A revitalized and reimagined riverfront is home to a first-ever downtown Toledo Metropark— Middlegrounds— offering a perfect respite amid the urban landscape.
Situated along Ottawa Street and nestled near the Anthony Wayne Bridge (aka the High Level Bridge), the newest Metropark allows the bridge’s beautiful framework to serve as a grand entrance to create a 28-acre metropark in the middle ground between the Maumee River and Swan Creek, once an epicenter for railroad, shipping and industry. “We removed a thousand tons of debris, and created a park,” states Scott Carpenter, director of public relations for the Metroparks of the Toledo Area.
A nice trail lines with park benches offers a quite respite in downtown Toledo.
Naturally and Sustainably Man-made
The smallest of the metroparks, Middlegrounds has the feel of an expansive space graced with a half mile of sparkling Maumee River frontage. Decks and small bridges offer vistas of both the river and surrounding cityscape. Made from sustainable ipe wood, these structures lead you over a series of ponds and along a 1.5-mile walking and biking trail (handicapped accessible).
Carpenter highly recommends following the trail to the end where it loops back around: “You can see all three Toledo bridges at once; it’s a really amazing view.” The AW Bridge has been outfitted with a piping system that funnels rainwater runoff through the park’s ponds where native plants and grasses help filter out debris and chemicals before the water flows into the Maumee River. (Look for the pipes coming off the side of the bridge.)
Middlegrounds Metropark's filtration system, where rainwater is funneled off the Anthony Wayne Bridge into a series of filtering ponds, which clean the water before it flows into the Maumee River.
Other features include a dog park and the kayak cove, which provides easy, safe launching in a small protected waterway before leading into the river. A railroad roundhouse, original to the property, was converted for use as a picnic shelter and restroom facilities.
Scott Carpenter, Director of Marketing for the Metroparks of the Toledo Area, shows off the sustainable wood decking used at Middlegrounds.
Come learn about and explore the park at the official opening events Saturday, September 17: tours and activities noon to 5pm at Meet the Middlegrounds, and/or the Rock the Middlegrounds celebration 6-11pm with live music, food trucks, beer and wine.
Middlegrounds Metropark at 111 Ottawa St. metroparkstoledo.com