25381 State Route 58, Wellington, Ohio 44090
Nature Center Phone: (440) 647-0534
Camp Office Phone: (440) 647-4490
Reservations: (866) 644-6727
Once a state forest, 838-acre Findley State Park is heavily wooded with stately pines and various hardwoods. The scenic hiking trails allow nature lovers to view spectacular wildflowers and observe wildlife. The fields, forests and quiet waters offer a peaceful refuge for visitors.
You can find more information about each of the following activities below.
The bedrock materials underlying Findley State Park, principally Bedford Shale and Berea Sandstone, were formed over 300 million years ago. In most places in Ohio, the Berea Sandstone is only 10 to 40 feet thick. In South Amherst, north of the park, this sandstone reaches its maximum thickness of more than 200 feet. The sandstone quarries at South Amherst are the largest and deepest in the world. This part of the state is known as Ohio's dairyland. Crops and cows are a common sight. In the midst of this rich agricultural area is the forest oasis found within Findley State Park. This forest is a regrowth secondary forest on abandoned farmland. It contains red maple, white ash, wild black cherry, oaks, white and red pine and beech. The forest floor supports a variety of woodland wildflowers including spring beauties, Dutchman's breeches, hepatica, bloodroot, marsh marigold, trillium and woodland asters. White-tailed deer, red fox, beaver and raccoon are just a few of the animals that make this park their home. A variety of reptiles and amphibians can be found along the lakeshore. One area of the park is set aside as a sanctuary for the Duke's skipper butterfly, an extremely rare insect.
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Findley's campground offers 272 non-electric sites in both sunny and shaded areas. The campground features showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, dump station, game room and a fully stocked camp store. Pet camping is permitted on designated sites. Three rustic camper cabins complete with cots, dining fly and multi-level picnic grill can be rented during the summer months by reservation. A recreation area with sand volleyball, a basketball court and two horseshoe pits are also available for camper use.Campground Map
Disc Golf: An 18-hole course is found at the park. Rental equipment is available. No fee is charged to play.
Swimming: A 435-foot beach with a concession attracts swimmers.
Boating: Boating with electric motors only is permitted on the 93-acre lake. Two launch ramps provide access to the lake. Canoes, rowboats, and paddleboats can be rented at the marina.
A valid Ohio hunting license is required. You can find out more information about getting a valid Ohio hunting and trapping license on Ohio's division of wildlife website: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/hunting-trapping-and-shooting-sports/hunting-trapping-regulations/licenses-and-permits. Pursuant to Ohio Administrative Code, no person shall at any time hunt, trap, kill, pursue, or shoot at any wildlife and/or wild animals by any means within 400 feet of any nature trail, picnic area, service area, residence, barn, parking lot, cabin, or other structure.Findley State Park Hunting Map
Approximately ten miles of hiking trails, including a portion of the statewide Buckeye Trail, allow nature lovers to explore various habitats. A self-guided interpretive trail starts and ends at the camp check-in building.Findley State Park Hiking Trail Map
Picnic areas are located in scenic areas around the park. A picnic shelter is available by reservation.
Long before the first settlers arrived in this area, the Erie Indians inhabited the area now known as Lorain County. Although the Eries were fierce warriors, they were eventually subdued by a confederation formed between other Iroquois tribes in the early 1600s using firearms obtained from the Dutch. In 1795, the Treaty of Greenville set aside the lands north of the treaty line as a reserve for Indians. Much of the land restricted by the treaty had previously been granted to Connecticut. This claim, known as the Connecticut Western Reserve, ran along Lake Erie from the Pennsylvania border to present-day Erie County and included more than 3.5 million acres. The Connecticut Land Company, after purchasing some of the land, disputed the Indian claims and petitioned the government for the right to establish settlements on Indian lands. In 1800, Connecticut and the Congress agreed to attach the lands in dispute to the Ohio Territory as a county. The threat of Indians still existed in the area, so settlement was slow. In 1807, a major settlement was established at the mouth of the Black River which later became the city of Lorain. That same year, the Connecticut Land Company sold 4,000 acres of land of what was to become Wellington Township to four men from Berkshire County, Massachusetts. In the winter of 1818 the four men were joined by William T. Welling of Montgomery County, New York. Following an Indian trail, they cut their way through to the area that became known as Wellington. Wellington today has a rich heritage. Almost seventy-five percent of the downtown district is included on the National Register of Historic Places, reflecting the New England influence in the architecture. Many industries flourished during the mid-1800s, most notably brickyards, wagon and carriage shops. Later, it shared the reputation of being one of the greatest cheese producing locations in the Union. Lorain County generated annually the equivalent of one pound of cheese for each man, woman and child in the state. Wellington was also the home of Archibald M. Willard, painter of the classic "Spirit of 76." A copy of the work and many Willard originals hang in the town library. Located two miles south of Wellington is a tract of agricultural land purchased in 1936 and 1937 by Guy B. Findley, Lorain County Common Pleas Judge. Judge Findley donated the land to the state of Ohio to be maintained as a perpetual state forest, utilized for timber production and forest product experiments. Findley Forest was planted by the Division of Forestry with extensive assistance from the Civilian Conservation Corps with nearly half a million trees including many varieties of pine and hardwoods. In 1950, the forest was transferred to the Division of Parks and Recreation to be maintained as a state park. An earthen dam, started in 1954 and completed in 1956, created the lake.
Wellington State Wildlife Area contains 200 acres adjacent to the park. This land is managed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife for public hunting. Spencer State Wildlife Area in nearby Spencer offers 548 acres of land and a 70-acre lake open for public hunting and fishing. Two state nature preserves are located within a 40-minute drive. Fowler Woods, southwest of the park near Ashland, offers visitors mature beech-maple woodlands and buttonbush swamps. Old Woman Creek, along Lake Erie east of Huron, consists of open water estuary, marshland, a 15-acre wooded island, barrier beach and other upland habitat. The hiking trails and observation deck are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., April through October. The visitor center and research complex is open year-round, 1-5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.