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Portage County: Get off the Beaten Path

A family in 3 kayaks is exploring Wingfoot Lake off the beaten path in Portage County

Whatever the time of year, Portage County offers abundant outdoor adventures for those who love to explore or enjoy a leisurely walk among the trees.

Portage County is a perfect getaway for nature and outdoor enthusiasts. It features three state parks, each offering a unique experience. The county is also home to nature centers, lakes, and rivers, ideal for fishing and kayaking. Additionally, there are numerous hiking and bike trails for exploring the scenic landscapes. Birding hot spots are abundant, providing opportunities for wildlife observation. There is also access to The Buckeye Trail, further enhancing the outdoor experience.

Exploring Portage County Parks

Encompassing over 600 acres, Wingfoot Lake State Park is just a short drive from I-76 and nearby accommodations. Features include a 2-mile paved trail, a .4-mile storybook trail, a nature center, birding and fishing opportunities, a disc golf course, picnic shelters, a play area, and a floating bridge. Yes, we said floating bridge.

In 2023, the park added a new ADA-accessible kayak launch. Thanks to a partnership with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the addition allows for even more opportunities for those who may not otherwise enjoy all the lake has to offer. 

Named after Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s iconic “winged foot” logo,” the park would not be in existence if, in 1916, the company hadn’t purchased the land to begin building airships for the war. Throughout the park’s history, the company has invited employees to spend time with their families. 

Although most of the park was later sold to the State in 2009, the blimp hanger remains in use. If you are lucky, you may see the Goodyear blimp parked outside the hanger or taking off during your visit. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars, and keep your eyes peeled. Eagles and other waterfowl also inhabit the lake.

Portage County: A Culinary Delight

Once you’ve visited our parks, stay and savor our local eateries. We have many locally-owned restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries.

Mike’s Place in Kent is a local and visitor favorite. It boasts fun décor and a vast menu. Guido’s restaurant in Ravenna is famous for its lasagna. It was voted the best in the greater Cleveland area by readers. At Bell Tower Brewing Co. in Kent, you will find a woman head brewer and enjoy sampling brews in this once-former church. 

Plan your getaway today. Order your FREE visitor guide at

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