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Big Creek Park

9160 Robinson Road
Chardon Township
(Chardon, OH 44024)

Sign coordinates (Big Creek Park)
N 41° 37.154 W 81° 12.429
Sign coordinates (bridle trails)
N 41° 36.150 W 81° 12.300

Donald W. Meyer Center
Mon. - Fri. 8 AM - 4:30 PM

restroomshikingcross-country skiingwheelchairsfishingplaygroundhorseback ridingcamping

Meyer Center

  • About this Park
  • Facilities
  • Trails
  • Fishing
  • Habitats
  • Directions

Big Creek Park is a 642-acre wooded tract in Chardon Township. Scenic Big Creek bisects the park from south to north, and with its many tributaries creates a landscape of varied relief. It is Geauga Park District's intent to protect this natural area in perpetuity.

This is a park with several entry points where trails on the west side don't necessarily connect with trails on the east side. In addition to the main entrance near the Donald W. Meyer Center, visitors can also enter via Tupelo Pond at 9373 Ravenna Road, enjoy the picnic area at Woodin Road Park at 12205 Woodin Road or, if trailing a horse for a ride, access the horse trail at 12000 Woodin Road.

In 1926, Samuel Livingston Mather purchased almost 1,000 acres of land in Chardon Township with hopes of creating a high-class resort. The onset of the Depression, however, shattered his dreams. Because of Mather's desire to see the area preserved, 505 acres were donated to the State of Ohio in 1955. After the park's creation, newly-formed Geauga Park District entered into a lease agreement with the state in 1965. Several adjoining parcels were later acquired to bring the total to 642 acres. In 1990, the state officially transferred ownership of the leased portion to the Park District.

The Donald W. Meyer Center is the primary administrative center for the district. A large meeting room, wildlife feeding area, and an outdoor amphitheater provide opportunities to connect in a beautiful park setting.

Throughout the year, camping is available by permit at four primitive camp sites, two of which have a lean-to with a fireplace.

For more information on camping at Big Creek Park, download the Camping Brochure. Check-in time is no earlier than 2 PM. Check-out time is 12 PM (noon). IF CAMP SITES ARE NOT OCCUPIED BY THE DESIGNATED ARRIVAL TIME ON THE FIRST DAY OF A RESERVATION PERIOD (posted onsite), THE RESERVATION WILL BE FORFEITED AND THE SITE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS. If for some reason you need to cancel your reservation, please call the Geauga Park District Office at 440-286-9516 extension 1101.

The Aspen Grove, Deep Woods and Maple Grove picnic shelters can be reserved, but are otherwise available on a first-come, first-served basis. Read more about reserving shelters here. 

Aspen Grove Deep Woods Maple Grove
Aspen Grove Shelter, Deep Woods Shelter, Maple Grove Shelter

A 6.4-mile network of trail loops in the vicinity of the picnic and parking areas provide a variety of options for exploring the forest on foot. Download the trail map here.

The Creek and Highline trails are designed for horseback riding. The paved Cascade and Ruth Kennan trails provide access for people of all abilities. Trails appropriate for cross-country skiing are marked. A section of the statewide Buckeye Trail passes through Big Creek Park.

Fishing for bluegill and bass can be enjoyed on the Chestnut, Wild Goose and Tupelo ponds. Fish may be taken only with rod and reel or cane pole; a current Ohio fishing license is required in accordance with state regulations. Boating and wading are not permitted, nor is collecting live bait. Geauga Park District encourages catch-and-release practices to help maintain a balanced and healthy fish population.

Most of the park is forested with a rich beech-maple woods, which are carpeted with colorful wildflowers each spring. Numerous species of songbirds migrate from the tropics to nest in this mature forest, which also shelters many kinds of woodland animals among the trees.

The uplands are divided by small streams, exposing the glacial deposits and bedrock in their ravines. Where the valley of Big Creek narrows, hemlock trees line the cool steep slopes. Distinctive plant species are found on the clay slumps and among flood plain areas.

A certified "Monarch Waystation" butterfly garden is also located at the Meyer Center pergola. The species of plants in the garden bloom during every month of the summer and attract butterflies and hummingbirds alike.

Click below for a map, courtesy of MapQuest®.

From Erie and points north: Travel I-90 south: Exit I-90 at Route 44. Travel south 3.2 miles to Clark Road. Turn east onto Clark Road, and travel 2 miles. Turn right onto Robinson Road. Travel 0.8 mile to park entrance.

From Akron and points south: Travel 422 East to Route 44. Travel north on 44 to Chardon Square. Continue around Chardon Square to North Street. Travel north 1.2 miles to Woodin Road. Turn east onto Woodin Road, travel .8 mile to Robinson Road. Turn north, travel 1 mile on Robinson Road to park entrance.

From Cleveland and points west: Travel I-90 east to Route 44. Travel south 3.2 miles to Clark Road. Turn east onto Clark Road, and travel 2 miles. Turn right onto Robinson Road. Travel 0.8 mile to park entrance.

From Warren and points east: Travel I-76 East to Route 44 N. Travel north to Chardon Square. Continue around Chardon Square to North Street. Travel north 1.2 miles to Woodin Road. Turn east onto Woodin Road. Travel 0.8 mile to Robinson Road. Turn north, travel 1 mile on Robinson Road to park entrance.