Winter Hiking at its best

Cleveland Metroparks’ North Chagrin Reservation is one of my favorite places. The big, old woods of the park beckon us to explore their secrets, even in the dead of winter. From a wide variety of trees to deep cold ravines, to rock outcroppings above frozen streams, this park is truly a winter wonderland.

I took this photo of a black-capped chickadee on my hand at the overlook shelter at the end of the Overlook Trail in A.B. Williams Memorial Woods, a National Natural Landmark located in North Chagrin Reservation. People have fed them there for years, so they are very tame. It is a great place to take kids for a surreal natural experience they will never forget.

Check out a few of the trails at North Chagrin:


Lake-to-Lake Trail will be dedicated July 9: Middleburg Heights Happenings – News Sun –

Lake-to-Lake Trail will be dedicated July 9: Middleburg Heights Happenings – News Sun – “The trail is a 2.3-mile hard-surface nature trail that links two 11,000-year-old glacial-remnant lakes, Lake Isaac and Lake Abram.”

This new trail, a 10-foot wide paved multipurpose trail, was dedicated at 11:00 am today. There are segments of boardwalk that cross marshes, which provide great opportunities to watch birds and other wildlife. Cleveland Metroparks has also installed interpretive signage along the trail. A life-sized mastodon skeleton is embedded in a sand pit at the northern end of the trail. The mastodon is perhaps a tip of the hat to the ancient heritage of the Lake Isaac/ Lake Abram area. These lakes were formed during the last ice age. They are the last remaining, and largest remaining glaicially-formed kettlehole lakes in Cuyahoga County.

Thanks to Cleveland Metroparks for making such a great area accessible to people! Without their time and investment, this diverse, important habitat would not be know, and would not be available for our education, spiritual renewal, and physical exercise. Get out and hike on the Lake to Lake Trail!

Driving Directions

To Lake Isaac:
I-71 – exit at Pearl Rd. (Rt 42)
(from the north, turn left/ from the south, turn right)

at Fowles Rd., turn left (west) to Big Creek Parkway (.5 mile)
turn left on Big Creek Parkway
Lake Isaac Waterfowl Sanctuary will be on the right.
To Lake Abram:
I-71 – exit at Bagley Rd
(from the north, turn right/from the south, turn left)

Go past Southwest General Hospital to Eastland Rd.
Turn right on Eastland Rd. and Lake Abram parking will be on the right.


Cuyahoga Heights: Storytellers will tell tales Saturday in Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation – Sun Courier

Cuyahoga Heights: Storytellers will tell tales Saturday in Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation – Sun Courier

Here’s an opportunity to support an under-used communication medium and show your kids how people entertained one another in the past. Traditional story telling!


Is mountain biking environmentally harmful?

A brewing controversy in Cleveland Metroparks:should an agency whose mission is to conserve natural resources allow mountain biking?

Is this outdoor recreational activity more destructive than paved trails, natural surfaced trails that are poorly placed, or equestrian trails? Cleveland Metroparks in this case is coming down against the idea of mountain biking. Meanwhile National Park rules may change to allow mountain biking.

Having been around parks for many years, and seeing many different types of trails and activities, my personal opinion is that if properly managed, this type of trail is just as compatible with natural resources conservation as a bridle trail, paved trail, or even hiking trails with natural surfaces.

Bicycles can undoubtedly cause erosion issues, but so can other unregulated uses. People need to be in contact with nature. If mountain biking excites them, they ought to be able to engage in their chosen outdoor recreation. Bike trails can be created in an environmentally sustainable manner. As long as it is done right, I am all for it.


Hiking the Buckeye Trail in Bedford Reservation

This 9.7 mile segment of the Buckeye Trail takes you along the top of the Tinker’s Creek Gorge, a National Natural Landmark. The hiker can also get a great look at Bridal Veil Falls, a 30-foot tall waterfall shaded by towering hemlock trees.

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