Stark Exploring Trail Challenge is Back!

Hiking on a wooded trail

Take Time to Take it In!

Soon 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 get rewarded with a hiking stick and shield! All mileage is based on the honor system and the program is open to all ages.

Stark Exploring 2020 shield

2020 PASSPORT (.pdf)

Pick Up Dates

Sticks and shields can be picked up after you have completed the ten hikes at Sippo Lake Park’s Exploration Gateway Parking Lot (located at the north entrance at 5712 12th St NW, Canton).

Bring your completed form with you and pick up from 10 a.m. to noon on the following dates:

Sat., Sept. 26, 2020
Sat. Oct. 24, 2020
Sat. Nov 21, 2020
Sat. Dec. 19, 2020 

Participation and Cost

First-year participants can purchase the exclusive hiking stick (included with a welcome shield) and an annual collector’s shield.  Returning participants can purchase the annual shield.

First Year Stick and Shield…$5 per person

2020 Shield…$3 each

$2 out-of-county fee applies to each

2020 shield recipients can send a stamped/self-addressed envelope
with payment to Stark Exploring 5712 12th St NW, Canton, Ohio 44708

Sticks and shields are limited and are first-come, first-served while supplies last. The final day to turn in all forms is Dec. 19, 2020.   

Helpful Information

Find more detailed directions and information about each location below. (In order by distance)

  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. Sippo Lake Park: Marina Loop Trail
    Parking: 5300 Tyner St., Canton 44708
    Round Trip Mileage: .59 mile
    Surface: Natural Surface
    Enjoy the ups and downs with an occasional view of Sippo Lake on the south side of the parking lot.  Start by walking up the grass hill near the park entrance.
  3. Walborn Reservoir: Marina Loop Trail
    Parking: 11324 Price St. NE, Alliance 44601
    Round Trip Mileage: .60 mile
    Surface: Natural Surface
    Start behind the Walborn Marina and travel under a canopy of pine trees to a popular fishing peninsula before looping back to the other side of the parking area.
  4. 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 and volleyball court.  The walk typically takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.  
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Sippo Lake Park: Sippo Lake Trail
    Parking: 5300 Tyner St., Canton 44708
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.00 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Follow the limestone trail to the Exploration Gateway Shelter and Playground and back.  
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. Mahoning Valley Trail: Deer Creek Reservoir to Greenbower St.
    Parking: Deer Creek Reservoir, 14514 Price St. NE, Alliance 44601
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.24 miles
    Walk next to and over the reservoir before entering a short wooded section to Greenbower St. on a relatively flat section.
  14. Hoover Trail: Washington Square Loop
    Parking: 1325 E. Maple St., North Canton 44720
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.28 miles 
     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.

    A sidewalk improvement project may impact this portion of the route on along E. Maple St. Please use caution in traveling around the closed section of sidewalk.
  15. 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.
  16. Middle Branch Trail: Schneider Loop and GlenOak Loop
    Parking: Veterans Community Park, 1714 Schneider St., Canton 44714
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.60 miles
    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.
  17. 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.
  18. Congressman Ralph Regula Towpath Trail: Canal Bend Trailhead to McDonnell Trailhead (Tuscarawas County)
    Parking: Canal Bend Trailhead, 6997 Dolphin St SW, Bolivar 44612
    Round Trip Mileage: 2.76 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Head north for a short distance before taking the sharp right bending to the east and up a steady climb along a farm field.  Cross Shepler Church Ave. and continue over the Tuscarawas River.  Appreciate the open rural views before turning around at the aqueduct bridge.
  19. Congressman Ralph Regula Towpath Trail: Bridgeport Quarry to Lake Ave.
    Parking: Bridgeport Quarry Trailhead, 3455 Erie Ave. NW, Massillon 44646 (south of Traphagen St.)
    Round Trip Mileage: 3.12 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Turn south (left) on the trail from the parking lot and travel under Rt. 21 and Lake Ave.  Stop and shop at the Lake Ave. Trailhead before turning back.  Restrooms are located next to the building.
  20. Congressman Ralph Regula Towpath Trail: Craig Pittman Trailhead to Wooster St.
    Parking: Craig Pittman Trailhead, 8218 Hudson Dr. Navarre 44662 
    Round Trip Mileage: 3.40 miles
    Surface: Limestone
    Head over the stone bridge and follow the smells of baking bread through Navarre.  This low-lying area of the Towpath has up close views of the Tuscarawas River with several road crossings.
  21. 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.
    Park in the Dogwood Parking Lot to the right at the driveway split.  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 before where you can take the asphalt path before crossing the driveway back to the parking lot.
  22. 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
    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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.