COVID-19 Updates

Stark Parks has updated the next phase of the COVID-19 plan and continues to make adjustments to current services based on the recommendations of the Governor’s office and available safety measures.

“We have kept the safety of our staff and patrons at the forefront of every decision we’ve made.  We also understand our commitment to providing quality services is vital to our residents at this time and have found many alternatives to services that may have been affected.  Our users have been understanding and we appreciate all the patience as we have adjusted to daily changes,” Bob Fonte, park director.

Park and Trail Visitors

All parks and trails are open at this time. Playgrounds remain closed due to local health department restrictions. Park Rangers continue standard patrols and can be reached at 330-353-2377. Stark Parks will continue to follow guidance provided by all federal, state and local health authorities.

Restrooms

Select restrooms, including permanent and temporary port-a-johns, are open. Stark Parks is increasing the frequency of restroom cleaning and disinfecting, but encourages visitors to limit restroom use to emergencies only.

Supplies such as toilet paper, soap, and hand sanitizer will be filled regularly, but visitors should consider coming prepared with hand sanitizers and any additional personal needs.  Visitors are permitted to bring their own toilet paper, however, disposable wipes should never be used and placed in toilets, including port-a-johns.

Restroom building locations include: Sippo Lake Marina, Exploration Gateway, Fry Family Park shelter, Walborn Marina, Lake Ave. Trailhead on the Towpath Trail, and three pit toilets at Quail Hollow Park.

Porta-john locations include: Deer Creek Reservoir, Fry Family Park, Mahoning Valley Trail (Gaskill Rd.), Molly Stark Park, Petros Lake Park, Sippo Valley Trail (Skyland Trailhead), Tam O’Shanter Park, Walborn Reservoir (Reeder Ave.), Towpath Trail Trailheads (Lock 4, Butterbridge, Crystal Springs, Bridgeport Quarry, John Glenn Grove, Craig Pittman, and Canal Bend), and Whitacre Greer Park.

Camping Sites

Stark Parks has two primitive camping sites. Neither is permitted for drive-in campers.

Quail Hollow Park’s group camping site will remain closed, per the requirements of the Governor’s office, until further notice.

The River’s Edge Campsite, located at Bridgeport Quarry Trailhead along the Towpath Trail in Massillon, is open for hiker/biker in-tent camping for single participants/families.  This campsite is designated specifically for trail travelers looking for short-term stays.   Reservations are not required, but visitors must call 330.353.2377 when they arrive to check in with the Park Ranger.

Marinas

All public ramps and fishing areas are open.  Social distancing is required.  Docks and smaller areas must abide by 6 feet distancing, at a minimum.  Marinas at Sippo Lake and Walborn Reservoir are open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for pre-packaged snacks and drinks and night crawlers.  Boat rentals are not being offered due to high-touch procedures.

Public and Volunteer Programs

Limited in-person, outdoors programs are planned for the fall and reservations may be found here.  Virtual programs will continue using the Zoom platform.

Public board meetings are again being held in person, following CDC guidelines.  Public meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month. They have been moved to the lower level of the Exploration Gateway to accommodate physical distance requirements.

Facilities and Rentals

The following facilities are closed to the public:

  • Administrative offices are staffed, but not open to the public, to continue services and will comply with physical distancing requirements.
  • Exploration Gateway Access to the Perry-Sippo Library only.  (5712 12th St. NW, Canton, Ohio 44708)
  • Wildlife Conservation Center  (800 Genoa Ave. NW, Massillon, Ohio 44646) Injured and orphaned wildlife are accepted on a limited basis at this time.  Please call 330-477-0448 for details on how to bring your animal in. Please do not take animals to the center without calling first.  Masks are required while in the wildlife viewing area outside the Wildlife Conservation Center for the protection of the staff and wildlife.
  • Quail Hollow Park Nature Center and Manor House (13480 Congress Lake Ave. Hartville, Ohio 44632)

Outdoor rentals are available, under new capacity limits and guidelines, and can been reserved on a first-come, first served basis at StarkParks.com.

Select items may be purchased from the Lily Pad Gift Shop by calling (330) 477-3552 for car pick-up arrangements. Specials will be highlighted on Facebook/StarkParks, as they are offered.

On Your Own

Spending time immersed in nature will hopefully offer reprieve from the complexities of our world right now. While we are encouraging preventative action, including social distancing and self-monitoring, visiting outdoor spaces is a safe way to get out of your home, expend some energy, clear your head, and refresh yourself.

Get Outside On Your Own