Designated as “One of the two hundred last great places on Earth,” you sense how precious the Oak Openings region is when you walk along wind rippled sand dunes, breathe in the serenity of old growth trees, and hear the mingled chorus of birds, frogs and crickets echoing over the marshes and through the swaying grasses. Come celebrate this truly rare and vibrantly diverse ecosystem which is home to the largest concentration of Ohio’s endangered and rare species during Blue Week (May 16-23).
Enjoy day and evening guided tours and family friendly activities to discover blue life such as salamanders, birds, snakes, butterflies, grasses and flowers. Get out and move during Birds and Frogs of our Wetlands, a 1.5 mile night hike on Thursday, May 18, 8:30-10:30pm at Sylvan Prairie (8601 Brint Rd., Sylvania). Purchase plants for your yard, and learn about native plants sourced from local Oak Openings and Great Black Swamp areas, on Sunday, May 21 from 10am-4pm at Kitty Todd Nature Preserve (10420 Old State Line Rd., Swanton).
For all activities visit oakopenings.org/learn/oak-openings-blue-week/
Launch with the Northwest Ohio River Runners on their annual Spring into Green Tour along a portion of Swan Creek which defies its urban, industrial roots. The waterway, winds near city streets and under railroad trestles and traffic bridges, guiding you through a beautiful natural setting. As you paddle along, you are surrounded by lushly verdant budding trees and plants cascading down the embankments and overhanging the sunny, blue water.
Sunday, May 28 from 11:30am-4pm at Swan Creek Public Launch at 525 Market St., downtown Toledo (Farmers Market parking lot), as part of NWORR weekly paddle and outings visit nworr.org. Life jackets required. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring drinking water. No registration required. Toledo Metroparks will supply kayaks for a fee: Single Kayak, $10 per hour Tandem Kayak, $15 per hour. Downriver kayak trip, Farnsworth to Side Cut Metropark, including transportation back to Farnsworth, $25 per person. E-bike rental, $10 per hour. Kayaks are available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-7pm, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Pre registration for use of a kayak is required at metroparkstoledo.com/outdoor-adventures/paddling-sports/
Route details: 3.5 miles round trip. Leisurely pace upstream for approximately 2 hours passing under City Park and Hawley St bridges and train trestles to the Western Ave bridge. Return trip is approximately 1 ½ hour with the current.