Points of Interest
Regardless of your interest, there is much to do in Darke County! From the many city, village and county parks to shopping and even dirt track racing, there is something for everyone!
DARKE COUNTY PARK DISTRICT
The Darke County Park District well-maintained park areas covers over 1,000 acres, 13 miles of cross county trail, and 4 educational areas with buildings and has hosted over 100,000 visitors annually at 13 parks in Darke County. Skilled employees assisted by 300 volunteers provide quality educational programs in a safe environment for families. The park district has hosted over 7,500 school children annually with educational programs and classroom experiences and offers special events that reinforce the natural and cultural history of Darke County. These events include Prairie Days, Maple Sugarin’, Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland, and the Historical Encampment/Gathering at Garst. The Darke County Park District was established in 1972 and now includes Shawnee Prairie Preserve, Prairie Ridge and Prairie Ridge Meadow, Tecumseh Point Walkway, Alice Bish Park, Turkeyfoot Preserve, Eidson Woods Nature Preserve, Routzong Preserve, Tecumseh Trail, Worth Family Preserve, Coppess Nature Sanctuary, Winterrowd Wetlands, Donna May Campbell Preserve, and Holzapfel Preserve.
SHAWNEE PRAIRIE PRESERVE
The largest park Shawnee Prairie Preserve encompasses 118 acres and 2 miles of woodlands, prairies, swamps, meadows, and marshes just west of Greenville on State Route 502. The 6,800 square foot Nature Education Center features a display area, assembly room, gift shop, classroom, wildlife observation area, administrative headquarters and houses animal ambassadors and is the site of many natural and cultural programming. The grounds also includes a Pioneer Log House, Blacksmith Shop, Sugar Shack, and Shelter House.
The recreational trail includes a paved multi-use trail and share-the-road points connecting Bradford, Ohio and working towards Greenville. Parking lots are provided at Bridge Street in Gettysburg and at the Ohio 571 crossing.
The paved trail is where the Mud Creek and Greenville Creek meet. This point is where Shawnee Chief Tecumseh and his brother The Prophet lived during the protest of the Treaty of Greene Ville. The entrance to Tecumseh Point Walkway is from the foot bridge at Walnut Street, Greenville.
This 55-acre wooded nature preserve is located on Routzong Road east of Greenville on State Route 571. From spectacular spring wildflowers to brilliant fall leaves, the beech-maple forest of Routzong Preserve makes it an area of interest during every season of the year. Visitors will find over 1-1/2 miles of trails to explore.
PRAIRIE RIDGE MEADOW
Prairie Ridge Meadow is located on North Broadway, Greenville, north of the Greenville Creek Bridge. On the hillside is a recreated prairie seeded with 100 varieties of grasses and flowering plants native to Darke County. From this location visitors can access Tecumseh Walkway which includes a view of the Greenville Creek from a converted railroad trestle. Prairie Ridge Meadow is home to the Anthony Wayne / Native American Peace Council House.
NATIVE AMERICAN PEACE COUNCIL HOUSE
Take a step back in time and explore the meaning behind Greenville being the Treaty City. The recreated Native American Peace Council House, located at Prairie Ridge Meadow across from the Garst Museum, is a modern day reconstruction of the Council House built by General Anthony Wayne during the Treaty of Greene Ville talks in 1795.
COPPESS NATURE SANCTUARY
Located in west central Darke County on Young Road, this 32-acre woodland features a level, well maintained 3/4 mile loop gravel trail, beginning and ending at a convenient parking area. Visitors will see more than 38 species of woody plants including towering beech, oak, and hickory woodland with more than 84 species of plants covering the ground.
Park is located at the headwaters of the Stillwater River and consists of a 35-acre wetland, 5 acres of upland woods and 20 acres of prairie. Access to the property is limited to a 1/4 mile trail leading from the parking lot off Route 47 just east of Route 49 to the observation blind at the edge of the wetland.
WORTH FAMILY NATURE PRESERVE
The preserve borders Greenville Creek and is a mixture of floodplain, hardwood forests, pine groves, upland meadows and thickets. Access to the 35-acre park is along the east side of Spring Hill Road. Visitors can take a mile long hike that includes a beautiful, unaltered section of state designated Scenic River, Greenville Creek.
ALICE BISH PARK
Visitors will find access to a paved trail that follows the course of the banks of the Greenville Creek. Entrance and parking lot is off of North Ohio Street, Greenville. Park has a canoe / kayak launch ramp for easy access to the creek. The Bish Discovery Center, located on North Ohio Street, focus is to educate visitors about sustainable living, renewable energy and how to have a positive on the community.
Named for the prairie grass, Big Bluestem, this preserve includes 60 acres of re-established prairie and managed wetlands. The wetlands are a birding area during spring and fall migration, while the prairie is home to grassland nesting birds.
EIDSON WOODS PRESERVE
The preserve consists of 55 acres of maturing woodland and 15 acres of savannah and an excellent range of habitats and species of interest including woodland frogs in the spring, numerous amphibians and birds in the several vernal pools in the low areas of the woodland, and white-tailed deer. In the summertime visitors will enjoy the cooling waters of Kraut Creek, a tributary of state designated Scenic River, Greenville Creek. Eidson Woods 1-1/4 miles of trails is located at Route 502 west and Palestine Union City Road.
DONNA MAY CAMPBELL PRESERVE
A small parking lot allows access to a 5-acre preserve along the State Scenic Stillwater River located in northern Darke County off of Route 127 in Beamsville. Along the river banks of a quarter-mile trail wildlife can be seen including beaver, songbirds, fox, a variety of reptiles and amphibians, and muskrat.
This 2-acre tract of land located off of Meadow Lane, Greenville, is an arboretum, a botanical collection composed exclusively of trees. The arboretum will be used for educational purposes for hands-on tree identification classes for the public and school students. The gift of land and Darke County Park District sign unveiling was held in December 2018.
Built in 1849 by Gabriel Baer, Bear’s Mill is one of the few operating water-powered mills in Ohio today. The site of the present mill, as well as the water rights, were granted to Major George Adams through a Presidential deed by President James Monroe in 1824.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, Bear’s Mill is a working museum; still utilizing the water from the Greenville Creek to power the equipment for stone-grinding flour and meal.
Visitors are encouraged to tour the mill and the beautiful natural area surrounding it, as well as shop the Mill Market Store where flour, homemade breads and sweets, along with gourmet kitchen accessories can be found. Art exhibits in the gallery at the Mill offer visitors the opportunity to see and shop regional art including paintings, photography, pottery, blown glass, jewelry and sculpture.
FORT JEFFERSON PARK
Originally Fort Jefferson was built under the direction of General Arthur St. Clair’s in October 1791 as an advance post for his campaign from Fort Washington against local Native Americans. Fort Jefferson 6.5 acre park is located five miles south of Greenville in Fort Jefferson off of State Route 121. In 1970 Fort Jefferson was recognized and added to the National Register of Historic Places.
ALTAR OF PEACE
Commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Greene Ville with the Native Americans on August 3, 1795, this monument is located on Memorial Drive in the Greenville City Park.
GREENVILLE CITY PARK
This park is the site of world, state and local horseshoe tournaments, has acres of picnic grounds, and a children’s playground. Other activity areas include tennis and shuffleboard courts, a skate park, swimming pool, fishing ponds, band shell, swinging bridge, peacocks, swans, and much more. The main entrance is located on East Main Street.
SITE OF THE SIGNING OF THE TREATY OF GREENEVILLE
A granite monument engraved with Howard Christy Chandler’s painting of the signing of the Treaty is located on West Main Street at Elm Street, marking the approximate place where General “Mad” Anthony Wayne signed the Treaty of Greene Ville.
THE TREATY STONE
A monument located on the public square in front of the Greenville Municipal Building, marks the approximate place where General “Mad” Anthony Wayne signed the famous Treaty of Greene Ville in 1795.
BRADFORD RAILROAD MUSEUM
The museum located at 200 North Miami Avenue, Bradford, Ohio, is dedicated to the preservation of Bradford, Ohio's railroad history. The railroad was once a significant part of Bradford's economy, employing many who manned the trains, worked in the switching yards and in the roundhouse where steam locomotives were kept and serviced between runs. The museum has restored Bradford's former Pennsylvania Railroad BF interlocking tower and opened a museum in a former bank building. The BF Tower was put in service in 1925 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. The museum houses a collection of photos, artifacts, and displays from the rail operation in Bradford, Ohio, from 1855-1985 featuring the Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central, and Conrail which allows visitors to journey through Bradford's railroad history.
BIRTHPLACE OF LOWELL THOMAS
Lowell Thomas was an adventurer, explorer, world traveler and author, but most remembered as a radio news commentator on the CBS Radio Network. The house where Lowell Thomas was born has been moved from its original location in Woodington, Ohio to the grounds of the Garst Museum. The home has been refurbished to the time period of his youth.
BIRTHPLACE OF ANNIE OAKLEY
A monument located on U.S. 127, just south of North Star on Spencer Road near Willowdell in Patterson Township, marks the location of Annie Oakley’s birthplace.
GRAVESITE OF ANNIE OAKLEY
Brock Cemetery located on Beamsville-St. Marys Road, just off U.S. 127 northeast of Greenville is the site of the graves of Annie Oakley and her husband Frank Butler.
ANNIE OAKLEY MEMORIAL PARK
This landscaped area in downtown Greenville at the intersection of Broadway, Martin Street, and Washington Avenue features a life-size bronze statue honoring Annie Oakley. Surrounding the base of the statue are personalized engraved bricks purchased by individuals and businesses in support of this project.
ZACHARY LANSDOWNE RESIDENCE
Located at the corner of East Third and Locust Streets in Greenville, this gray shingle historic house is the birthplace of Zachary Lansdowne, U.S. Navy commander of the U.S.S. Shenandoah airship. He was killed in the crash of the Shenandoah on September 3, 1925. The residence is on the National Register of Historic Sites.
Located at 205 North Broadway in Greenville, the Garst Museum, a historical museum with roots in the American experience, houses over 300,000 artifacts on display in 35,000 square feet of exhibit space within six major and two minor venues. The Garst House, which earlier served as an inn, has six building wing additions since the house was donated to the Darke County Historical Society in 1946 by the Garst family. Major exhibit venues and highlights include The National Annie Oakley Center, Crossroads of Destiny, Lowell Thomas with Lawrence of Arabia and Beyond, Keepers of Freedom, The Village Wing, Americana Wing, Pioneer Wing, Darke County Research Center, and Garst Museum Store.
HENRY ST. CLAIR MEMORIAL HALL
Built in 1910, Memorial Hall is located on West Fourth Street in Greenville and is the artistic center of the county. This grand building is site of the Anna Bier Gallery and Civic Room. Memorial Hall features a large auditorium, seats 420 on the main level and 212 in the balcony, and features Tiffany style leaded glass windows in the main entrance foyer. St. Clair Memorial Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.