Monday, October 21, 2013

Top 5 color hikes in Lake Metroparks

 Hidden Valley Park - photo by Jeff Taipale

Hiking is one of the most popular forms of outdoor leisure—surveys suggest that one in three Americans rate it as one of their three favorite forms of outdoor recreation. Hiking combines several pursuits—interests in scenery, wildlife, discovery and solitude—all in a low-impact form of healthy activity.

Lake Metroparks has more than 50 miles of trails spanning Lake County. These trails provide countless opportunities for walkers to enjoy the beautiful fall scenery. Get out and soak up the beauty while it lasts!

Chapin Forest Reservation
Lucky Stone Loop Trail to the scenic overlook at the historic Sperry Quarry

Chapin Forest Reservation Lucky Stone Loop Trail - photo by J Dell Photography
With a panoramic view of everything from Lake Erie to the Cleveland skyline, the view of fall colors may be the best in Lake Metroparks. Best accessed via the Rt. 306 entrance.

Indian Point Park
Lookout Ridge Trail
Indian Point Park Grand River Valley - photo by JeffTaipaleThis trail takes you to a spectacular view over the Grand River. The forested hillside comes alive with colorful leaves. Best accessed via the upper parking lot.

Hell Hollow Wilderness Area
Hell Hollow Wilderness Area - photo by Frank Szekely Beechridge Loop Trail
Standing on top of a 200-foot cliff, a breathtaking view of hills and valleys stretches out before you.

Hogback Ridge Park 
Hemlock Ridge Loop Trail
Hogback Ridge Park  Reflection - photo by Don KempFrom the start of the loop to the finish, fall colors will surround and envelop you. Access via the main entrance (south).

Hidden Valley Park
River Breeze Trail 
Hidden Valley Park - photo by Jim MarquardtThis riverside trail has excellent views of the forested hillside and the display of colors never ends along the entire half-mile trail. Access via the south entrance.

Click here for complete list of trail maps available to download.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

$100K Grant from the Cleveland Foundation’s Lake-Geauga Fund Elevates Plan for Lake Metroparks Tower

Lake Metroparks has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation for the construction of an impressive observation tower at the agency’s newest park – Lake Erie Bluffs in Perry Township. The new park provides visitors with access to almost two miles of undeveloped Lake Erie shoreline through two access points off of Lane Road and Clark Road.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Cleveland Foundation, the addition of this 50-foot coastal observation tower will serve as a cornerstone of this amazing 600-acre Lake Erie Bluffs Park,” said Paul Palagyi, executive director of Lake Metroparks. “This tower will give visitors an impressive panoramic view of Lake Erie, the shoreline and the landscape of central Lake County.”

The 50-foot high observation tower will be situated overlooking the lakeshore with multiple viewing platforms along a staircase that will culminate in a deck featuring 360-degree views. The height and location of the tower will provide visitors with a unique view of the lake and the surrounding woods, fields and wetlands along with the associated wide-range of wildlife – particularly the large number of bald eagles that are regularly seen at the park. The south shore of Lake Erie is known worldwide as an important corridor for bird migration. As songbirds migrate north in spring and south in fall, large concentrations of birds can be witnessed migrating around the smallest of the Great Lakes, sticking close to the shoreline.

“The view of the lake and this amazing park is about to be raised to new heights,” said Frank Polivka, President of the Lake Metroparks’ Board of Park Commissioners. “Thanks in large part to the grant from the Cleveland Foundation, visitors to the park will have an amazing view our greatest natural resource – Lake Erie.”

“The Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation values its long-standing partnership with Lake Metroparks,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation. “This is the second centennial grant made by the Lake-Geauga Fund in recognition of our upcoming 100-year milestone in 2014. We are pleased to support all efforts that celebrate and preserve the unmatched natural resources and beauty of this region for future generations.”

Construction of the tower is scheduled to begin next spring. Total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $200,000-$250,000.