A kayaking pond aimed at introducing families to the excitement of paddle sports will be the centerpiece of the 8-acre Natural Resources Park at the upcoming Ohio State Fair. After checking in at the Natural Resources Pavilion, those 18 and under (50" tall minimum, 300lb maximum) can head over to the Kayak Pond where they will be fitted for a lifejacket and given instructions on water safety before trying their hand at kayaking.
Other activities include an aviary, walk-through butterfly garden, Ohio wildlife exhibit, a nature preserve and a 15-foot animated Smokey Bear who greets visitors by name. Smokey Bear stands beside an educational Pavilion filled with informative exhibits on a variety of natural resource and recreation topics, such as geology, recycling, coastal management, mining, conservation, tourism, and ODNR's Explore the Outdoors campaign which encourages kids and their families to get outside and explore Ohio's natural resources.
A major attraction at the Natural Resources Pavilion
is an eagle-nest exhibit, highlighting Ohio’s Bald Eagle Restoration Program. The exhibit features a life-size eagle’s nest constructed by ODNR to teach visitors about the wonder and majesty of America’s national symbol.
Young and old alike enjoy the authentic log cabin, recreating rural life in Ohio in the early 1800s. An outdoor camping village will also make a return to the State Fair this year with on-site tours of a yurt and rent-a-camp.
Anyone under the age of 14 can fish at the youth fishing pond at the Natural Resources Park. The pond is stocked with thousands of bluegill and catfish. Ohio wildlife officers are on hand to assist with instruction, baiting hooks and taking fish off the hooks. Catch a fish and take it home for supper!