cannonball for webpage2.jpg

Cannonball Prairie Metropark

Welcome to Cannonball Prairie where reforestation, restoration and recreation met to create a beautiful destination in the Oak Openings Corridor.

Once home to a 1,000 acres farm, almost 100 acres of this land is being restored to a rich habitat for birds, frogs and turtles. Bring your bicycle, kayak or tent to truly experience this Metropark.

The park has planted prairies, a lake for boating (and eventually fishing), three campsites secluded in the woods, walking paths and a connection to the Wabash Cannonball Trail, which runs through the park.

Take a Ride Through History

Whether you like trains, bicycles, music or  prairies, there’s something for everyone in  Cannonball Prairie’s past. 

Built in 1855, the northern leg of the Wabash  Railroad ran from Toledo to Chicago until 1969.  In the mid-1990s, it became part of the rails- to-trails project and today is the bicycle trail  you see transecting this Metropark.

This historic railroad has a musical connection  as well. Folklore tells us that "Cannonball"  comes from a fictional train created by the song writer J.A. Roff in 1882. The song was so  popular that the rail line named a passenger  train after it – the Wabash Cannonball. 

In 2013, Metroparks bought the land around this famous trail to further conservation and prairie restoration in the Oak Openings Region.

From Produce to Prairies

Formerly known as Springer Farm, Cannonball Prairie was once a part of a successful agricultural operation. During its height over 1,000 acres of corn, soybeans, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers were cultivated. Today, Metroparks owns about 100 acres of this historic farm. Much of it will be restored to habitats that support the Oak Openings corridor.

Ponds and Wetlands

The pond and restored wetland at this park offer beautiful places to relax and an amazing opportunity for wildlife viewing after a long bicycle ride. Or bring your kayak, to enjoy the recreation available here. Fishing is currently not permitted while a fishery is being established. With aggressive stocking, feeding and aeration, the ponds will soon be a prime destination for fishing.