Primitive Campsites open in Cuyahoga Valley

With the growing popularity of the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, the opening of five primitive campsites within Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a welcome and needed move. Located at the Standford Youth Hostel, the campsites are near the center of the National Park. In addition to making the towpath a longer-term adventure, providing these new camp sites will also allow people to though-hike the Buckeye Trail in this area. This is a great enhancement to the already wonderful trail experience.

Reservations should be make at least 3 days in advance. The sites cost $15 per night, 6 people per site. The camp sites are for hikers and bikers only. Drive-up camping is not permitted. Camp fires are permitted only in a group fire ring. Firewood is provided.

To make reservations, call the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association Reservation Coordinator’s Office at (330) 657-2909, ext. 119, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For information regarding other camping opportunities along the Towpath Trail in Summit County, please call (330) 867-5511. For information regarding camping along the Towpath Trail in Stark County, please call (330) 477-3552.


Portage Park District Plans Morning and Moonlight Hikes

Our friends at the Portage Park District have announced some interesting, fun and informative activities. Check them out:

Early Morning Bird Hike
at Dix Park

Did you ever hear the saying early bird gets the worm? Saturday May 9 at 8:00 am Join our Park Naturalist for an informative, bird-filled morning walk! Dix Park consists of 103 acres of woods and wetlands with hiking trails-at this time of year the woods are filled with a variety of migrating songbirds. Located at 7318 State Route 44, RavennaTownship. Directions: From the intersection with SR 14 go North on SR 44 about 3/4 of a mile to park entrance on east side.

Full Moon
Bike Ride

on the PORTAGE Bike & Hike Trail

Sat May 9th. Meet at 8:15 pm in the Towner’s Woods parking lot for an easy 4 mile round-trip ride to experience the natural sights and sounds of a spring dusk–helmets and lights are recommended.
Towner’s Woods Park is located at 2296 Ravenna Road, Franklin Township. From SR 43, turn east onto Ravenna Rd., go 2 miles to the park entrance.

Mother’s Day at the Park
Spring Wildflower Hike

Sunday May 10th 9:00 a.m. Grab Mom and bring her to Dix Park to enjoy the beautiful woodland wildflowers before they’re gone. Dix Park consists of 103 acres of woods and wetlands with hiking trails at 7318 State Route 44, Ravenna Township Directions: From the intersection with SR 14 go North on SR 44 about 3/4 of a mile to park entrance on east side.

The Portage Park District was formed by the action of the Portage County Commissioners in 1991 as an independent government agency. It is overseen by an unpaid, five-member Board of Park Commissioners appointed by the County Probate Judge according to Ohio Revised Code 1545.

Contact Info:
Portage Park District
128 North Prospect Street
Ravenna, Ohio 44266


February Events at Malabar Farm State Park

Malabar Farm State Park in North Central Ohio has the cure for cabin fever!

Cross Country Skiing/Rentals

Thursday through Sunday
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
$5.00 per rental hour

The ski trails are open and are currently graded as “Excellent – Snow depth 3″+ over 90% coverage over all trails”. The grad will remain intact if temperatures stay below freezing and will improve pending more snow fall. Please visit for current conditions.

Malabar Farm “Big House Tours”
Saturday & Sunday
12PM, 1PM, 2PM, 3PM, 4PM
$4.00 Adult
$3.60 Seniors
Under 18 $2.00

Malabar Farm Restaurant
Saturday: 11am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 7pm

Owl Walks (FREE)
February 7th & 14th
Saturday & Sunday
7:30 PM

A few more activities to round out your day…

  • Stop by the new Malabar Farm Songbird Aviary.
  • Take the kids to the Malabar Main Barn and discover our farm/petting animals.
  • Explore the rock shelters and caves in all of its winter beauty.
  • Eat our farm fresh products at the Historic Malabar Farm Restaurant (1820).
  • Rent a sled and find the nearest hill for a little adventure.
  • Ice Skate on the frozen ponds (weather and conditions pending).
  • Explore over 10 miles of picturesque hiking trails (For a sample, go to’s review of the Butternut Loop Trail.)
  • Purchase old fashioned Lehman’s products, Malabar Farm grass-fed meat, and fresh fudge in the Louis Bromfield Gift Store.

And…a sneak peak of March:

Malabar Farms FREE Maple Festival will be held March 7, 8 14, 15.

Get out and enjoy Ohio Parks!


Check out the Quarry Trail at Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park

Quarry Trail| Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park, Metro Parks, Serving Summit County

I recently had the opportunity to explore this great trail just south of Peninsula Ohio. In spite of the single-digit temperatures, it was an adventure well worth experiencing. With my breath providing a visible excise for my normally poor photography, I got even fewer photos worth sharing compared to a normal hike.

What I did get was a renewed sense of history. The little quarry here provided the mill stones for the company that eventually became Quaker Oats. Meanwhile, the Deep Lock (17 feet compared to an average of 9 along the Ohio and Erie Canal) helped more commerce between Lake Erie and points south. This now peaceful forest was once bustling with activity. Now, songbirds, rare plants, and hikers are the most activity this little bit of earth sees, save the occasional rumble of the nearby Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway.

Sometimes it is hard, with all the worry about global climate change, urban sprawl, endangered species and everything else, to remember that some places that were used intensively are recovering over time. While I don’t mean to minimize the very real risks to our environment today, sometimes it is good to get outside and look at the bright side. Even if there is a chance of frostbite. Brrr. Read about the trail here: Quarry Trail


Explore Peaks and Valleys on the Fall Hiking Spree

Metro Parks, Serving Summit County – Peaks and Valleys Hike

Metro Parks, Serving Summit County’s Fall Hiking Spree is still going on. If you have a chance, check out this great trail along with one of Metro Parks’ excellent naturalists. The hike is on the Deer Run Trail at O’Neil Woods Metro Park in Bath. This winter weather provides a splendid opportunity to see the lay of the land along this trail without the vegetation blocking the long views available from the peaks along the trail.

Get outside and see something special!


Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers a glimpse of nature

One of only 55 National Parks across the U.S., Cuyahoga Valley is a hidden gem. From towering waterfalls and tall trees, to the Ohio and Erie Canal that once connected the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, this park is a true national treasure that you should visit.

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