Welcome to Northeast Ohio
Just more than 576 square miles in area, Stark County is home to 17 townships and 20 cities and villages. Although the largest municipality and the county seat is the City of Canton, with the next largest cities being Alliance and Massillon, each individual area of the county has something unique to offer.
Stark and Carroll counties have excellent school districts, with a variety of educational programs, extracurricular activities and sports teams for all children of all ages. Additionally, many districts offer adult and community education courses. Click here for a listing of area school districts, with links to district’s Web sites.
The Ohio Department of Education has information on area school districts, including School District Report Cards. Click here to access the information by district.
Cultural arts has exploded in Canton in recent years, with the newly revitalized Canton Arts District. In addition, the Canton Cultural Center for the Arts houses the Canton Ballet, Canton Museum of Art, Canton Symphony Orchestra, The Players Guild and the Voices of Canton. These organizations combine to stage year-round performances.
Stark County also boasts a variety of museums and galleries. The best known of these is the McKinley National Monument and Museum, honoring the 25th president of the United States. Other attractions are the National First Ladies’ Library, Canton Classic Car Museum, the St. Helena III Canal Boat and Heritage House (Canal Fulton) and the Ohio Society of Military History Museum (Massillon). The Hoover House in North Canton, the Hoover Historical Center is the Victorian boyhood home of Hoover Company founder, William H. hoover. Located inside Walsh University’s Hoover Park in North Canton. Guided tours begin in a modest 1840s building that served as home for the Hoover family in 1852.
Stark County probably is most widely known for being the home of the National Football League Professional Football Hall of Fame and its annual Hall of Fame Induction and Festival in July/August. Each year, more than 500,000 people attend various activities throughout the weeklong festival. Events include the concerts, fireworks, Balloon Classic Invitational, Jackson-Belden Food Fest, 2-mile and 5-mile races, community parade, grand parade, ribs burnoff, First Play, fashion show luncheon, enshrinees dinner, enshrinement ceremony and AFC-NFC Hall of Fame Game, which kicks off the NFL pre-season.
If you are a sports enthusiast, Stark County is the place for you. Professional sports teams are available in the nearby markets of Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Columbus. Many area residents are season ticket holders for Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians games. Additionally, many enjoy attending the Akron Aeros, the AA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
The county also is home to many public and private golf courses, along with numerous areas for water and snow skiing, boating, hiking, fishing, camping and biking in any of the more than 100 municipal, county and state parks. Stark Parks, the county’s park system, boasts 13 parks and trails throughout the county, including the Congressman Ralph Regula Towpath Trail.
If you prefer leisure activities such as sightseeing, movies, fine dining and shopping, Stark County has it all! The northern portion of the county consists of several historical Amish communities with old-world craft shops and restaurants. The county features several multiplex movie theaters, a major mall (Westfield Belden Village) and multiple shopping plazas like The Strip, featuring several mega-stores.
For a list of area Restaurants visit the Tri-County Restaurant Association.
*Additionally, each of the six cities within Stark County has a designated “township” name. They are: Butler (Alliance), Constitution (Louisville), Hoover (North Canton), Massillon (Massillon), McKinley (Canton), and Milan (Canal Fulton).
Canton City Parks
The City of Canton has 40 parks and 10 mini-parks available for public use. Some of the most prominent include:
- Stadium Park, spanning from 12th to 25th St. N.W., features 68 acres of nature and picnic areas, including a softball complex, playground, duck pond and a 1.5-mile rubberized walking track with exercise stations. The Canton Garden Center is also located within the park with an outside children’s garden. Click here for more info.
- Adjacent to Stadium Park and next to the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is Monument Park, the site of the McKinley National Memorial. It includes picnic tables, grills and a large duck pond used for ice skating during the winter.
- Weis Park, on 25th St. N.W. behind the North Branch Library, features shuffleboard, bocce ball, tennis and volleyball courts and a baseball field.
- West Park Skateboard Park, on 9th and Shroyer Ave N.W., features many amenities for skateboarders, including a 4-foot quarterpipe and launch ramp.
- Westbrook Memorial Veterans’ Park, on 13th St. N.W., is the site of a U.S. Veterans memorial and a piece of the U.S. battleship Maine.
Click here for more information, a full list of Canton City parks and park photos.
Plain Township Parks
There are 102 acres under the Plain Township Parks and Recreation Department, with its goal being “to enhance people’s lives and the community they live in.” Some of them include:
- Alpine Park, located at 3059 Alpine St NW, has a ½ mile jogging track, basketball court, tennis court, playgrounds and picnic shelters which can be rented at no cost to residents of Plain Township.
- Diamond Community Park and Sports Complex, located at the corner of Diamond Street and Middlebranch Road, has 42 acres of soccer fields, baseball/softball fields, a bocce ball court, .9-mile jogging path and a picnic pavilion. A large 80 by 160-foot complex on the grounds offers indoor sports and a community room, which can be reserved for individuals, businesses and groups for a free of $50 a day.
In addition, the Plain Township Parks system offers local sports programs for community soccer, midget football, baseball and softball. Other summer programs include baton/ pom-pom, bowling, humane society event, fitness classes, movie club and tennis lessons. Click here for more information.
Owned and operated by Walsh University, this North Canton park exudes charm with its summer rentals, which include a cottage, kitchens, a western room, a pavilion and Hoover Hall. Perfect for family and group outings, all rentals include the use of playground equipment, baseball fields, a basketball court, a bocce court and a volleyball court. The pavilion is equipped with picnic tables, a large grill, electricity, a playground and roll-down sides in case of rain. Hoover Hall has a large stage with a dance floor, tables and seating, a kitchen and private restrooms and is perfect for banquets and weddings. Adjacent to the park is the Hoover Historical Center, the former summer home of Herbert W. Hoover, president of Hoover Company. For more information and a downloadable brochure, click here.
- Sippo Lake Park, a 321-acre park with 107 acres of water and 3 areas is located on Perry Drive N.W. in Perry Township. East Sippo includes a marina, clubhouse, boat shelter, fishing facilities, and picnic facilities. The lake is stocked with catfish, bass, walleye, perch, and pickerel. The north entrance features a brand new facility with two large community rooms, a learning lab, and a science classroom. The west entrance is the site of the wildlife rehabilitation center and park trails.
- Petros Lake Park, also on Perry Drive, features a 1.2-mile shore-side trail and a butterfly/wildflower trail. It also includes a fishing lake, picnic areas, volleyball court, ball fields, and a walking/jogging track.
- Faircrest Park, in Canton, is an 18-acre wooded park with picnic shelters, a playground, volleyball courts, and a nature path.
- Lock 4 Park, on Erie Avenue in Canal Fulton, is an historic landmark, featuring a canal lock and replica of a lock keeper’s cabin. The park has a mill raceway, picnic tables, grills, and a handicap-accessible fishing dock. It is also an entry point to the Ohio & Erie Canalway for bikers, walkers, and equestrians.
- Frank Esmont Park along the Nimishillen Creek features a loop trail, garden, and picnic tables.
- Walborn and Deer Creek Reservoirs, off Price Street in Lexington and Marlboro townships, are 2,700 acres of water with outstanding fishing and boating, a new marina and boat launch, and a handicap-accessible fishing pier. Boat rentals, bait, food sales, and hiking are also available.
- Cook’s Lagoon, a small fishing pond and walking path, is located east of Market Ave and north of 12th Street N.W. in Canton.
- David Fichtner Outdoor Education Center, 12833 Market Ave N. in Hartville, offers educational and recreational programs and includes a hiking trail, pond, and wetlands. The Discovery Room displays reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and Ohio fish.
- Magnolia Flouring Mill, in Magnolia off S.R. 183, was acquired by Stark Parks in 2005. The 5-story building, built in 1834, is an historic landmark and now operates as a feed mill. It has retained much of its original structure and antique machinery.
- Whitacre Greer Park, 4290 Irish Rd. N.W. in Magnolia, is a 2,000-acre park reserved for horseback riding only. Plans are underway for the park to develop biking and hiking facilities, but the park will maintain its equestrian emphasis. The park is closed during November and December.
For more information on the Stark County Park District, visit their Web site at http://www.starkparks.com.
Ohio & Erie Canalway
Visitors can choose to travel by train, trolley, bike, bus or foot through the Canalway to discover museums, historic sites and outdoor recreational opportunities. The 100-mile Towpath trail is great for hiking, walking or bicycling, or you can choose to take in the scenery along 110 miles of scenic byway roads. The trail has dozens of trailheads linking cities and towns all over Ohio. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers adventures through the Canalway to the Village of Peninsula, Hale Farm & Village, National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Akron Zoo, Canton and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Tours are also available by bus, trolley and The Saint Helena III canal boat to Canalway attractions such as historic sights and museums. Click here for more information.
Quail Hollow State Park
Quail Hollow is located in Hartville about half an hour from Canton and offers camping, trails, tours, fishing, picnicking, and nearby attractions. In the winter, cross-country skiing and ice skating are available. The park surrounds a beautiful 40-room manor and gardens and was originally the home of Harry Bartlett Stewart, CEO of the Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad in the early 1900s. Click here for more information on Quail Hollow.
The Wilderness Center
Located in Wilmot, OH, just a short distance from Canton, The Wilderness Center has 10 miles of trails and many learning opportunities. As a non-profit center, TWC hosts numerous programs like walks, starwatches, planetarium shows and other special events like a concert series. Most are free and open to the public. The Interpretive Building includes a fossil wall, interactive display room, trails and animal observation area. Click here for more information.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, on the National Register of Historic Places, offers recreational activities, educational programs, railroad excursions, historic points of interest and conference facilities. Located on nearly 33,000 acres between Cleveland and Akron, CVNP can be accessed off I-77, I-271, The Ohio Turnpike (I-80) and State Route 8 by following park signs. The backbone of the park is the 22-mile Cuyahoga River, named “the crooked river” by American Indians. The steep valley walls, ravines and lush forest that merge the Appalachian Plateau and Central Lowlands give the park its beauty while also providing the perfect habitat for over 900 plant species and hundreds of animals. Visitors can choose to take a ranger-guided tour or explore the park on their own. Many events take place at the park, including concerts, art exhibits, workshops and shows. In addition, the park connects to the Ohio & Erie Canalway and Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. For more information about the CVNP, click here.
Clay’s Park Resort
On more than 500 acres, visitors of Clay’s Park in Canal Fulton can choose from a number of activities such as camping, skating, swimming, water slides, volleyball, miniature golf, boating, biking/hiking trails and more. Within the park are an individual water park, skate park and RV park. Campers can rent cozy cabins and a restaurant on the grounds offers themed weekends, catering and an internet coffee café. Clay’s Park is great for family or company outings. A large amphitheater hosts concerts and special events during summer and fall, some of which are nationally recognized. Click here for more information.
Bear Creek Resort Ranch
Just 7 miles south of Canton, Bear Creek offers camping, swimming, fishing,
boating, miniature golf, ATV and bike trails, hayrides, horseback riding, day camps and winter tobogganing. Cabins and lodge rentals are available, and many events and themed weekends are planned each year. Click here for more information.
Often referred to as the “Emerald Necklace,” Cleveland Metroparks consist of 16 reservations on more than 21,000 acres circling Cleveland. Each reservation offers its own recreation, education, events and distinct charm. The parks have many opportunities, including more than 60 miles of paved trails available for hiking, biking or skating. Seven golf courses are also owned and maintained by the parks. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offers many opportunities and exhibits for all ages.
Links to other Park Districts: