"Darke County Parks are unlike many metropolitan park systems. Our parks have purposefully evolved to compliment our agriculture community,

providing passive recreation in a variety of natural settings. Instead of ball fields and playgrounds our parks embrace and preserve the natural habitats and cultural features that are an important and integral part of our community.

Many of our parks have their origin in land donations from private citizens wishing to preserve a unique corner of the natural world for future generations to enjoy. Our mission avoids aggressive land acquisition in favor of preserving special natural and historically significant features and to manage and maintain these resources for the benefit of residents. Passive recreation and appropriate educational programs and activities are the focus of the mission of your Darke County Parks.

We hope this website encourages you to explore your parks and take advantage of all they offer. From a quiet walk through a shaded forest, to a guided hike to discover spring wildflowers, to a Nature Center full of interesting displays for the entire family, Darke County Parks has something for everyone."

- A message from the Parks' Commissioners


Parks History

The Darke County Park District was created in 1972 after the donation of a pristine woodlot known as Coppess Nature Sanctuary.  A small but dedicated staff of professional administrators, naturalists and maintenance personnel strive to ensure parks visitors enjoy a pleasant, safe and educational visit. The Nature Center was built in 1997 and is full of educational displays and hands-on exhibits. The trails are convenient yet natural with access for all abilities. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable naturalists fill the calendar with programs for school children and general audiences. The "business" of managing a park district is efficiently and economically accomplished. All this with the interests and enjoyment of the community in mind.

Come visit; get to know your parks and its people. They are here to make sure you park visit is enjoyable, and they too are a part of this wonderful community.

Darke County Park District’s Mission

The Mission of Darke County Park District is to acquire and preserve land areas possessing special natural and historical features and to manage and maintain these resources for the benefit of its residents through appropriate educational and passive recreational programs and activities.

Employment Opportunities

Please click here for an up-to-date listing of all internships, part-time positions and full-time positions open at the Parks.

Darke County Park District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, nationality or disability in employment, services, programs or activities.

There may be more to learn from climbing the same mountain a hundred times than by climbing a hundred different mountains.

— -Richard Nelson

All photography provided and copyrighted by

Robb Clifford, Darke County Parks' Staff and/or Volunteers