Caley Reservation

About this Location

Caley is a semi-developed park reserved for wildlife and nature study. Its 507 acres include wetlands, forest, fields, and two large ponds. Wellington Creek runs roughly through the middle of the reservation. In addition to bird watching, two popular activities include wildflower hikes and fishing, but visitors are welcome to simply come and enjoy the quiet and natural beauty of this unique park.

John Caley was born in Sheffield Township in 1880, married Christine Ackerman in 1911, and purchased his farm in Pittsfield Township in 1917. He acquired his parents’ adjoining farm after the death of his father, Daniel Caley, in 1923. As early as 1926, John acted upon his keenly felt conservation concerns by leasing portions of his farm to the State of Ohio (through the Ohio Department of Agriculture) in an effort to replenish the region’s diminished wildlife populations.

John E. Caley’s will, dated 1960, promised 320.89 acres of farm and woodland to the National Wildlife Federation Endowment, Inc. The will stipulated that the land be managed “for the purpose that said Corp. was founded and particularly for the benefit of wildlife in the United States and the study of the habits of wild birds and animals…shall not be sold by the Endowment Fund, nor shall the timber be taken off said farm.” Mr. Caley died in 1967 and later that same year his property was transferred to the National Wildlife Federation.

The Federation assumed active control of the site in 1969 and initially yielded stewardship responsibilities to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (Division of Wildlife). A “Long Range Wildlife Management Plan” dated August 1970 (Simmerer) reflects the ODNR’s plans for the site.

The National Wildlife Federation then entered into an agreement with the Lorain County Metropolitan Park District (LCMPD) to enhance local stewardship opportunities.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Official Website