Stark Exploring Trail Challenge

Hiking on a wooded trail

2022 stark exploring logo compassSoon enough, the leaves will be turning, the air will be brisk, and fall will be popping up all around. Take the Stark Exploring Challenge and experience autumn with Stark Parks! From September 1 to November 30, hike 10 of the select trails and purchase a hiking stick and shield! All mileage is based on the honor system and the program is open to all ages.  First-year participants can purchase the exclusive hiking stick (included with a welcome shield) and an annual collector’s shield.

Sticks and shields can be picked up, after you have completed the ten hikes, at Sippo Lake Park's Exploration Gateway (located at the north entrance at 5712 12th St NW, Canton). Supplies are limited and are first-come, first-served⁠— while they last.

Please bring your completed form with you.  Payment is cash or check only. Pick up is available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All forms should be turned in by December 16, 2022.

Shield installation assistance and pick up will both be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Canalway Center inside the Exploration Gateway on the following dates.

October 8, November 5, November 30, and December 16, 2022.

Participation and Cost

First Year Stick and Shield...$15 per person Stark County Resident, $20 non-resident

2022 Shield...Free for Stark County Residents, $5 non-resident

2022 shield recipients can send a stamped/self-addressed envelope
with payment to Stark Exploring 5712 12th St NW, Canton, Ohio 44708


Helpful Information

Find more detailed directions and information about each location below.

  1. Fichtner Trail (Loop Trail)
    Parking: 12833 Market Ave. N, Hartville 44632
    Round Trip Mileage: .39 mile
    Surface: Natural Surface/Mowed Grass
    Loop around this small park traveling through a wetland and a wooded area.  The back of the property provides access to the Hartville Marketplace and Comfort Inn and Suites, in case you are hungry or tired!
  2. Fry Family Park (South Trail)
    Parking: 2533 Farber St. SE, Magnolia
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.30 miles
    Surface: Mowed Grass
    Travel near the southern border of the park.  Park at the shelter and use the Sandy Valley Trail to connect to the South Trail.
  3. Hoover Trail: Washington Square Loop
    Parking: 1325 E. Maple St., North Canton 44720
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.28 miles
    Surface: Limestone and sidewalk
    Begin at the Hoover Recreation Complex ballfields and head east (right).  After a short section on the neighborhood sidewalk, you will walk next to Starbucks Drive-Thru.  Turn right to use the sidewalk in front of Washington Square shopping to return to the E. Maple St. Trailhead.
  4. Iron Horse Trail: W. Beech St. to Bayton St.
    Parking: First Christian Church Trailhead, 1141 W. Beech St. Alliance 44601
    Round Trip Mileage: 3.74 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Head down the trail from the parking lot near the picnic shelter.  Turn left to travel south on the former railroad route.  You will cross Beechwood Ave. and Beech St. before a scenic stretch to Bayton St., the turn around point.
  5. Middle Branch Trail: Schneider Loop and GlenOak Loop
    Parking: Veterans Community Park, 1714 Schneider St., Canton 44714
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.80 miles
    Surface: Limestone and Asphalt
    Take a loop around the park and the high school on the other side of Schneider St.  Expect steep inclines on both loops.
  6. Middle Branch Trail: Martindale Park to 55th St.
    Parking: Martindale Park, 4053 Martindale Rd. NE, Canton 44714
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.80 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Head toward the Nimishillen Creek and cross the bridge as you follow the trail north. Bend around to the right with views of Gervasi's facilities, cross the boardwalk and walk through the canopy of trees before turning around at 55th St.
  7. Nickel Plate Trail: McKimm to End of Trail
    Parking: 2923 Pinevale Ave. NE, Louisville
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.16 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Head south from the parking lot on the crushed limestone trail heading up a slight incline, cross Georgetown Rd., and turn around at the fence where the trail ends.
  8. Petros Lake Park (Loop Trail)
    Parking: 3519 Perry Dr. SW, Canton 44706
    Round Trip Mileage: 1.22 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Enjoy several views of Petros Lake from different elevations.  Parking is available on Perry Dr.  A wooden bridge and occasional slopes are present on this route.
  9. Petros Lake Park : Mindfulness Walk
    Parking: 3519 Perry Dr. SW, Canton 44706
    Round Trip Mileage: 1.10 mi
    Surface: Limestone and Natural Surface
    Use the north entrance to travel into the park and follow the signs to Shelter #1/Woodland Shelter on the right. The trail begins to the right of the shelter.  The walk typically takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
  10. Pioneer Trail
    Parking: Weis Park, 2600 Harvard Ave. NW, Canton 44709
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.68 miles
    Surface: Limestone, concrete, and asphalt
    Explore a popular area in Canton and Malone University from Cleveland Ave. to Market Ave. on this up and down limestone trail.  The parking area is near the midpoint of the trail, so you will pass your car after turning around at Cleveland Ave. and Market Ave.
  11. Quail Hollow Park: Green/Equestrian Loop
    Parking: 13480 Congress Lake Ave., Hartville 44632
    Round Trip Mileage: Approximately 1.70
    Surface: Natural Surface trail shared with equestrians
    Head left at the driveway split and park near the pond and playground area.  You can start by the kiosk or behind the pond.
  12. Quail Hollow Park: Purple Trail
    Parking: 13480 Congress Lake Ave., Hartville 44632
    Round Trip Mileage: 3.70 miles
    Surface: Natural Surface with a short paved section.
    Stay to the right at the driveway split and park in the gravel driveway on the right.  The Purple Trail follows portions of the Buckeye Trail before looping behind the Manor House and Herb Garden while heading toward Pontius St.   The trail then takes you over a boardwalk and around the fishing pond where you can take the asphalt path before crossing the driveway back to the parking lot.
  13. Sandy Valley Trail
    Parking: 262 Maple St., Waynesburg 44688
    Round Trip Mileage: 1.52 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Head to the T in the trail from the parking lot and go left to turn around at West St. (west) and right (east) to walk to Greer Ave.
  14. Sippo Lake Park: Cottonwood Trail
    Parking: 800 Genoa Ave., Massillon 44646
    Round Trip Mileage: .60 mile
    Surface: Natural Surface
    This trail follows the edge of the restored Cottonwood wetland. It offers a wildlife-viewing house where wood ducks, mallards, and green heron can be seen.
  15. Sippo Lake Park: Sippo Lake Trail
    Parking: 5300 Tyner St., Canton 44708
    Surface: Limestone
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.00 miles
    Follow the limestone trail to the Exploration Gateway Shelter and Playground and back.
  16. Sippo Valley Trail: Bison Ave. to 6th St., 1481 Bison Ave NW, Massillon 44647
    Parking: Bison Ave.
    Round Trip Mileage: 3.22 miles
    Surface: Asphalt
    Cross Bison St. and head east toward Massillon with several bridge crosses, a climb up to 17th St. and descent down takes you through Lincoln Park and next to Bottoms Park in Massillon before turning around at 6th St. next to Ring Masters factory building.
  17. Sippo Valley Trail: Skyland Ave. to Bison Ave.
    Parking: Skyland Ave. Trailhead, 2069 Skyland Ave. NW, Massillon 44647
    Round Trip Mileage: 3.60 miles
    Surface: Limestone/Asphalt
    Head east (right) from the parking lot access trail and follow the Sippo Creek across Kenyon Ave. and Deermont Ave. This area of the former railroad is flat with some shaded and open areas.
  18. Tam O'Shanter Park: Choose either the North or West Loop
    Parking: 5055 Hills & Dales Rd., Canton 44708
    Round Trip Mileage: 1.20 mi
    Surface: Mowed Grass and some Gravel
    From the parking lot, the North Trail loops through the center of the park.  The West Loop follows along Hills & Dales Rd. with significant inclines near Wackerly Dr.
  19. Congressman Ralph Regula Towpath Trail: Bridgeport Quarry to Towpath Court
    Parking: 3455 Erie Ave. NW, Massillon
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.24 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Head south (left) on the Towpath Trail and enjoy a mostly shaded trip down the trail
  20. Congressman Ralph Regula Towpath Trail: Crystal Springs Trailhead to Butterbridge Rd.
    Parking: Crystal Springs Trailhead, 4503 Erie Ave. NW Massillon 44647 (north of High Mill Ave.)
    Round Trip Mileage: 5.08 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Cross the bridge from the parking lot and head north (right) on the trail.  There is a short climb up to the Butterbridge Rd. crossing.  Turn around there and head south.
  21. Congressman Ralph Regula Towpath Trail: St. Helena Heritage Park to Lock 4 Trailhead
    Parking: St. Helena Heritage Park, 125 Tuscarawas St, Canal Fulton 44614 (off of Cherry St.)
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.00 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Head south on the trail and look for the Ohio & Erie Canal Lock 4 gates or the red locktender's house as the turnaround point.
  22. Walborn Reservoir: Red Trail
    Parking: 11324 Price St. NE, Alliance 44601
    Round Trip Mileage: 1.0 mile
    Surface: Natural Surface
    This equestrian and hiking trail offers scenic views of Walborn Reservoir, north of Price St., with a short loop overlooking the water. The trail begins across from the marina and main parking area.
  23. Walborn Reservoir: Shoreline Trail
    Parking: 11324 Price St. NE, Alliance 44601
    Round Trip Mileage: 5.44 miles
    Surface: Natural Surface
    Begin behind the Walborn Reservoir Marina and follow the natural surface trail to Reeder Ave. and back.  Enjoy the views of the reservoir and a bridge and boardwalk crossing.
  24. West Branch Trail: 12th St. to Fulton Rd
    Parking: 1305 Stadium Park Dr. NW, Canton 44708
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.20 miles
    Surface: Limestone and Concrete
    Park at the Timken Gatehouse near 12th St. and cross the parkway to the trail running along the creek.  Head left.  Not under the tunnel at 12th St., but it is cool to say you hiked under a road!