Every year between September 1st and November 30th the Summit County Metroparks host their annual Fall Hiking Spree. Hikers must complete 8 of the 15 trails listed in order to receive a metal badge that adorns the hiking stick you will receive upon completion of your first hiking spree. Spree is free to all Summit Co. residents, non-residents may participate but to receive hiking rewards it is $10 first year then $5 for veteran hikers.
List and more information can be found here.
For us, the hiking spree really motivated us to get out and explore more of the area's metroparks, sure we had a handful of favorites already, but years ago when we were new to the area it pushed us to explore more of the parks that we wouldn't have explored otherwise and we ended up finding a few new favorites.
This year to inspire all of you to get out and explore I'll be posting about each of the trails and hikes we complete. I'd love to hear your feedback about your experiences on each of the trails we post!
Oct 26, 2015 - Wood Hollow
The newest of the Metro Parks! Welcome Wood Hollow!
Thanks to an anonymous donation of 150 acres, this park, which had never imagined to be, has become a reality! The anonymous donor who enjoys the parks and the Fall Hiking Spree was inspired to donate the land, and we thank them!
If you haven't ventured out to explore this park yet, I highly encourage you to! It's an easy trail (1,c - basic, easy rating) but there's so much to be seen.
A winding trail takes you along boardwalks and freshly fallen leaves, through wetlands, forests, and ending in the meadow.
The day we went was perfect, the air was crisp but the sun was warm, the leaves had reached their peak colors and the sun was determined to highlight each and every one of them.
Go out and welcome this new trail to the Metro Park family!
Wildlife we saw:
Chipmunks - so many chipmunks!
Oct. 26, 2015 - Liberty Ledges
The Liberty Park Ledges is one of those parks that opens the door to a magical realm, caves, lichen, mosses, all amplify the sculptural properties of the sandstone cliffs, rocks, and ledges.
On our hike, we decided to travel backwards, starting with the boardwalk and open wetlands then trailing up to the ledges. The boardwalk is nice, the birds are abundant, and the view is nice, but the real 'meat' of the trail is the ledges.
Here the moss glows a brilliant green as it clings to the rocks and trees along the path, entering the cave takes you to another place in time where you can't help but be in awe of the beauty and peace which surrounds you. Pause a moment to think about the trees flourishing on the edge of the ledges, their root systems cast over the edge trailing down.
It is a magical world out there, if you just take a moment to see it.
From the Summit Metro Park's Page...
"Long before Liberty Park was formed, humans in prehistory camped here, drank the clean, cold springs and hunted game. Upon European settlement, trees were cleared for farming, but maples were spared for their sweet sap.Today, the 3,000-acre Liberty Park harbors countless rare and endangered species, including Indiana bats, marsh wrens, ospreys and bald eagles. Other creatures seen here include beavers, long-tailed weasels, red-backed salamanders, wood frogs, painted turtles and numerous dragonflies and butterflies. Large trees exist on rock ledges and in wetlands within the conservation area, where fens and bogs are "protected" by poison sumac and swamp rose. In 2006, Liberty Park was designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society."
Wildlife we saw:
Squirrels & chipmunks
Chickadees and other common small birds.
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Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.