Whenever I travel, I prefer to get a feel for a city either by bike or on foot – so when I moved to Findlay last summer, I took the same approach. Shortly after settling into an apartment downtown, I began using my running workouts as a way to get to know my way around town. I started in nearby neighborhoods, then sought out different locations whenever I grew tired of running the same route. It wasn’t until I started training for a marathon, however, that I really branched out to find routes that would provide a variety of distances while keeping me entertained.
A few of my favorite places to run in Findlay are featured below. If you have a great spot that you love to walk, run, hike, or bike, let me know – I’d love to check it out.
Blanchard River Greenway
One of my go-to running spots, the Blanchard River Greenway is a paved trail with multiple connections, which makes it easy and convenient to hop on and off.
Part of the Old Mill Stream Scenic Byway (a larger trail system that stretches 52 miles across Hancock and Putnam counties), the Greenway connects parks and other points of interest via a biking and walking path that runs along the Blanchard River.
I typically hop on the trail via the riverwalk on South Main Street and make a stop at Riverside Park, either as my turnaround point or to grab some water and walk along the river. Wherever you choose to start on the trail, there are plenty of options for extending your run, or for making stops along the way.
The path around the Findlay Reservoirs was one of the first running spots I explored upon moving to Flag City.
I typically keep it pretty simple (parking in the lot along C.R. 205, connecting with the gravel path surrounding Reservoir #1, and running some combination of the routes around Reservoirs #1 and #2) however there’s a whole trail system at Riverbend Recreation Area (just north of the reservoirs) that I’m excited to explore. Hancock Park District’s first county park, Riverbend Recreation Area covers more than 176 acres, connecting the Heritage Trail to various smaller trails and activity areas.
Maps of both reservoirs and Riverbend Recreation Area are available from the Hancock Park District.
Donnell Stadium Track
When I moved to Findlay, I hadn’t run on a track in years. When I heard that the track at Donnell Middle School holds open hours for local residents, I thought it would be the perfect place to train (and maybe get a solid stair workout in, if I was feeling particularly adventurous). An added plus: running laps around the football field provides a “Friday Night Lights” sort of vibe.
The Donnell Track is typically open from 7 AM to 8 PM, with winter hours from 7 AM to 3 PM. (Before you head out, consider checking the school’s calendar for athletic events that may cause the track to be closed to the public.)
Emory Adams Park
I really enjoy running through Findlay’s neighborhoods and spend a fair amount of time jogging up and down Main Street, admiring the beautiful homes. On days when I need to get a bit more mileage in, I’ll divert to Emory Adams Park, which provides a nice change of scenery and a few extra miles.
The park complex includes multiple soccer fields and baseball / softball diamonds, with paved running and biking paths that range from a ¾ mile loop to a 2.5 mile route.
Oakwoods Nature Preserve
Perhaps my favorite running spot in Findlay (thus far) is Oakwoods Nature Preserve.
Named for the huge oak trees found along the park’s Aurand Run Trail, Oakwoods is 227 acres of woods, trails, meadows, lakes, boardwalks, and a discovery center – all tucked away off County Road 144. While it’s only a short drive from downtown, Oakwoods provides a perfect escape into nature – whether you choose to walk, run, or sit on benches located throughout the park.