History & Wildlife
A gift of 89 acres from the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in 1941 began acquisitions of nearby land parcels that expanded the park to 258 acres along the floodplain of the Tuscarawas River. Dairy cows once grazed the hillsides, and coal was transported on a railroad bed along the Tuscarawas Race that channeled water to the Ohio & Erie Canal. In 1956, a dam was constructed to create a reservoir for industrial water.
Large wetlands and marshy meadows provide critical habitat for fish, crayfish, frogs, turtles and birds. More than 175 bird species have been sighted in Firestone Metro Park, including various types of wrens, thrushes, warblers, woodpeckers, herons and ducks. A number of different raptors – including bald eagles and osprey – have been spotted. Dragonflies, damselflies, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, rabbits, mice, voles and moles, along with many beautiful summer and fall wildflowers reside here.
A note to visitors: Poison sumac is found in some wet areas of Firestone Metro Park. This small tree/shrub contains a powerful skin irritant, similar to that of poison ivy. To avoid it, stay on designated trails.