Oakwoods Nature Preserve

1400 Oakwoods Lane, Findlay (off County Road 144)

History:  Originally a privately owned picnic, recreational, and fishing area, Oakwoods is a successful preservation effort.  The HPD has blended the natural elements of the property, reaffirming its commitment to protect nature from manmade hazards while still allowing the public to enjoy and appreciate it. Grants and private donations helped the HPD purchase the original 67-acres of woods and lake in 1984, opening to the public on October 13, 1985. Additional property has been acquired over the years. A railroad roundhouse, tracks and building were located in the area of the Discovery Center, but were destroyed by fire in 1916. Nature has since reclaimed the stone quarry, farmland, and rail yard to provide one of the more scenic areas in Hancock County today.

Oakwoods Nature Preserve welcomes visitors each day at this a 227-acre outdoor complex that contains diverse habit, an interconnected system of nature trails and two lakes – all anchored by the Richard S. “Doc” Phillips Discovery Center and located only two miles from downtown all waiting to be discovered.   

The Park named for the huge oak trees found along Armand Run, is a place of discovery where wetlands, birds and wildlife, interpretive exhibits, woods and prairie are natural attractions in the Preserve and are featured in many environmental educational programs. Watching the sun set from the overlook deck over Shank Lake, fishing in Dold Lake or hiking the trails for seasonal changes and signs of wildlife are just a few reasons to keep coming back again and again.


  • 227-acres of wooded forest  and farm land
  • “Doc” Phillips Discovery Center provides an education facility for programming opportunities for kids of all ages. This is not a reservable facility 
  • Several picnic sites available through the preserve located near the first parking lot area and porch area of the Discovery Center can all be used first come, first served 
  • Wetland Window on Wildlife, wildlife viewing area, located behind the Discovery Center.
  • Composting restrooms located near the Discovery Center
  • Shank Lake (9-acres) and Dold Lake (4-acres) with public fishing by bank or boat, electric trolling motors only. Boats must be carried back to Dold Lake. Boat launch at Shank Lake can be accessed by a vehicle and/or trailer. Fishing is closed at Dold Lake until further notice
  • Butterfly gardens greets visitor outside the Discovery Center
  • Public fishing access decks at both lakes are handicapped accessible. Additional fishing access areas located around both lakes
  • Overlook deck with rest area overlooks Shank Lake. 
  • Trail system provides 4.5+ miles of hiking/cross-country skiing on surface-covered trails throughout the 227-acres   TRAILS CHART
  • Meadow areas are managed for food and nesting cover for woodland wildlife 
  • Woodland/forested areas continue to be in transition as they reclaim themselves
  • Prime farmland surrounds the Nature Preserve 
  • Prairie area has been established on the west side of the property  (PRAIRIE BROCHURE)













1424 East Main Cross Street
Findlay, OH 45840

Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am - 4:30pm