Sand Run Parkway Jogging Trail

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Metro Parks, Serving Summit County
Sand Run Metro Park

Trail Location

Akron, Ohio (Summit County)
Park at Wadsworth Picnic Area, Old Portage Picnic Area, Mingo Pavilion, or the Shady Hollow Pavilion, all of which are along Sand Run Parkway. Access Sand Run Parkway from North Portage Path, just off of Merriman Road.

Trail Summary

  • Length: 4.7 miles.
  • Duration: If hiking, allow two hours, joggers or runners, less.
  • Surface: paved
  • Type: jogging, running, walking, hiking, NO BICYCLES.
  • Difficulty: easy, fairly flat
  • Accessibility: trail is flat, smooth and well maintained.

As you are getting in shape along the Sand Run Parkway Jogging Trail, you will see a number of non-native invasive plants, such as this beautiful Amur Honeysuckle with bright red berries during the fall. To learn more about invasive plants, seethe Ohio Invasive Plants Council's web site.

Trail Description

If you are looking for a pleasant, safe place to begin jogging, running, walking or hiking to get in shape, the Sand Run Parkway Jogging Trail is a great spot. The trail is easy, accessible, and safe. On weekends and evenings, you are sure to find plenty of comapny on the trail as you get out into Summit County’s first, and most visited, Metro Park.

You could choose to jog around your neighborhood, or go to a track, or a gym, but here in Sand Run Metro Park, your exercise regimen can include the peace and tranquility for your spirit as your body gets its much needed exercise. As you travel along this paved trail, you will pass by many species of plants that will catch your eye. You will pass tall black walnut trees, with their feathery foliage high above. Sturdy, thick Tulip trees line the path here and there as well. The groundcover is dominated by invasive, non-native plants. These invaders, while not good for the ecological health of the park and region, were generally brought over to the new world as landscaping or garden plants, so they can make for some nice scenery as you get your exercise along this trail.

For example, Japanese Knotweed grows along the trail. This hardy plant colonizes barren volcanic slopes in Asia. The stalk of this plant, which can easily grow to five feet tall, looks much like bamboo, while its leaves are generally heart shaped. In the late summer it has fine white flowers along the Parkway Jogging Trail. Mixed with the knotweed you will find the non-native Amur Honeysuckle, pictured on this page. Plants such as these have no natural predators or enemies in northeadt Ohio, they spread rapidly, and can dominate the plant community once they become established. This can lead to loss of the native plants that call these areas home. So, as you are exercising and relaxing along the trail, get to know these plants, perhaps enjoy looking at them, but do not plant them or spread their seeds if you can help it.

At the driveway to the Mingo Pavilion, the Sand Run Parkway Jogging Trail Crosses Sand Run itself. Sand Run is a beautiful stream that flows through the rugged landscape of the Merriman Valley, through Sand Run Metro Park, and then into the Cuyahoga River. Where the stream crosses the trail, there is a small but picturesque waterfall. Although not pristine, the water flowing over this little fall is healthier than it was thirty years ago. The Cuyahoga River and its tributaries have shown drastic improvement since the river last burned. Through a multifaceted approach of regulating point sources of pollution like sewage treatment plants, and preserving lands along streams, rivers and wetlands, our rivers today are growing healthier. Natural lands allow the water to be filtered by plants and seep into the ground, rather than being piped into stowrm sewers and dumped directly, unfiltered and at high velocities, into streams. Much like streams, people grow healthier by running though the natural landscapes of parks.

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