The recreational potential for the Indian Trails/Ashtabula Gulf park system is tremendous given its location and natural attributes. The Park physically divides the City of Ashtabula (population 21,000) and contains multiple access points on each side of the Ashtabula River for both vehicles and pedestrians. A recent study commissioned by the City of Ashtabula and prepared by the Cobalt Group, highlighted the importance of the Ashtabula Gulf area as a linkage between the commercial/historical Harbor District and the downtown Ashtabula City Commercial District. The study identified the Indian Trails/ Ashtabula Gulf area as an important catalyst for the redevelopment/revitalization of the entire study area.
Passive and active recreational activities could be easily accommodated with basic park improvements and management. The Ashtabula River, park terrain and natural state of the Park provide a unique and attractive setting for recreational activities.
Land Acquisition and Preservation Potential
There are a few significant parcels that border Indian Trails Park that are logical candidates for acquisition to enhance Park holdings and promote preservation and access to the park. The Northern boundary of the Park abuts a 35 acre parcel that, if acquired, would provide a continuous park corridor from the end of the Ashtabula River Federal Navigation Channel and its attendant marinas to the southern terminus of the Park at State Road. This parcel has potential to provide a northern trail head and parking/staging area for recreational activities and provides a logical gateway to the entire Indian Trails system. Parcels beyond the southern park boundary are largely undevelopable and should be considered for conservation easements or acquisition to further preservation goals along the Ashtabula River corridor.
The present state of Indian Trails Park is largely attributable to a lack of financial resources to provide capital improvements and operation and maintenance of existing park assets. Future improvements and public amenities will require a dedicated funding source to provide appropriate security to protect new investments and provide for public safety. The Park Board would need to commit significant financial and human resources to maintain the Park in a manner similar to Lake Shore Park.