Fry Family Park

2533 Farber St. SE, Magnolia, OH 44643

Open Daily: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

General Information: 330.477.3552

On-Duty Ranger: 330.353.2377

Rentals and Reservations: 330-409-8096

This 360-acre property has beautiful rolling topography with a mixture of grasslands, hardwood forests, a pond, wetlands, and significant stream and wooded riparian corridor.  It provides habitat for an array of songbirds, game birds, raptors, and small mammals.  A catch and release fishing pond is a .30 mile walk from the parking area next to the barn.  Use the access drive on the left traveling up the main driveway.

The park will eventually serve as a trailhead for the Sandy Valley Trail, a major southeast trail system currently under development. Upgrades to the park and new shelter have been made with funds from the Stark Community Foundation.

Fry Family Park honors the memory of Stark Parks’ first director, Richard Fry, and his family.

Read the Fry Family Park Master Plan

Harold S. Fry Visitor Center

The Harold S. Fry Visitor Center at Fry Family Park will be open regular hours beginning Aug 26 and will be open for the rest of 2021 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  More permanent hours will be set in 2022.  A $600,000 grant from Ohio Public Works Commission will allow Stark Parks to complete habitat restoration work in addition to a new woodland trail, currently in progress.

The center includes a science lab, library, classroom and multi-purpose room, and outdoor gathering spaces available for rent.  The building is a hub to begin your adventures and a place to meet for scheduled public and requested programs.  Exploration Backpacks include plant and animal guides and bug and specimen collectors. These can be checked out during regular open hours for free.  Driver’s License or ID will be held during borrowing period.  Park maps and pollinator scavenger hunts are also available to use and keep at no charge.

The Visitor Center was originally the home of the Fry Family.  The home is in its original location and underwent renovation in 2019 to its present state.  Harold worked with Stark Parks to transfer the property with the vision of creating a park everyone could enjoy.  He loved the idea that the family home could be used as a community gathering place where others could learn to appreciate nature.

Harold Fry’s son, Richard, was Stark Parks first Park Director from 1977 to 1994.  Richard guided the district during the evolving years of the Park District’s history and worked incredibly hard to create and preserve a county-wide park system.  The Fry Family’s love of the outdoors and wildlife show during a visit to this park through water, land, and sky.

Watersheds
The park is a perfect place to explore watersheds due to the high ridge that splits the water run-off to either the Tuscarawas or Nimishillen Creek watersheds and is the basis for a future Nature Play Area.  The flow of water in this park provides an excellent real-world example of how watersheds work: Where does water surface flow depending on where it lands, how does the land control where the water goes next, and why is it important that our ground water “recharges”? The property also boasts a variety of water features including springs, an “oxbow” separated from the original flow of the Nimishillen Creek, streams, a pond, and wetlands.

Pollinators
Pollinators buzzing around this park have an important job to do and need areas like this to survive.  Through a Feed a Bee grant, pollinator plants will continue to be planted and maintained in several areas.  During the last bee survey, several Golden Northern Bumble bee, including queens, were identified here.  They are currently considered a vulnerable species.  Over 120 species of birds have been confirmed during Bioblitz surveys over the last several years and we look forward to more citizen scientists (like all of you) helping with future counts.

Dark Sky Initiative

Fry Family Park has been awarded an Urban Night Sky Place Certification from the International Dark Sky Association making it the first park in Ohio to achieve this designation and one of only two Dark Sky certified parks in Ohio!

An Urban Night Sky Place certification is awarded to a park, open space, observation site, or other similar property in or near a large urban environment. To become certified, parks must demonstrate planning and design that actively promotes an authentic nighttime experience in the midst of significant artificial light.

During Fry Park’s planning, special light fixtures that emit a dark-sky friendly light were installed throughout the park. These low color-temperature lights produce less light pollution and preserve the natural nighttime darkness. Artificial light pollution can impact the natural environment, from prematurely budding trees and plants, to disrupting native wildlife, and the circadian rhythms of humans.  Due to the park’s rural location and limited commercial enterprise in the area, Fry Park benefits from having little light pollution in the surrounding area as well.

 

Activities

  • Bird Watching
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • On Your Own
  • Running

Amenities

  • Picnic Shelter

Related Programs

Interactive Map


Fry Family Park Map

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