Preserves and Arboretums
Middletown is home to both Armbruster Nature Preserve and Bull’s Run Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum.
About Bull’s Run Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum:
The Sanctuary contains the last free-flowing section of Bull’s Run creek, which marked an original boundary of Middletown plotted in 1802. The area was used as a grazing pasture for bulls in the mid-1800’s. Bull’s Run Corporate, a non-profit corporation, now manages this city park. Visitors are likely to see squirrels, a variety of birds, perhaps a box turtle and an occasional deer. Spring provides many woodland wildflowers. In Autumn the display garden of Ohio Native Plants reaches its blooming peak. Eight bird-feeding stations are maintained during winter for easy bird viewing.
The front of the Sanctuary is an arboretum with labeled species of trees. Inside the Sanctuary is a picnic shelter and mulched trails leading you past birding areas, along the Bull’s Run creek, and through a meadow area under restoration. The creek-side trail is approximately 1/3 mile.
Bull’s Run Corporate is dedicated to developing and maintaining the Sanctuary as an educational and visual establishment for the benefit of the community. They offer a variety of nature-based education programs for all ages of students. The Naturalist is available as a speaker for a nominal charge. School field trips are offered free and supported by donations. For more information about the park visit https://bullsrun.org/.
About Armbruster Nature Preserve:
The preserve is on a 5.8-acre city-owned wooded lot at the end of Autumn Drive in the Manchester Manor subdivision. ANP is named for the late Jim Armbruster, a past councilman and member of the tree commission and park board. The preserve offers visitors trails, water features, wildflowers and groundcovers, and a shelter as they explore the flora and fauna of Armbruster Nature Preserve.
This natural area has been made into a 3/8-mile trail with large stones along the way inviting guests to sit and enjoy the peaceful setting. An area near the entrance off Autumn Drive in the preserve (under the water tower in the Northeastern part of Middletown) is just right for guests of all sizes to climb, build, crawl through and enjoy Mother Nature’s Playground.
A shelter house for picnics, wild flowers, birds, bugs, squirrels and deer, unusual trees such as Pawpaws and ground cover not found in your neighbor’s yard make this a perfect setting for an afternoon stroll. Challenge the kids to find the Siamese tree - two separate parts growing together as one.
Naturally, nothing like this happens without a lot of effort such as donated professional services, financial support from AK Steel and Middletown Community Foundation, and thousands of hours of labor invested by volunteers and City of Middletown crews.