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The Richland County Park District is dedicated to introducing and interpreting our region's natural history to the citizens of Richland County through free education and public programming. Our goal is pursued by providing recreational and educational opportunities through the protection and preservation of Richland County's natural resources to enhance the quality of life for present and future generations. RCPD operates two main facilities- The Gorman Nature Center and the B&O Bike Trail. RCPD also holds the legal title or conservation easement of several natural areas located along the Clear Fork Valley Scenic Trail (CFVST) encompassing nearly 600 acres of protected natural areas located in the heart of the Clear Fork Valley. RCPD manages these properties through a partnership with the North Central Ohio Land Conservancy (NCOLC). Other RCPD properties include: Cole Road Prairie, Hartmans Woods, Hemlock Falls, Tugend Road Prairie, and coming soon Fleming Falls Nature Preserve.

Park Locations

Gorman Nature Center
Featuring 150 acres of deciduous forests, fields, prairies, ponds and streams, Gorman Nature Center provides over five miles of public hiking trails close to the population centers of Richland County. Families and individuals are welcome on the hiking trails from dawn till dusk or in the facilities visitor center from (9am-3pm) Tuesday-Saturday. RCPD staff naturalists sponsor weekly programs for the public featuring a wide variety of topics ranging from naturalist led hikes, field trips, lectures, workshops, and night sky programs. In addition to public programing, the RCPD offers daily on-site or nature center programs for schools, youth groups, garden clubs, seniors citizens, service clubs, etc.

Richland County Park District B&O Bike Trail

Park Rules and Information

Gorman Nature Center
The Richland County Park District encompasses many different park properties; however, RCPD staff is based out of Gorman Nature Center located outside of Mansfield, Ohio. Gorman Nature Center is a multi-use recreational park. The Gorman Nature Center is open free to the public Tuesday-Saturday 9am-3pm. GNC pavilion, picnic areas, outdoor restroom facilities, and grounds are open from dawn to dusk for use year round.

If you are planning a large event at GNC, we recommend calling the nature center to confirm with staff that there are no park programs taking place that day. The pavilion cannot be reserved but instead is used on a first come first serve basis. We appreciate and encourage notification of large events at least a week in advance for our scheduling and programming purposes. Please call (419) 884-3764 to notify staff of your special event.

Our conference area is available for use to government agencies and non-profits at the availability of the room and discretion of the park staff. GNC does not rent facilities for weddings, birthdays, or other private events.

For the safety of the flora, fauna, and visitors on RCPD property, help us maintain the ecological integrity of our landscapes and protect our ecosystems by adhering to these park policies on all RCPD properties. These rules help RCPD staff protect sensitive flora and fauna for the preservation and enjoyment of future generations.
  • VANDALISM - No person shall cause serious physical harm to any building, property or equipment owned, leased or managed by the park district.
  • DEFACEMENT, DESTRUCTION, DISTURBANCE AND/OR REMOVAL - No person shall injure, deface, destroy, disturb, or remove any part of a park, including but not limited to, buildings, signs, equipment, trees, flowers, shrubs or other vegetation, fruit or seed thereof, rock, mineral, fossil or archeological artifact, or mammals, birds or any other wildlife whether alive or not.
  • LITTERING, DUMPING, GARBAGE PROHIBITED - No person shall bring into, leave behind, place, or drop any material of any kind in the park, except refuse, ashes or garbage from permitted activities; such materials shall be deposited in receptacles for such purpose. No bottles, cans, refuse or any foreign material of any description shall be deposited or thrown in any stream, waterway, pond or lake in or adjacent to park lands.
  • SEWAGE, NOXIOUS OR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS - No person or corporation shall, either within or outside of the park, place, dump, release, spill or discard onto lands or into any river, stream, brook, ditch, pond or lake any sewage, noxious or hazardous materials which may render park property or waters harmful to public health, animals, vegetation or aquatic life; or which may prevent, limit or interfere with the use of park property.  All sanitary sewage shall receive adequate primary, secondary and tertiary process plant treatment prior to resultant clear effluent entering into park property.
  • POLLUTION - No person or organization shall cause or allow any burning of garbage, refuse, waste material, trash, or any other material within or adjacent to a park so as to cause smoke, odor, sparks, dust, etc. to pass over, through, across the park and cause air pollution, nuisance, or damage.
  • Keep on designated trails. Trails are blazed with markers.
  • Nature trails are for hiking, snowshoeing, or crosscountry skiing only; no bycicles, horses, or motor vehicles.
  • Pets welcome on leash 6' max.
  • No hunting, trapping, or fishing.
  • No picking of vegetation or mushroom hunting.
  • No wading or swimming for people or pets.
  • No catching, releasing, or feeding of animals on RCPD properties.
  • MOLESTING WILDLIFE - No person within the confines of the park shall pursue on foot or with dogs, use walkie-talkies, radios, planes, or any vehicle, or in any way molest any wild bird or animal or rob nests or dens of eggs or young of any bird or animal.
  • FROG GIGGING - No person within the confines of the park shall engage in frog gigging.
  • Fishing is prohibited on RCPD properties
  • ARCHERY FISHING - Archery fishing is prohibited.
  • TURTLING PROHIBITED - Taking of turtles by any means is prohibited.
  • FEEDING OF WILDLIFE - Feeding of wildlife is strictly prohibited.
  • No open fires permitted on RCPD property grounds except in designated grilling areas.
  • No alcohol or illicit drugs are permitted on RCPD properties.
  • FIREWORKS, EXPLOSIVES - No person shall possess, use, or discharge any type of firework, explosive device, or incendiary device within the parks.
  • ADJACENT LANDS WEAPON DISCHARGE - No person shall discharge any firearm of any description, arrow, or projectile toward park property so as to alarm, endanger, or injure wildlife, property, or persons in the park.
  • ARCHERY - No person shall release an arrow, possess or use archery equipment, arrows, bows, cross bows, or long bows within the parks
  • Please be responsible and adhere to Leave No Trace principals to minimilze your impact.

RCPD Rules and Regulation information is located on signage in the GNC parking area, near the pond, and it is available on GNC trail maps.
Richland County Park District B&O Bike Trail

About Our Parks

Our parks and staff are dedicated to education, enjoyment and preservation of Richland County's natural areas and inhabitants. Our goal is pursued by preserving natural areas for people to experience, and by providing opportunities for people of all ages to learn about the rich diversity of life and habitats in our county.

Our Location

Gorman Nature Center
2295 Lexington Avenue
Mansfield, Ohio 44907

Hours of Operation
Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(Closed Sunday-Monday and Federal Holidays. Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.)

419-884-FROG (3764)

© 2015 Richland County Park District. All Rights Reserved.