Welcome to the Licking Park District


Our parks, preserves and reserves are ideal places to enjoy and appreciate the natural beauty in Licking County. There are dozens of activities you can enjoy amidst woodlands, meadows, streams, wildflowers, glacial deposits, wetlands, historical mounds, ponds, a covered wooden bridge, and sandstone! The Licking Park District manages 1,600+ acres on eleven sites across Licking County. We also manage 46+ miles of paved multi-use trails and 30+ miles of natural surface trails.

For information on ongoing events such as the Fairy Trail and LPD Challenges please visit the Activities page.

New Happenings!

Nature Investigators Backpack program launches to get families reading and exploring the outdoors!

The Granville Public Library, Alexandria Public Library, and Homer Public Library have partnered with the Licking Park District on a new initiative to get kids outdoors! Families can check out a Nature Investigators backpack filled with tools to explore the outdoors. Each backpack features a book list and associated activity cards. After every five books, kids get a prize! For more information visit https://lickingparkdistrict.com/nature-investigators/

Americorps Education and Outdoor Recreation Specialist position

Wanted – a recent graduate who wants to make a positive difference in their community while learning new skills and who has interest and experience in environmental education, outdoor recreation, and conservation! We are looking for an Americorps team member that has experience in natural resources and recreation, enjoys working with people of all ages, and that can thrive in a fast-paced, flexible position. The Americorps position is for one year and provides a stipend and an end of year education award that can go to past or future education costs! This person will assist in programming that is wide ranging, from paddling Try It’s to children’s environmental education programming to creating fairy houses/mail to invasive species removal. Please read the flyer for more information and share with anyone you know that may be interested.

Phase 3 of Nature Playscape

Phase 3 of the Nature Playscape at Infirmary Mound Park is complete! Phase 3 includes a build area, and a large climb area.   Phase 4 coming in 2024!

Have you visited the playscape? We are interested in community feedback! You can take a short survey here: Nature Playscape at Infirmary Mound Park Survey

A large portion of this phase was funded by grants from ODNR NatureWorks and the Licking County Foundation.

Safety Notice

There has been an increase in theft around the county. The Licking Park District reminds our park visitors to prepare and be aware! Follow these steps to discourage break-ins:

1) Conceal and Secure. Lock car doors, close windows, and keep personal property out of plain view, take it with you, or leave it at home. The simple act of placing valuables in the trunk of your car and out of plain view BEFORE you arrive at your destination can significantly reduce the likelihood of being a victim of theft. It takes less than a minute to break a car window, unlock the door and remove items left inside. Often there are no witnesses to these offenses because of the ease and speed.

2) Park Safely. Park in busier, active areas of the park visible to pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t broadcast your movements when hiding valuables. As you arrive at your destination, whether it’s a local park, grocery store, or shopping mall, be aware that someone may be watching as you put valuables under your seat. Before entering your vehicle, scan the surrounding area and always check the interior, floor and rear seat areas.

3) Report Break-Ins. If you see a break-in in progress, see suspicious persons, vehicles, or activities for your safety do NOT intervene. Instead if you need to file a report, or need a deputy dispatched to your location, call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at (740) 670-5555 and select option #1. Provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible

In the Parks

Three individuals riding horses

The parks within the Licking Park District system are great destinations for an afternoon or day away. Enjoy many of the activities available to you across the County.

  • 4 Acre Dog Park
  • Trails for Hiking and Biking
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Picnic Tables
  • Shelters
  • Disc Golf
  • Streams and Rivers
  • Lakes and Ponds
  • Ancient Mounds
  • Open Fields and Meadows
  • Equestrian Arena

On the Trails

Trails in the Parks

You can find many miles of trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian riding in the parks.  Infirmary Mound Park, Lobdell Reserve and Taft Reserve North have trailer parking for equestrian riders.

Multi-Use Paved Trails

The TJ Evans Trail runs through Johnstown, Alexandria, Granville, and Newark.

The Panhandle Trail runs east from Newark to the County line.

The Buckeye Scenic Trail runs through Heath, then south of Irving-Wick to Lakewood Schools on Rt 40.

The Ohio Canal Greenway Trail runs from Canal Park in Hebron, past the State Fish Hatchery, and ends at Rt 79.

Click Here to Download the Recreational Trail Map

On the Water

A group of kayakers and canoers

The Licking Park District manages two river launches along the Licking River  at Riverview Preserve in South Newark and at Staddens Landing on Staddens Bridge Rd in East Newark. There is also canoe and kayak access at both ends of Blackhand Gorge at Brownsville Road and at Toboso Road.

At Infirmary Mound Park there is public access for canoe, kayak, and SUP on Mirror Lake.

Licking River Access Points

Riverview Reserve Boat Launch
375 Ohio St, Newark, OH 43055

  • Approximately 4 miles from Riverview to Staddens Landing
  • Parking, boat launch, & hiking trails
  • 1.25 miles from downtown Newark amenities
  • Abundant wildlife, view of iconic “Basket” from the river
  • With average paddling  speed can reach Staddens Landing in about 1.5 to 2 hours


Staddens Landing Boat Launch
Co Hwy 315, Newark, OH 43055

NOTICE: Brownsville Road boat launch is currently closed. ODNR is planning a re-location of this launch.

Temporarily, the next pull-out after Staddens is the Blackhand Gorge / Boyce Licking River Access, Toboso Rd.

  • Approximately 3.5 miles from Staddens to Brownsville Rd
  • Boat launch and parking
  • Abundant wildlife and good fishing
  • With average paddling speed can reach Brownsville in about 1.5 hours


Brownsville Rd/ Blackhand Gorge Access

NOTICE: Brownsville Road boat launch is currently closed. ODNR is planning a re-location of this launch.

Temporarily, the next pull-out after Staddens is the Blackhand Gorge / Boyce Licking River Access, Toboso Rd.

Approximate coordinates for Brownsville Rd parking 40.0602, -82.28818

  • Approximately 4.5 miles from Brownsville Rd to the Boyce Licking River Access at Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve: Public Fishing and River Launch off Toboso Rd
  • Parking, access to BH Gorge hike/bike trail
  • This is stretch through the scenic Blackhand Gorge
  • Historical interest – geological glacial markings, railroad bed, gorge
  • Abundant wildlife, birds. Common to see Bald eagles and Osprey.
  • With average paddling speed can reach Boyce in about 2 hours


Blackhand Gorge / Boyce Licking River Access: Public Fishing and River Launch
Park is across Toboso Rd from the Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve at 2200 Gratiot Rd SE, Heath, OH 43056

  • From here the Licking River continues to Dillon Lake


Click Here for more information and maps of Licking River access points.


CLICK HERE to get information on the current water flow rate.