One Tank Trip: Mill Creek Park

Whitney Chaffin

Rose garden, suspension bridge and more welcome park’s visitors

Just 40 minutes from Kent, visitors will find more than 4,400 acres of recreation spread throughout Mahoning County, in the form of Mill Creek MetroParks.

Paul Jones, of Boardman, visited Mill Creek MetroParks to enjoy nature’s scenery. He said the park is not only beautiful, but it offers a variety of recreational activities such as golfing, biking, hiking, fishing, boating, sled riding and site seeing. The formal rose gardens, golf course, visitor center and historic mills are the most popular sites that attract people to the park from all over the state.

At the observation deck, is one of the most visited historic sites: Lanterman’s Mill. Jones said the mill, which was built in 1845, is still in operation today and grinds corn and wheat to be sold at the local gift shops. Jones said that if visitors take a little walk up-stream from the mill, there is what is called the Covered Bridge. It was built in the 1800s for farmers to bring their grain to the mill.

The suspension bridge, known as the Silver Bridge, also was built in the 1800s but was recently revamped. It is the oldest bridge at Mill Creek Park and overlooks some of the most spectacular sites, such as the Old Grist Mill, where park workers will occasionally prepare flowers and feature flower shows, Jones said. The bridge looks somewhat like Cinderella’s Castle or Walt Disney’s Castle. Photographers all over the nation have photographed the Silver Bridge, as it makes a great scenic background for a photo.

“People usually go there for wedding pictures,” Jones said.

Lake Newport and Lake Glacier are two lakes at Mill Creek Park that are popular photography spots. Lake Glacier is about 45 acres and Lake Newport is about 60 acres. Jones said both lakes have been designed for fishing, pedal boating and kayaking in the summer.

“The lakes are great,” Jones said. “But if you’re from out of town and want to see something spectacular, you should go see the rose garden and take a walk on the nature trails.”

At the end of Lake Glacier, visitors will see Fellows Riverside Gardens, also known as the rose garden, which is what Jones said is one of the most spectacular sites to see.

“It is by far the biggest visitors’ attraction,” Jones said. “The whole area is growing and is very well maintained.”

Buildings have been constructed around the garden to house flower shows and other special events. The garden is located at the northern end of the park and sits on about 12 acres of land.

Located in the gardens is the D.D. and Velma Davis Education & Visitor Center. It offers a museum, gift shop, library, a gallery, a café and educational classrooms where visitors can learn about the gardens and other historic sites in the park.

Those who have always dreamed of golfing on a championship golf course can do so at the Mill Creek Golf Course. It offers two 18-hole golf courses that are surrounded by trees and lakes. Jones said on the west side of the park, there is a Par 3 Golf Course and hill where people often sled ride in the winter.

For more information about upcoming events and activities, visit www.millcreekmetroparks.com.

Contact features correspondent Whitney Chaffin at [email protected]