For our New Year hike, we traveled up to Silver Creek Metro Park to take in the sights and start the year off with a lovely stroll in the woods (as has become our tradition). It was a bright and brisk morning and it seems many others had the same idea as us! It's a beautiful thing, seeing people bundle up to enjoy nature. Besides all the personal health benefits, it really bodes well for the Earth, knowing that people can form a great appreciation for our natural resources by hiking around parks and natural areas. That appreciation and joy for wandering through the woods can influence people to take a stand against all the things that are destroying our finite natural resources.
Take a moment to think about some of your favorite components of nature, do you have a favorite bird song that ushers in the spring, or perhaps a flower that reminds you of a beautiful time in your life. These are constantly in jeopardy, but as more and more people, more generations, are exposed to all the great things nature has to offer, the more they'll care to save, learn, and work towards innovating new ideas for a clean and sustainable future.
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 4, 2015 - Chippewa Trail
The Chippewa trail at Silver Creek MetroPark is one of those trails that has a little of everything, you begin your hike in a meadow, then enter the forrest, where you dance back and forth between meadow, forrest, and wetland for a while, eventually coming upon an old barn, old orchard, and a pine grove (my personal favorite), before heading back through meadow, forest, marshland!
This unique park has not only hiking trails, but a large lake for swimmers, fishers, and boaters in the summer, the also offer a wide selection of bridal trails for our equestrian friends.
Along this trail there's a few smaller ponds where in the past we've seen muskrat and herons milling about.
Just beyond the lake, you'll come across one of the largest red oak trees in Summit County measuring 20ft in circumference! Nature and time have split it through the center and here you can see where people have taken photos of each other standing in the center of this majestic tree!
There is certainly something about this park, every time you go, you see/feel/experience something different.
A bit of history on the park area:
The barn at the top of the hill dates back to the time of the Civil War. It was also home to Harter Dairy Farm.
Under the park there is a maze of tunnels and shafts - left over from a 19th century mining operation. When walking below the lake you may come across a small stream, bright orange in color, this is from one of the mine shafts. Fortunately enough, you'll find fish and reptiles have no problem with this area, we generally find 2 or 3 frogs hanging out in the stream.
The werewolf/dogmen of Silver Creek:
Yes this area has had reports of wherewolf/dogmen sightings, wolf like creatures 6ft tall walking on two legs haunt the early morning hours.
I'm just going to leave this link here and let you come to your own conclusions... http://weekinweird.com/2014/12/08/exclusive-ohio-silver-creek-werewolf-investigation/
All in all a nice walk through the meadow-wood-marsh.
Wildlife we saw:
Numerous Canada Geese
1 Woolybear Caterpilliar
Squirrels & Chipmunks
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.