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Exploring Ariel-Foundation Park
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Exploring Ariel-Foundation Park

Ariel-Foundation Park is truly a spectacle in Mount Vernon, Ohio. This park sits on the site of a former glassmaking factory. It shows how to utilize adaptive reuse to make a stunning park for all to visit.  Ariel-Foundation Park is home to several events throughout the year. This includes a concert series, a Fourth of July celebration and other community events. 
Come visit one of the best central Ohio parks by stopping off at Ariel-Foundation Park.

What is Ariel-Foundation Park?

Ariel-Foundation Park encompasses 250 acres of land that used to be dedicated to the Pittsburgh Plate Glass factory, which closed in 1976. The spot lay dormant until 2000 when the city purchased the initial acreage. Over the next 15 years, the park assimilated into what it is today, which includes walking trails, water activities and many other attractions. The park includes sections dedicated to woods and lakes as well as historical exhibits of the factory.
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Rastin Observation Tower and Other Attractions

The most iconic portion of Ariel-Foundation Park is the Rastin Observation Tower. This tower used to be the factory's smokestack before assuming its current form. A spiral staircase wraps around the tower, providing guests with a breathtaking view of the Mount Vernon area as they stand 140 feet in the air. The tower itself is 280 feet tall.

The Rastin Observation Tower isn't the only landmark in the park. The Ruins offer visitors a chance to walk through the partial remains of the factory. This includes brick facades, stairs and elevator towers, among many others. This provides a peek into the history of Mount Vernon, Ohio. Guests will also want to check out the Wildflower Garden Arboretum on the west side of the park. Another unique landmark is the Terraces and River of Glass. The Terraces provide a spiral path that lead up to the peak, adding a vertical element to the park's landscape. The River of Glass honors the glass factory background. This isn't a river of water but rather crushed glass and bigger chunks, running down the side of the Terraces.

Kokosing River Fishing

Thanks to the Kokosing River running along the northern edge of the park, fishing is a popular activity among visitors. The Kokosing River is a great place to capture bass. Another great place to catch fish on the Kokosing is a bit to the north in Riverside Park. The three lakes in the park are also great places to go fishing. The lakes are stocked regularly. Those who go fishing are required to have a valid Ohio fishing license. 

Ariel-Foundation Park Lakes

Where once stood gravel quarries now reside three large lakes at Ariel-Foundation Park. The lakes are a great place to go fishing, enjoy a picnic or just enjoy the view. Boating is allowed on the lakes but is limited to smaller boats such as kayaks and canoes. It's important to note that swimming is not allowed. There are other attractions worth visiting including the historic Mill Road Bowstring Bridge and the isthmus leading to Mavis Island.

Ariel-Foundation Park Trails

Ariel-Foundation Park has plenty of walking trails, many of which are near the lakes. The longest is about a mile long but many are closer to half a mile in length. A great place to venture into is the woods section, which offers walking trails and a chance to see diverse wildlife. One of the most unique walking paths is the Tree of Life Labyrinth. This path stretches for 1,000 feet in a winding tree shape. There are benches along the way to help you relax.