky-reservoir-trail), Upper Sandusky Reservoir Trail is a 3.2-mile lightly trafficked loop trail on the southeast side of Upper Sandusky.

Hancock Park District

(hancockparks.com, (419) 425-7275) offers several trails for people who have their own equipment, but rents equipment and offers classes at Raccoon Run, Riverbend Recreation Area, 16618 TR 208, Findlay.

Wood County Park District’s 13-mile Slippery Elm Trail is open for cross-country skiing for people who have their own equipment.

“The trails there are groomed for skiing under suitable conditions (minimum of 4 inches of good snow as a base),” said Anne Coburn-Griffis, HPD marketing manager. “There are also trails at most of the parks where individuals may use their own cross-country skis and snowshoes.”

Those parks include Oakwoods Nature Preserve, 1400 Oakwoods Lane, Findlay; Aeraland Recreation Area, 1141 TR 243, Fostoria; and Litzenberg Memorial Woods, 6100 US 224 West, Findlay.

Jamie Sands, volunteer services and communications specialist for Wood County Park District (www.wcparks.org, (800) 321-1897), said Slippery Elm Trail is available for cross-country skiing.

The 13-mile asphalt trail runs between Bowling Green and North Baltimore with access points at Sand Ridge Road, Gypsy Lane Road, Portage Road, Mermill Road, Freyman Road and North Baltimore’s East Broadway.

To the north, Sandusky County Park District’s (www.lovemyparks.com, (419) 353-1897) portion of the North Coast Inland Trail runs for 28 miles between Bellevue and Elmore.

The trail access in Bellevue is at Tea Kaufman Homestead, 2091 CR 292, Bellevue; access at Clyde is at 222 Main St., the Maple Street intersection in downtown Clyde.

There also are several access points in the Fremont, Lindsey and Elmore.

State parks and forests in northern Ohio such as Malabar Farm State Park (11.5 miles), Mary Jane Thurston State Park (1.5 miles), Maumee Bay State Park (6 miles), Maumee State Forest (60-plus miles) and Mohican-Memorial State Forest, (30-plus miles) also offer spots for skiing. Check out the details at ohiodnr.gov/winter-recreation/recreation/cross-country-skiing.

For more changes in scenery, Metroparks of the Toledo Area (metroparkstoledo.com/outdoor-adventures/cross-country-skiing) offers skiing, mainly a 4-mile trail Oak Openings, starting at Evergreen Lake Area, with a restroom area halfway through.

Skiing also is offered at Secor Metropark, beginning at the Nature Photography Center, for almost 5 miles.