Parks & Recreation Article

Spending Time in Bowling Green

Whether you live in or visit Bowling Green, OH, your day won't be complete without stopping by one of the 9 City Parks where you will meet some of the friendliest people in the city. Stroll the Simpson Garden Park, a beautiful public garden with free admission and award-winning flower beds. Or run on over to the community center to enjoy gymnasiums, an indoor track, weights, selectorized and cardiovascular equipment and personal trainers who can help you meet your goals. Grab your frisbee and play 18 holes at the Carter Park Disc Golf Course or surround yourself in the beauty of nature on over 2 miles of trail at the 108-acre Wintergarden/St. John's Nature Preserve. After-school activities abound both outside and inside so get your children active and healthy through park activities and programs.


During summer, visit the centrally-located City Park for Friday Lunches in the Parks, Sunday evening free concerts or dive into the award-winning Bowling Green City Pool and Waterpark. City Park also hosts the best skatepark in the area, an inline skating rink, youth ball diamond, outdoor basketball courts, horse shoe pits and 5 large picnic shelters that are first-come, first served unless prior reservations have been made. If your children are stir-crazy, bring them to the playgrounds at Carter and City Parks where they can spend time just being kids. Or sign them up for a summer camp during June and July-you can pay just a drop-in rate for a morning or afternoon of fun or sign them up for weeks of learning and entertainment.

Winter Activities

In the winter, don't miss a sled ride down one of the largest hills in the city at Conneaut Haskins Park. You might also like to visit City Park on the third Saturday in February for a host of fun Winterfest activities including a Fun Run, Children's Snow Games and a Chili Cook-off that brings out the best soup and chili-makers in the area. Or watch the ice sculpting competitions both in City Park and downtown Bowling Green during Winterfest weekend. It's a great way to fight the winter blahs. You can also grab your skis and cross-country up to 14 miles on Wood County's Slippery Elm Trail, which terminates at the south end of the City. That same trail is great for biking and inline skating during the other 8 months of the year.

Park History

If you wonder how Bowling Green got such great recreational opportunities, you only have to look at the local citizens who have supported their parks for over 60 years through a park levy and numerous private fundraising campaigns. The city parks are an important part of the lives of 93% of Bowling Green's residents, as shown by the Recreational Need s Surveys administered every 5 years. Evidence of that support is the new Bowling Green City Pool and Waterpark which was constructed in 2013 for over $4 million because of an additional property tax levy passed by citizens in 2012 for just that purpose. Because of this partnership with the community, the City of Bowling Green is able to offer wonderful city parks for all. We invite you to explore our parks during your time in the city.