SUMMIT COUNTY — Amid the coronavirus pandemic and the stay-at-home orders that followed, people all across Northeast Ohio are flocking to area parks and trails in search of sunshine and a much-needed escape.
Ohio's stay-at-home order lasts until at least April 6 as the state's number of positive coronavirus cases continues to balloon. Among the places not affected by the order are public parks with the exception of playgrounds. However, health officials still implore parkgoers to maintain social distance.
At Cuyahoga Valley National Park this week, large crowds of families took advantage of the miles upon miles of walking trails.
"We like the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and we were actually learning about national parks this week so we’re integrating it into the homeschooling that we created," said teacher Ronda Shultzman. "We just try to stay away from groups of people and keep our distance like they are suggesting. I’m okay with that. I just hope they don’t close it down completely."
Although difficult to track, regular parkgoers have noticed an uptick in attendance at area preserves, trails and parks. Many of the visitors sought to relieve a growing sense of cabin fever.
"It’s lonely and me miss our friends being out and about doing what we need to do. We would have been in Florida by now," said Jessica Jacobus of Twinsburg. "We are very lucky that we are able to do this, to be able to at least come out here and walk and be outside."