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Oakes Quarry Park

This site was originally surface mined in 1929 for limestone to make cement by Southwestern Portland Cement Company and Southdown Inc., before being sold to the Oakes family in the 1990's. The family donated the land to the City of Fairborn in 2003.

Oakes Quarry Park is the second largest park in Fairborn. The park includes foot trails and horseback trails that cross ancient limestone fossils exposed by the mining activity that formed the quarry. Conservation work here is developing prairies and wetlands once common in the area and the northern edge is nice woodland.

Clean Ohio Conservation Fund assisted with the development of the park including invasive species removal and reforestation of 8,000 trees.

Location: Entrance and parking located on State Route 235 just east of I-675.

Lat/Long Coordinates: 39.814651,-83.994988

Trail length: 2 mile perimeter trail, 1 mile horse trail

Trail difficulty: Easy to moderate, mostly hard surface and mulch

What to see: The hiking trail takes you back in time 440 million years, when all of this was a coral reef in a shallow sea. Researchers from the Ohio State University say these Silurian Age crinoid fossils are the best in the U.S. and represent an exceptional site worldwide. More recently, glaciers left grooves, slides and polishings in the rock before the last ice age ended 14,000 years ago. Look for woodland and grassland birds along with white-tailed deer, cottontail, red fox, coyote, raccoon and red-tailed hawk.

Amenities: 190 acres with parking, hiking & horseback trails, fishing, portable restrooms. Fishing is allowed without a license.

Wetland fact: Oakes Quarry Park is in the northern-most part of the Beaver Creek Wetlands watershed and drains to the Little Miami River. The nearby Wenrick Wetlands to the north in Medway, Clark County drain to the Mad River. Wetlands like Oakes Quarry create green space that improves property values while being part of a long corridor of wildlife habitat.

City of Fairborn. Operated by Parks and Recreation Division.

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Beaver Creek Wetlands Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) land trust. Donations are tax-deductible.