The hiking trails at Oenslager Nature Center/Alderfer-Chatfield Wildlife Sanctuary are now open for exploring on a daily basis from 6 a.m. to an hour past sunset Monday through Sunday. Over 4 miles of trails take visitors through an amazing array of landscapes, including mature forest, wetlands, meadow and prairie. The new hours will allow the public, specifically those who work during the day, more opportunities to enjoy nature and hike at the wildlife sanctuary in the evening.
The 248-acre Alderfer-Chatfield Wildlife Sanctuary, located at 6100 Ridge Rd., is home to the Medina County Park District’s Oenslager Nature Center. The site is named after Ruth and George Oenslager, who donated the original 103 acres with the provision that the land be used for environmental education in its use as a public park. An adjacent 145 acres were acquired in 1999.
The nature center opened in October 2000 and has the feeling of a comfortable, rambling farmhouse with its natural wood interior, back porch and inviting stone fireplace. Its educational spaces include a large gathering room, a laboratory, a library and a classroom. The hours for the nature center will remain the same: Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays from noon-5 p.m.