Ashtabula County Metroparks is holding a ribbon-cutting event to commemorate the opening of its new Indian Mound Metropark, located at 431 Mill Road, Conneaut on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 5:30pm.
This tenth Ashtabula County Metropark to open contains 178 acres total, with 53 acres of streamside peninsula jutting into Conneaut Creek connected to downtown Conneaut by the concrete Arch Bridge and Route 7. Route 7 cuts the park into two sections, with the remaining 125 acres on the east side of Route 7. The as-yet undeveloped eastern park section is replete with substantial bluffs, scenic vistas, waterfalls and large areas of hemlock swamp. However, its dominant feature is that it protects two miles of Smokey Run, a Cold-Water Habitat trout spawning stream which flows northward from beyond Interstate 90 and empties into Conneaut Creek adjacent to this property.
The newest open Metropark already has two parking areas, 1.5 miles of trail and signage on the western 53 acres now being used by the public for hiking, fishing, boating and birdwatching. “We are pleased to provide a Metropark within walking distance of downtown Conneaut. It provides public access to an additional ¾ of a mile of Conneaut Creek State and National Scenic River”, noted Conneaut resident and Board President, Robert J. Best. Best is also a member of Friends of Conneaut Creek and a former founding member of the ODNR Conneaut Creek Scenic River Advisory Council.
“This park provides an amenity and resource to Conneaut residents and tourists alike”, observed James Hockaday, Conneaut City Manager. “Indian Mound Metropark is a great addition to Conneaut and Ashtabula County by providing additional public access to Conneaut Creek, walking trails and interpretive signage celebrating our region’s history. This Metropark also serves as an anchor for Conneaut’s recently adopted Comprehensive Plan both protecting and providing public access to the State and National resource that Conneaut Creek is.” The new Metropark provides value added to our community”, he noted.
What’s with the Name?
Metroparks is initially calling the new park Indian Mound Metropark because of its adjacency to the only remaining Native American Indian structures in Ashtabula County. “The park includes the base of the steep hillside and bluff apparently utilized as a fortified village or enclave over the centuries by a succession of Iroquoian tribes from the Late Woodland Period”, commented Larry Frimerman, Executive Director. “Conneaut Fort, or Conneaut Works as is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Ohio Archaeological Inventory, is an elevated and fortified enclosure, rather than a “mound” in the Moundbuilders Tradition.”
Ashtabula County Metroparks is an Ohio Revised Code statutory park district providing quality park experiences in ten currently open parks covering over 1,200 acres of publicly accessible parkland throughout Ashtabula County and founded in 1959. It owns and manages 30 miles of paved, ADA accessible greenway and bike trails as well as more than 15 miles of primitive trails throughout its park system. Ashtabula County Metroparks is primarily funded through a five-year parks levy which passed in 2014, which has permitted the significant expansion of its park holdings and open parks. Since 2014, Metroparks has tripled the number of open parks and publicly accessible acreage as well as adding amenities throughout the Western Reserve Greenway Trail and each of its open parks.
For further information on Metroparks’ parks, events or other activities, please visit the Ashtabula County Metroparks website at www.ashtabulametroparks.com, or its Facebook page. For questions, please call (440) 576-0717.