Natural beauty and manmade elegance come together as one at Wildwood Preserve, the most visited of the Metroparks. The 493-acre park is the former estate of Toledo’s Stranahan family.
Surrounded by natural habit, the stately home, now called the Manor House, played important roles in Toledo—and the park district's—history.
The main attraction at Wildwood is the system of trails that traverse varied terrain (a treat in the flatlands of northwest Ohio). The park is bisected by the Ottawa River and has sandy soil indicative of the rare Oak Openings Region.
The prairie community at Wildwood is home to many diverse and fascinating plants and animals. In the spring, it is a breeding site for ground-nesting birds such as rufous-sided towhees, field sparrows and American woodcock. Summer brings a spectacular display of prairie wildflowers and grasses, such as rough blazing star, big bluestem and Indian grasses, some reaching 10 feet high.
Built in 1938 by Champion Spark Plug magnate Robert Stranahan, Metroparks acquired the estate, including the Manor House, in 1975 following a vigorous citizens' initiative to preserve the property, which was destined to become a housing development.
The house, crafted in a Georgian colonial style, is open for free tours and decorated for the holidays, while portions of the home and other buildings serve as Metroparks administrative offices.