Providence Metropark is located in the real ghost town of Providence, Ohio, a once booming canal town abandoned after a cholera epidemic, a devastating fire and the decline of canal traffic. As Halloween approaches every year, the sprits of the park’s past begin to stir.
Relive the canal days of 1876.
Canal boats once carried goods and people 249 miles between Toledo and Cincinnati, linking Lake Erie and the Ohio River. At Providence, you can get a sense of what canal travel was like along an original section of the Miami and Erie Canal, complete with Lock #44.
A replica of an authentic canal boat, The Volunteer, and historic Isaac Ludwig Mill preserve features of mid-1800s Ohio in a charming setting just across the river from the canal town of Grand Rapids.
Special note for 2021 season
Visit Providence Metropark Friday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day to experience the Isaac Ludwig Mill and board the docked canal boat. Group reservations for tours of the Isaac Ludwig Mill welcome. Masks required.
The Providence Dam, just upriver from another attraction, the Isaac Ludwig Mill, was originally constructed to keep the canal filled with water. The canal boat and mill are open May through October.
Kimble’s Landing, on SR295 just before the bridge to Grand Rapids, has river access for launching a kayak on the Maumee River Water Trail.
The Towpath Trail
The Towpath Trail, which is part of the Buckeye Trail (marked with blue blazes), follows the remains of the Miami and Erie Canal along the old towpath where mules once towed flat-bottom boats along the waterway. The 8-mile trail connects Providence, Bend View and Farnsworth Metroparks.
Latest From Our Blog
Here is another seasonal highlight for Wintering the Towpath and Beyond. What kinds of denizens may be lurking beneath the frozen surface of the mighty Maumee? Here are some fun facts about a few of the larger fish species that call this river home.