Spotlight on Steubenville: Adventures in the outdoors

AmyLynn Miller

Steubenville Columnist

If you’re an “outdoorsy” kind of person, perhaps you’ve had the pleasure of visiting a little place called Beatty Park. Nestled near Lincoln Avenue, less than a mile from the Ohio River, the park is a little green gem located in the city of Steubenville.

Beatty Park sits on land that used to be a farm. Though regarded as an area for recreation since 1874, Beatty Park officially became a city park in 1930. In 1931, a pool opened at the park and garnered nearly 1,000 visitors upon its opening.

Though the pool is no longer there, some residents of Steubenville report memories of watching or participating in swimming and diving shows at the pool during holiday celebrations such as the Fourth of July.

Today, the park has a playground, picnic shelters, and walking and hiking trails.

Some other charming aspects of the park are the creeks and riverbed that run through it. Though the riverbed sometimes dries up during the seasons of less rainfall, it makes for a fun place to hike and explore.

If you walk the trails at Beatty Park, you may come across some rather photogenic places. I’m talking a tall set of stone steps leading off into the greenery of the woods like a “Lord of the Rings” movie scene. It’s a nice spot to take pictures, have a picnic or go exploring.

As well as the Tolkien-esque steps, you can find the picturesque remains of what was most likely an old stone lodge. Stone walls and bridges, some marked with dates as far back as 1885, add to the overall atmosphere.

Currently, Beatty Park is partnering with the Steubenville Public Library to create a storywalk. Geared toward families with children in pre-K and kindergarten, the storywalk is a set of signs, each displaying a page from the children’s book “Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn,” posted along one of the trails. The idea is that children and families will read the book as they make their way down the walking trail.

For nearly a year, the park has been undergoing steady revitalization by a group of local citizens who call themselves the Friends of Beatty Park. The recovery projects they have undertaken include cleaning up trash and sticks, planting flowers, removing overgrowth and invasive plants and trees, and clearing and marking the walking trails. The group of citizens exemplifies how much the people of Steubenville care about the history and preservation of their town.

The Friends of Beatty Park hosted two community nature walks this August and plan to do another in October. On Saturday, Sept. 12, the group had an open workday in the park to clean up the place where the old pool used to be. You can find more info about the Friends, how to donate, and any upcoming workdays or nature walks they may be hosting in the future on their Facebook group, Friends of Beatty Park.

On Oct. 1, 3, and 4, Beatty Park is partnering with The Harmonium Project to host a free production of Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” You can find more information about the production times, location specifics and tickets on The Harmonium Project’s Facebook page.

The park is a fun recreation spot right here in Steubenville that proves there is beauty to be found in places we may at first overlook. I encourage you, if you’re able, to go explore the outdoors at Beatty Park!