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Drop Anchor in Vermilion Ohio

Vermilion Parks & Beaches

Exchange ParkA refreshing place to relax in downtown Vermilion. The beautifully landscaped Exchange Park is located at the northeast corner of Liberty Avenue and Main Street in the shape of a triangle.  It was here that the village founding fathers erected a small clapboard warehouse. One room was leased to area farmers and was used for selling or exchanging products.  A path wanders down to the river below, where the fish shanties once stood.  Visitors will find seasonal plantings, trees, sitting areas and swings for children.  A fantastic view of the Vermilion River awaits you.  The park is home to a public comfort station housed in an historic building that once served as Vermilion’s Police Department.

Erie Metroparks

Kippie Loughlin

3910 Perkins Ave. Huron, OH 44839

(419) 625-7783 ext 240    Fax (419) 621-4217



The mission of Erie MetroParks is to preserve, conserve, protect, and enhance the natural and unique historical resources of the park district.  Further, to provide opportunities for visitors and residents to use, enjoy, understand and appreciate these resources in a responsible, sustainable manner. Over fourteen Erie Metroparks and reservations are found near Vermilion, Ohio.

Located on SR 113, just east of SR 60 in the Village of Birmingham. The MetroPark was donated to your Erie MetroParks by Florence Township in 1995. The property had originally been the site of the Birmingham School, whose original archway still stands.

The MetroPark is open to the public free of charge from 8 a.m. to dusk year round. Several picnic tables and grills are available April through October at the MetroPark. All facilities are available on a first-come, first-served basis, unless reserved through the MetroParks. The site includes a reservable ball field, but does not include any water or restroom facilities.

Mill Hollow (Lorain County Metro Parks)

Welcome to the Vermilion River Reservation home page. Spanning two adjacent areas separated by the Vermilion River—Mill Hollow on one side and Bacon Woods on the other—this park is great for family picnics, and nature lovers.


Picnicker’s Paradise

If you’re looking to picnic in a beautiful place with plenty of activities for both adults and children, this is an ideal place to come. The Vermilion River Reservation draws over 230,000 people a year—making it one of the most popular picnic areas in the Lorain County Metro Parks system. It’s not surprising considering the spotless maintenance, plenty of open space, 5 miles of wooded trails, two playgrounds and two ponds that attract visiting waterfowl year-round.

Natural History

Shale Cliffs

Kayakers on the Vermilion River

A Valley Carved by the Vermilion River

The most striking feature of this reservation is the winding ribbon of shale cliffs carved by the Vermilion River. Millions of years old, these cliffs reveal layers of the past and drop bits of sandstone, shale and turtlerock along the riverbed.

The Vermilion River has no industry along its banks, making it especially rich in wildlife. Aquatic life includes freshwater clams and several species of darters (small fish that feed along the bottom of the river) that turn brilliant colors during the mating season. Some insect species include mayflies, cadis flies and water pennies (beetle larvae that lie flat against a rock surface and look like pennies.)

Fishermen will find rock bass, small mouth bass and steelhead trout in the river, and catfish, crappie and bass in the ponds.

An Eagle Almost Daily

The Vermilion River Reservation is known as a habitat for bald eagles and several other wildlife. These magnificent creatures can be seen almost daily at Mill Hollow, perched in one of the tall trees near the center of the park. Local wildlife sightings include Great Blue Heron, Greenback Heron and various geese and ducks.

Wildflower lovers come from all over in spring and early summer to see the color and variety of these indigenous species which include Dutchman’s Breeches, Bloodroot and Virginia Bluebell along with an extensive list of other species found throughout northeast Ohio.


Benjamin Bacon Settles in Brownhelm

In 1817, Benjamin Bacon settled with his family along the top of the cliffs overlooking an oxbow in the Vermilion River that would eventually be called Mill Hollow. Soon afterwards, and at an early age, Benjamin was elected to the prestigious position of Justice of the Peace, and in 1824 was selected as one of the first commissioners for Lorain County. In 1835 he purchased an interest in a saw and grist mill that had been relocated to the oxbow in the river. A mill race was cut across the oxbow to increase the water power that turned the mill’s large water wheel. The mills were very successful and by 1845 had provided Benjamin the means to build a nice house across the road. When he died in 1868 at the age of 78, the house and mills were sold to John Heymann, a German immigrant new to the area.

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