I was totally spoiled when I was growing up for many reasons, but one of those reasons was close proximity to Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, Ohio. Mill Creek Park was the first park in Ohio, established in 1891 by Volney Rogers. The park is almost 3,000 acres with 15 miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, lakes, and an operating water-powered flour mill (for which the park gets its name). And it’s all right in the center of Youngstown, much the same way that Central Park is in the middle of Manhattan (except on a much, much smaller scale – obviously).
My family’s history is all wrapped up with Mill Creek Park. My great-great grandfather had stone quarry there and my grandpa grew up on the edge of the park, where he played with his brothers and his chow chow, Ching. When I was a kid, my grandpa would pile me and my cousins into his car and drive us down to the park. He would spray us down with a thick coat of bug spray and then let us loose into the park, where we were free to play in the creek, climb on boulders, and generally wear ourselves out so we would be quiet when we got home.
My parents live within walking distance of Mill Creek Park, so every time I’m in Ohio I try to spend as much time there as possible. I took some pictures of various landmarks while I was visiting, but this only really scratches the surface of what Mill Creek Park has to offer. It’s SUCH a nice park. I really wish we had a park like this right in the middle of LA, but alas, we only have beaches.
Built in 1845, Lanterman’s Mill is probably one of the most remarkable landmarks in Youngstown, Ohio. The mill is powered by the waterfall, and still grinds cornmeal, buckwheat, and whole wheat flour just as it did in the 1800’s. The mill offers tours for in the summer for TWO DOLLARS. It’s really cool inside.
Although daffodils aren’t in season in the summer, during June and July the Daffodil Meadow is filled with daisies. This area of Mill Creek Park holds special significance to my family, because this is where my grandpa proposed to my grandma.
Lake Newport & Wetlands
Lake Newport is a man-made lake the and the largest of Mill Creek Park’s three lakes. There are two sections: a deeper area where you can rent paddle boats and kayaks, and a shallow area with a wetlands area (pictured above). I actually just read that there’s water trails in the wetlands that are only accessible by kayak and now I’m SO MAD that I didn’t rent a kayak while I was there. Oh well, next time!
Lake Cohasset is another manmade lake, and the oldest of Mill Creek Park’s lakes. There are beautiful trails amongst the hemlocks bordering the lake. It’s my favorite place to hike in the park.
The Suspension Bridge AKA The Silver Bridge
When I was a kid, we always called this the Cinderella Bridge. This fancy bridge is the oldest bridge in Mill Creek Park. Isn’t it dope?
Anywayssssss if you’re ever in Northeastern Ohio, Mill Creek Park is definitely worth checking out.
More Posts About Ohio:
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