Knox County Park District July/August Newsletter

To all our Park District Friends, we wish you a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!

Moonlit Miles Series A Success!

Recently the Knox County Park District hosted the “Strawberry Moon” tour, which was the second in the series of the Moonlit Miles bike rides. Nearly 40 people enjoyed a relaxing, full moon bike ride on the Kokosing Gap Trail. The group gathered at the Lower Gambier Road parking area and biked the Kokosing Gap Trail to Gambier which is approximately 9 miles round-trip. Knox County Park District summer Intern Crew Leader, Cody Wright is responsible for coordinating the series and invites you to join the Park District for the third bike ride which will be on the Heart of Ohio Trail. This event will be held on Friday, July 27 at 9:30 p.m. Participants should meet at the trailhead of the Heart of Ohio Trail at the Centerburg Memorial Park, 59 Johnsville Road, Centerburg. The bike ride will be approximately 8.5 miles round-trip to Mount Liberty and back. Helmets are required during the ride. There is also a portable restroom facility on site in Mount Liberty.

Park District Staff and Volunteers Clear the Path for the Heart of Ohio Trail

A lot of sweat rolled off the faces of those Park District staff and Heart of Ohio Trail (HOOT) volunteers who cleared the path of the last portion left to be paved of Knox County’s Ohio to Erie trail section. Amidst the raindrops and heat, the volunteers, Park District interns, HOOT board members and director breathed a sigh of relief to accomplish such a long-awaited task. Lori Totman, Park District Director commented “this is a tremendous accomplishment and we are one step closer to completing the trail for all to enjoy.” The portion of the trail cleared included the area at Huffman Road to the Knox/Licking County line. 

Kids Explored the Outdoors at Thayer Ridge Park

The Knox County Park District debuted its first outdoor kids’ program called “Nature Camp”. There were 18 children ages 8-12 who attended and explored nature at Thayer Ridge Park. Six stations ranging from What’s in a Watershed and Building an Edible Landfill to Bird Watching and Plant Study to Sustainability and a Trek in the Woods were offered to the children. Many favorable comments were made from the kids as they really enjoyed the activities. Instructors of the camp included: Randy Canterbury, Director of the Knox County Recycling and Litter Prevention, Jean and Tim Tayhi, Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists and Park District staff Katie Hux and interns Cody Wright, Matt Baugher and Grace Brubaker.

Flowers fit for a Crown Workshop

Do you like to create designs with flowers? If so, join the Knox County Park District on Thursday, August 2 for a “Flower Crown” workshop from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the C.A. & C. Depot at 501 S Main Street, Mount Vernon. Amanda Jedlinsky of EverBerry Farm and Flora will be our guest as she will lead class participants in designing a flower crown head piece with fresh cut flowers. Flower Crowns are trendy nowadays, whether planning for a wedding, baptism, birthday, Mother’s Day or a desire to create a masterpiece with flowers, this class is for you. The cost of the class is $25.00 which includes the supplies/flowers needed to complete the crown. To register and pay via credit card go to  to complete registration and payment. Registrations must be made by July 26. Class is limited to 15 participants.

Explore Knox County Park District Parks with your Smartphone

Some of you may have recently noticed a new sign at the various Park/Trail Kiosks representing a QR code. A QR code which stands for “quick response” is now available for smartphone users to scan via a QR code reader application and explore the information relating to the park on your phone. At the various river accesses there are QR codes which will show you the water trail maps of the Kokosing or Mohican Rivers. As technology continues to expand via applications on your smartphones the Park District is excited to offer this feature to park patrons. Often, brochures would be available at the kiosks but would not fair well with the weather and were difficult for Park District staff to keep stocked, so QR codes feature another great environmentally-friendly alternative. Ex

Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) Program Offering

If you have ever had an interest in volunteering as a Naturalist, then plan to attend an introduction to the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program on July 26 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the Library of Knox County and Mount Vernon on North Mulberry Street. An Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist is an individual with a passion for the natural world and desires to attend training and use his or her knowledge by giving back to the community through volunteer service. The program has three components: training, volunteer service hours and advanced education. This program is a joint effort through the Knox County OSU Extension and the Knox County Park District. 

Natural Resources Area Workday

Volunteers are needed for the Natural Resources Area workday on Tuesday, July 17th 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 we prepare for the Knox County Fair. The area will be open for the public to enjoy during the fair on July 21-July 28. Many activities are being planned for Friday, July 27 such as a bird hike; pollinators; pelt, tracks and skulls; tree, shrub and plant ID; forest management; archery and outdoor survival skills.

Visit the Knox County Park District at the Fair

Stop by our fair display outside of the Merchant’s Building at the Knox County Fair, July 21-28. Our display will highlight “Invasive versus Native Plants”. We will have a variety of publications such as water trail maps, park brochures and our latest rack card available to fairgoers. Stop by and say hello!

Passport to Fishing Youth Clinic

Recently our scheduled Passport to Fishing program had to be postponed to August 11 due to the weather. Many participants were already signed up however there are 6 spots to fill. The program will be held at the Wolf Run Regional Park and begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. and it concludes at 3:00 p.m. The Passport to Fishing Clinic is a great event for beginner to advanced anglers ages 8-18. Youth will engage in a hands-on rotation of six stations featuring Fish Habitat, Fish Handling, Fishing Knots and Rigging, Casting, Smart Boating /Water Safety and Understanding a Watershed. The stations are taught by local instructors of partnering agencies and organizations. Each youth attendee will receive a Subway ™ box lunch and a bottled water and a Zebco Fishing Rod and Reel. Event sponsors include Kokosing Valley Jr Anglers Youth Fishing Club, the Knox County Park District, the Ohio Division of Wildlife, Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and Amanda Hills Spring Water. The event is free but pre-registration is required and must be made by July 22. Those registrations we receive after fulfilling the 100 will go on a waiting list in the event we have some cancellations. The event is limited to 100 attendees. 

Scan this QR code for a copy of the Mohican River Water Trail Map

Mohican Valley Trail Re-Paving Project to Move Forward

Another task to complete will start soon for the Mohican Valley Trail as the last section of the trail from the Bridge of Dreams to the Holmes County line will be re-paved. Many other improvements will also be made including upgrading the driveway and putting in an ADA compliant, handicapped accessible parking lot. The Mohican Valley Trail begins in Danville at 402 East Street, Danville 43014 and runs to the Holmes County line.

Sound of Music in the Thayer Ridge Park

Join the Knox County Park District on Saturday, July 28 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Thayer Ridge Park as the Licking County 4-H Band will be present for a concert in the park. In 1948 Lenora McLeish had a dream, she wanted to organize a band for the young musicians of Licking County that would broaden their musical talents and be a good activity for the summer months, 70 years later the Licking County 4-H band is stronger than ever. Grace Brubaker one of our college interns is a member of the band. The band will perform two concerts beginning at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Bring your own lawn chair and picnic dinner and spend some time outside with family and friends. Thayer Ridge Park is located at 7077 Thayer Road, Mount Vernon. Look for signs for parking locations. 

Volunteer Work Days in the Parks Scheduled

Join the Knox County Park District at the first parking lot at Honey Run Highlands Park at (10816 Millersburg Road 43028) for an invasive plant removal on Tuesday, July 10 from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. We will start on the trailhead that is currently infested with dame’s rocket, poison hemlock and garlic mustard. We will remove these plants and bag them to be destroyed. Tools will be provided but it is suggested you bring a pair of work gloves. Closed-toed shoes and long sleeves/pants are recommended.

Another scheduled work day will be at the Wolf Run Regional park for an invasive/woody plant removal on Tuesday, July 31 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Tools will be provided but it is suggested you bring a pair of work gloves. Closed-toed shoes and long sleeves/pants are recommended.

These events are open to the public and water will be provided.

Weekly Butterfly Monitoring

Volunteers are always welcome to join the Park District for our weekly butterfly monitoring. The next date will be July 10 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Honey Run Highlands US 62 Lot (10816 Millersburg Road, Howard, Ohio 43028). Each week, park district interns, volunteers and Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists (OCVN’s) will conduct a butterfly population survey as they stroll through the various habitats of Honey Run Highlands. Come along and see what this project is all about!

This is a great, hands-on opportunity. Learn how to identify butterflies and skippers through close encounters and hear first-hand from our OCVNs about other fun events they work on throughout the year. The study is weather dependent so check our Facebook page for cancellations and rain dates. Water, sun block, and a comfortable pair of walking shoes are recommended. We look forward to seeing you!

Eagle Scouts Surround Wolf Run Park

The Park District is excited to welcome four prospective Eagle Scouts to begin some projects within Wolf Run Park. Alex Cook, Marshall Smith, Andrew McKinley and Joseph Hedges will be responsible for completing three trail bridges and one GPS mapping project on the various trails. Thank you to these young men for their efforts in community service and their dedication to their scout projects.

Stream Monitoring Workshop

Prepare to get wet and join the Knox County Park District as we partner with the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program to host a Stream Quality Monitoring Workshop. This event will be Wednesday, July 11th 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Kokosing River Canoe Access at 10115 Laymon Road, Gambier 43022. Learn what stream life tells us about stream health. Collect live samples of macroinvertebrates to identify and assess the water quality of the river. We will also be joined by local fish expert and researcher Brian Zimmerman of the OSU Museum of Biodiversity to net fish. Meet at the canoe access at 10115 Laymon Road, Gambier (just west of S.R. 229). Please wear old clothes and closed toe shoes; we will be wading in the river. For more information contact Volunteers are needed to help sample water quality of Scenic Rivers in Ohio.  

Into the Trees: A Friday Night Hike

On Friday, August 10, 8:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. the Knox County Park District Interns will be leading a “Friday Night Hike” from the main trail entrance at Wolf Run Park to the observation deck and back. We will meet in the main parking lot at 8:30 p.m. and begin the hike shortly after. Along the journey, we will listen for nighttime creatures. At the halfway point, we will stop at the observation deck to gaze at constellations and hopefully see meteors, as the Perseids Meteor Shower peaks at midnight a few days after. It is recommended that attendants bring water and dress according to weather. Participants may want to apply insect repellent before the hike begins. 

Moonlit Miles Buck Moon

Join the Park District for the final bike ride in the three-part series of relaxing full moon bike rides on your Knox County multi-use trail systems. Experience the trails you have come to know and love in a unique way. This ride will take place on the Heart of Ohio Trail on July 27 at 9:30 p.m. This series is weather dependent, and helmets must be worn, as safety is our top priority. There is no need to use lights on these trips as we will be using the full moon to guide us. Guides will have flashlights for use only in the case of an emergency. Participants should meet at the trail access parking lot at Memorial Park in Centerburg (59 Johnsville Road, Centerburg 43011). The ride will be from Memorial Park to Mt. Liberty and back (approximately 8.5 miles round-trip). There is a port-a-john on-site in Mt. Liberty. HELMETS ARE REQUIRED DURING THE RIDE.

Birding by Kayak

If a float down the river on a Saturday afternoon sounds enjoyable than consider joining us for a Birding by Kayak program on the Mohican River. The event will be held on August 18 from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and birds will be pointed out and discussed along the journey. Participants should meet at Greer Landing, 20389 Brinkhaven Road, Glenmont 44628. State Route 514 is closed for a bridge project. Participants must take U.S. Route 62 out of Danville and turn left on to Brinkhaven Road. The landing will be on your left-hand side just before 514. The float will end at the Bridge of Dreams 16606 Hunter Road, Brinkhaven 43006.

Wear clothes suitable for the river and sunscreen. Binoculars are available. Please bring bottled water, to make sure to stay hydrated during the trip. Kayaks will not be provided and Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are mandatory, a limited supply of PDFs will be provided by the Park District. The Park District will shuttle a few guests at a time back to the starting point to retrieve vehicles.

Kokosing River Rally

Join the Knox County Park District and the Knox County Recycling and Litter Prevention as they sponsor the annual cleanup day of the Kokosing River on September 15 at the C.A. & C. Depot, 501 S. Main Street, Mount Vernon. The Knox County Park District, as well as, other Knox County agencies will be volunteering resources and labor to ensure the success of litter pickup of the Kokosing River watershed. The event is open to anyone who wishes to participate. Participants are invited to walk or canoe the river. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with a short safety talk prior to entering the river. For more information or to volunteer, call Randy Canterbury at 740-393-6704.


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