Natural beauty, local history and a million visitors are part of the wildwood story.
Natural beauty and man-made 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.
A stunning home amid the glory of nature.
Built in 1938 by Champion Spark Plug magnate Robert Stranahan, the Manor House and the estate were purchased by Metroparks 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.
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.
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The man who led a citizens campaign in the 1970s to preserve what is now Wildwood will be remembered at an open house Sunday in the park he championed.
One of America's most successful folk artists will perform a free concert August 16 in the Ward Pavilion at Wildwood Preserve.