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Trekking Through Autumn underway in Medina County

9/12/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

The Medina County Park District’s Trekking Through Autumn program runs through Nov. 30.
Photo courtesy of Medina County Park District
MEDINA — This year’s Trekking Through Autumn — a self-guided hiking program that allows hikers to discover the beauty of autumn in Medina County Park District sites — has begun.

Jill Teubl, public information manager for the park district, said 2013 marks the seventh year for the annual program that began Sept 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

“We have had an average of 350 people participating in Trekking Through Autumn for the past six years,” she stated.

According to Teubl, the program is a great way to get people out to visit the different parks in the district.

“Participants will discover parks they may not have previously visited,” she said. “All of the trails are unique in their own way and offer the visitor much to see and experience.”

As an incentive to hike different parks, Teubl said, participants who hike at least eight of the 20 designated trails will receive an award.

The following trails are eligible for the program: Allardale — Outer Loop Trail (1 mile); Buckeye Woods Park — Chippewa Inlet Trail North Wetland Loop (1.5 miles); Chippewa Inlet Trail (Chippewa Road) — halfway and back (1.75 miles); Chippewa Rail Trail — halfway and back (2.4 miles); C.L. Mugrage Park — Wood & Pond Loop Trail (1 mile); Green Leaf Park — Wetland Trail (0.25 mile); Hubbard Valley Park — Yellow Trail (1.25 miles); Lester Rail Trail — halfway and back (3 miles); Letha House Park East — Great Horned Owl Bridle Trail (1.5 miles) and Pawpaw Grove Trail (.5 mile); Letha House Park West — Lake Trail (.5 mile) and Wood Thrush Trail (1 mile); Plum Creek Park — Red Trail (1 mile); Princess Ledges Nature Preserve — Nature Trail (1 mile); River Styx Park — Outer Loop and All Purpose Trail (1.25 miles); Schleman Nature Preserve — Green Trail (1.5 miles) and Yellow Trail (1 mile); and Wolf Creek Environmental Center — Red Trail Loop (1 mile).

The trails are suitable for all hikers, Teubl said.

“All ages are welcome,” she noted. “None of the trails are on difficult terrain, so most people will not have trouble hiking them.”

For those who complete the challenge, backpacks will be awarded for a hiker’s first year, and hiking pins will be awarded for each successive year. The awards are free for all Medina County residents, while out-of-county residents must pay $10 for the backpack and $2 for a hiking pin.

Medina County Park District Chief Naturalist Dan Bertsch said the program is based on Metro Parks, Serving Summit County’s annual Fall Hiking Spree.

“I started the program because some people approached me and asked if we could have a fall hiking program like the Summit Metro Park’s Fall Hiking Spree. Before our fall hiking program, several Medina County residents were doing the Summit County program, which cost them a fee, since they were not Summit County residents,” he said. “Many people have told me that they enjoyed the motivation this program has provided to get outside and walk. Also, over and over people tell me that the best part of this program is that it compelled them to visit parks that they have never seen.”

All parks are open from dawn until dark, excluding Wolf Creek Environmental Center, which is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon through 5 p.m.

Teubl noted pets are even allowed to accompany their owners on most of the trails.

“The only park we do not allow pets at is Wolf Creek Environmental Center, because the land surrounding it is a Wildlife Sanctuary,” she said.

To receive the hiking rewards, hikers need to bring completed forms to one of the following locations:

  • Wolf Creek Environmental Center, 6100 Ridge Road (state Route 94) in Sharon, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.; or
  • the Park Office at 6364 Deerview Lane in Medina, Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All hikes must be completed by Nov. 30 in order to qualify for the reward. The deadline for receiving awards is Feb. 28.

More details are posted at www.medinacountyparks.com. Click on Programs and Activities, then on Trekking Through Autumn. For more information, call the park district office at 330-722-9364.

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