GAMBIER — This rustic, wild and natural mystical greenspace is not for the faint of heart, but if one is seeking a new adventure in Knox County, Indianfield Bluffs Park is open to the public. The park is located off of Sapp Road in Gambier, along the Kokosing River and Indianfield Run. With a parking lot, picnic bench and grill, a one-half mile trail and picturesque scenery, the grounds are idyllic for an exciting outing.
Parks have been a feature of Knox County for over a decade, attracting visitors and residents to the trails, rivers and woods of the county. Indianfield continues to preserve the wonder that makes the land beautiful.
The park is a 25.5 acre site on which 2,500 trees have been planted by staff of the park district and the Brown Family Environmental Center, as well as East Knox High School science and ecology students, in an effort to reforest former cropland areas. The trees were donated by the Scenic Rivers program.
Many other organizations, sponsors and community members helped in creating the park as well. American Electric Power donated old power line poles that are used to support the trail, mulch was donated by Burch Tree Care, and donations were made by Leadership Knox students. Local Boy Scouts, an Eagle Scout and families helped construct the trail system.
For the park district, purchasing the land preserves and protects the character of the Kokosing River and wildlife habitat, said Kim Marshall, Knox County Park District director. Acquiring the park was made possible through a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission and Ohio Division of Wildlife, and the selling of the property by Roger and Kathy Sherman.
Unlike the other parks in Knox County, Indianfield Bluffs is made up of bluffs, the Kokosing River, Indianfield Run stream, Cedar Waxwing Island and an abundance in green forests.
Bald eagles, Great Crested Flycaughter birds, Red-eyed Vireo birds and an array of forest birds, as well as woodland creatures of every kind, can be seen here.
“This area is [also] loaded with deer and wild turkey, and I usually see both whenever I am out here,” said Marshall.
The grounds hold a large variety of mixed hardwoods of black walnut, muscle tree, black cherry, birch, sugar and maple.
“From a habitat point of view, this is an important area for wildlife because of the influence of a stream and a river, the wetland, and you have the largest island on the Kokosing River here as well,” said Marshall. “We are calling the island Cedar Waxwing because we always see these pretty birds that are associated with this area and can be seen while on the island.”
Next year, the park district would like to extend the trail to cross into Indianfield Run.
Marshall explained that the addition to the trail will carve into the side of the hill, making it very steep; when it runs to the bottom, it will cross over the stream.
“It will be a low-water crossing, meaning that when the water is high, you won’t be able to cross because you will be walking right through the stream,” she said.