Monday, May 23, 2011

North Chagrin Reservation: Cleveland Metroparks - Ohio

Hike Date:  April 24, 2011

In all of our excitement to get outside and hike, we have gotten a bit behind on writing and posting about our adventures.
Cleveland Skyline
I (Ann) went home for a weekend to visit the family and decided that since I rarely hike when I visit, that I was definitely going to get out there this time.  Among the many things to in Cleveland and the surrounding suburbs, great hiking can be found in the Cleveland Metroparks and Lake Metroparks, both of which I spent a lot of time in while growing up.  While I was home I visited Lake View cemetery and the Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Rerservation.

James A. Garfield Monument
Lake View Cemetery began as an arboretum, but when the arboretum outgrew the space, it relocated, and sold the land to the cemetery.  The cemetery is most famously known for the James A. Garfield Monument and Wade Memorial Chapel.  The Garfield Monument was crafted with local Berea Sandstone and marble and offers a wonderful view of the Cleveland skyline.  The interior of Wade Chapel was completely designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.   Though it was rainy for my day at Lake View, April 22, it was beautiful none-the-less.  The landscape offers a wonderful place to walk and enjoy nature.

On Sunday, I joined my brother on a hike to North Chagrin Reservation.  Unfortunately, it was another rainy day.  There weren't many opportunities to view wildlife, but since it had been so long since I had been hiking at home, I was determined.  I started from the Wilson Mills Rd. trail head.  We took the Buckeye Trail to the Bridle Trail.  From the Bridle Trail we took the Castle Valley Trail in hopes to get to Squire's Castle.  Before we could get there, it started raining to the point where it was miserable so we turned around and hiked back to the car.  Squire's Castle is a partially built gatehouse for a country estate that was never finished.

Throughout the park, there is a variety of hills and valleys to keep your feet entertained.  One thing to keep in mind about all Metroparks is that they are multi-use.  The trails were in dire need of maintenance   Horses and their riders had pummeled the trails to the point that they were unwalkable in some areas.  The only consolation was that the rain brought out the frogs.  I could hear chorus frogs and spring peepers calling as we hiked.  Since it was early spring, I am being forgiving and I know that the trails are much better in late spring and Summer and there are many places to explore.

So if you are ever in the Cleveland area, I urge you to check out the local parks.  There are so many places to check out that you will not be disappointed.

Maintenance ««
Human Traffic ««««
Wildlife ««
Difficulty ««
Terrain Variety «««

Looking ahead, we will soon have posts about Prince William Forest Park, our weekend at Croatan National Forest, and Tuckahoe State Park.

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