The 355-acre Tinkers Creek Area is managed by Summit Metroparks as part of Liberty Park. A variety of habitats, including swamp and marshland, make Tinkers Creek a wonderful place for viewing wildlife. Bald eagles, shore birds, and nesting migrants all make their home in this wetland park. During spring and fall migration periods, the marsh provides food and shelter for numerous waterfowl species.
- Amenities include a short trail, restrooms, shelter house, and an archery range.
- Fishing and boating are permitted on the pond (carry-in boat access only).
More to see
Tinkers Creek State Nature Preserve is located adjacent to the state park and features extensive marshes. A 1.8-mile trail, known as the Seven Ponds Trail, features a boardwalk through the wetlands. An observation deck has been constructed to allow visitors excellent views of waterfowl. The preserve is open during daylight hours and is accessible only on foot. Parking is available on Old Mill Road in Aurora.
History & Natural Features
The region of Tinkers Creek before European settlement was extremely valuable to Native Americans. This area is one of the highest points of the state and lies near the watershed divide in Ohio. The nearby Cuyahoga River flows north to Lake Erie, while the Tuscarawas (through the Muskingum) drains to the Ohio River. This proved advantageous as transportation by canoe from Lake Erie to the Ohio River was possible with only one 8-mile overland portage. The old Indian portage path traveled from the Cuyahoga to the Tuscarawas. This area became an important trade center for both pioneers and Indians. Cheesemaking was one of the early industries of the area (which was often referred to as Cheesedom. Nearly as soon as the first settlers arrived did cheesemaking commence. By 1834, northeast Ohio cheese controlled the southern markets. Eventually, canal and rail transportation increased the area's importance.
In the years prior to the state's acquisition of the land, the area was a private park known as Colonial Spring Gardens. The park was situated around a 10-acre, man-made lake and offered recreational opportunities. The state of Ohio purchased the land in 1966, and in May 1973, Tinkers Creek was dedicated as a state park.
In 2014, Summit Metroparks signed an agreement to manage Tinkers Creek State Park and Tinkers Creek State Nature Preserve. The two properties are part of Liberty Park.
The majority of Tinkers Creek Area is maintained in its original state as a swamp and marshland. These wetlands owe their existence to the glaciers that invaded Ohio during the Pleistocene Ice Age. Glacial features include moraines, kames and eskers. Moraines were formed when a glacier remained stationary for a long period of time leaving hills of boulders, sand and gravel. Kames are deposits of sand and gravel that fell through holes in the ice leaving circular hills. Eskers are deposits of sand and gravel that dropped through ice tunnels leaving long serpentine mounds. Many fine examples of these glacial features are found in the region.
This part of Ohio is known for the number of naturally occurring lakes. Huge blocks of ice broke free from the glaciers creating depressions which filled as the ice blocks melted. These are known as kettle lakes. Over the ensuing 10,000 years, these lakes have partially filled with sediment leaving boggy wetlands with unique assemblages of plants. Buttonbush, alder and swamp white oak are predominate.
During the spring and fall migration periods, the marsh provides food and shelter for thousands of waterfowl. Mallards, wood ducks and Canada geese nest in the marshlands each year. In addition, woodcock, rail, gallinule, snipe, heron and bittern are often sighted. Beaver and muskrat are common residents.