Ever dreamed of spending the night in a treehouse? If so, Ohio’s Cannaley Treehouse Village is for you! Just a short drive west of Toledo, the village is located in the forests of Oak Openings Metropark. Here, visitors can spend the night in one of four unique treehouses. Or for the more adventurous, like us at Road Trip 7, you can pitch a tent and hang your hammock on one of three camping platforms. Either way, the experience is truly one-of-a-kind. While staying in the village, enjoy all that Oak Openings has to offer, from hiking to biking, birding, and geocaching. For everything you need to know to plan your perfect treehouse getaway, read on!
Oak Openings Preserve MetroPark
Located in northwest Ohio, the 5,000-acre Oak Openings Preserve is the largest of the Toledo, Ohio MetroParks. The area, which includes wetlands, prairies, forests, and even vegetated sand dunes is named for the widely spaced oak trees found amongst the oak savannas. But it’s the 180 rare species of plants and animals, that make the region unique within Ohio.
Cannaley Treehouse Village
Besides its rare ecosystems, Oak Openings is unique in that it boasts the largest public overnight treehouse site in the country! Opened in 2020, the Cannaley Treehouse Village has four treehouses available for rent overnight. If you grew up watching Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson, as I did, and dreamed of spending the night sleeping in a treehouse, this is the place for you! These 2-, 4- and 6-person treehouses have electricity, heat, air conditioning, and composting toilets. Best of all, each treehouse has a playful element such as a slide, rope ladder, or rope net. Young and old, alike, cannot resist playing on all of these fun features!
Additionally, there are three elevated tree platforms for tent and hammock camping. We here at Road Trip 7 recently spent the night on the tent and hammock platforms. Never having camped on a raised platform, we found the tent and hammock set up incredibly easy due to conveniently placed metal eye hooks for hammock attachment and inset metal D-rings for tent anchoring.
Each treehouse and camping platform is outfitted with an electric grill, grilling tools, and trash containers. The platforms on which we camped also had chairs, although no tables. There is a common building with a small kitchen area (sink only), as well as two private restrooms (no showers).
Lastly, there is a public fire pit surrounded by bench swings and Adirondack chairs. Wood is provided for free, along with a convenient lighter, which makes roasting s’mores about as easy as it gets.
If you have any interest in renting the camping platforms or treehouses, plan on renting months in advance, if not a year out for the treehouses. To check treehouse availability and make a reservation follow the links on the Cannaley Treehouse Village page. Generally, camping platforms rent for $30 per night and treehouses rent for $150-225 per night depending on size.
Activities at Oak Openings MetroPark
When staying at the Cannaley Treehouse Village you have easy access to all that Oak Openings MetroPark has to offer, from hiking and biking, to birding, and geocaching.
Hiking & Biking
The park has over a dozen hiking, biking, and multi-use trails. You can find a description of these trails, including length and specific usage here. Since the area is relatively flat, most trails are fairly easy in difficulty. While visiting we enjoyed hiking Springbrook Lake, Evergreen, and Sand Dunes Trails.
A fun activity to enjoy while hiking at Oak Openings is geocaching. Geocaches are located throughout the park. We found multiple on the Springbrook Lake and Evergreen Trails. If you are interested in finding any of the geocaches located in Oak Openings, visit Geocaching.com.
Another great activity in which you can partake while hiking is birding. Oak Openings, with its rare ecosystems, allows a wide array of birds to thrive making the park a prominent birding site within Ohio. We saw a variety of birds during our hike along the Sand Dunes trail, most notably a red-headed woodpecker, which we had fun watching. You can learn more about the birds of Oak Openings here.
If you are visiting Oak Openings with children, you will certainly want to check out the playground located in the Mallard Lake Area. This newer play area has two large play structures shaped like hollow trees, connected by a bridge, with slides leading down. For younger kids, there is a saucer swingset and terraformed tot hill with a tunnel and slide. Older kids will likely enjoy the zipline, as did ours!
Although not an activity in an of itself, a visit to Oak Openings’ most photogenic place, known simply as The Spot, will give you the opportunity to practice your photography skills. The Spot is a grove of tall pines, fir and spruce, which were planted some 50 – 90 years ago in order to stop erosion and produce timber. Currently, the trees are reaching the end of their lives. While they will not be replanted since they are non-native, they do make an excellent backdrop for some stunning photos.
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