Metroparks Meetup: Winter hiking along the Maumee River

“Wintering the Towpath” event going virtual for 2021
The annual event typically draws hundreds of hikers up and down the 8.3-mile trail, but like so many events in the last year, change was necessary.
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 8:12 PM EST
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WATERVILLE, Ohio (WTVG) - Many people tend to shut themselves in during these colder months of winter... but if you’re warming up to the idea of heading outside to the Metroparks, they’ve got you covered.

The Towpath Trail connects three Metroparks along the Maumee River southwest of Toledo -- Farnsworth, Bend View and Providence -- with the middle park in the chain providing both truth in advertising, and a challenge for some.

“We’re really just encouraging people to get out on their own and enjoy Bend View in particular this season,” says Ashley Smith, manager of outdoor skills, “especially on days like this with some good snow falling. This area is only accessible by foot or bike, so there’s no vehicle access. The closest is about a mile and a half in.”

The annual “Wintering the Towpath” event normally draws hundreds of hikers up and down the 8.3-mile trail, but as with most events for the last year or so, changes were necessary. The Metroparks are encouraging visitors to go out on their own, and send photos back to tag on social media and give a glimpse of some hidden gems.

“We’re doing a ‘Virtual Wintering the Towpath and Beyond’, and it spans for 2 months. It’s a good time to get out and do a bucket list thing you’ve never done before. Metroparks has really beginner-friendly classes, and beginner-friendly trips that are extremely affordable.”

Many of those trips were cancelled for 2020, but the full slate of this year’s trips will arrive soon: “We have a ‘Metroparks Overnight Experiences’ virtual kickoff on Wednesday the 20th at 7pm. You have to register, we’ll send you the link, and we’re going to announce all of our trips for 2021!”

Your basics like extra food, water, and clothes are always good on these longer outings offered by the park system, and they’ve got you covered for the big-ticket items, too.

“The backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleep pad, and the cookware,” Smith lists off, “all of those are available to borrow from Metroparks, and are included in your registration for the trip.”

For more information on outdoor winter opportunities throughout Lucas County, visit

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