Weekend Walker: Stagge-Marr Park

Kathy Pfeiffer
Changing weather keeps your walking experiences interesting and refreshing as the conditions on trails change.  The trails at Kathryn Stagge-Marr Park are just the place to experience the sensations of the seasons, as you are completely immersed in nature from beginning to end.  From leaf-covered trails to pine trees and dips and turns, this park was a delightful adventure to experience on a cold November day.

Located at 6662 Goshen Road in Goshen, Ohio, 45122, the entrance is a gravel parking lot on an open field beside a wooded area.  We walked on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 11:30 a.m., and it was 39 degrees, cloudy, and drizzling rain and snow. There was a shelter, picnic benches, and a playground at the parking lot.  As we started our walk, the trail changed from gravel to dirt covered with leaves as we got closer to the woods, and we soon noticed disc golf stations and equipment strategically placed along the trail.

The trail continued as it meandered through wooded areas, small clearings, and dips and turns.  There were arrows painted on wooden posts to direct you as the trail disappeared from time to time, leaving you feeling all the more connected to nature in a pure and authentic way.  As we ended the trail, having circled back to the parking lot, we had walked 1.6 miles.

Restrooms:  There were two port-a-potties at the parking lot.

Traffic Noise:  There was no traffic noise.

Interesting Features:  Besides the wonderful disc golf equipment and stations, including large wooden platforms and metal baskets, there was a pond and numerous benches at the pond and disc golf stations.

Historic Points Of Interest:  The park is located beside Goshen High School, and this property includes an old log cabin that was built around 1803, and belonged to Aurelia Cook, a dear friend of Kathryn Marr, who had lived in the house since she was 13 years old.  The cabin was bought by Aurelia’s grandfather in 1875, and was occupied by the Cook family for 120 years.  After Aurelia’s death, the cabin was acquired by the Goshen School district, and after reconstruction and restoration by the Historical Society, it became the education center for children in Goshen.  An interesting note about the cabin, at some point the inside staircase was replaced, and was not original to the cabin, and was later replaced with an authentic staircase donated by wildlife artist John Ruthven, who happened to have one left over from a restoration project of his own.

Overall Rating:  This park had all the features we like the most.  The natural dirt trail immersing us in nature as we walked through woods and clearings, hunting for arrows to guide us when the trail seemed to disappear, and finding surprises around every turn, making us feel like kids again.  

We were one of only two groups of people there at the time, and the loose structure of the trail along with the well-maintained conditions let us feel free to lose ourselves in nature as we explored with our bodies, minds, and imagination.