CLEVELAND — While many people flock to the Cleveland Metroparks in the spring and summer months, the sprawling park system could hold the key to your cabin fever.
“Everyone thinks the winter months are these dreaded cold months where it’s dark,” outdoor recreation manager Rachel Nagle said. “If you can get out and explore with or without snow, the Metroparks become this magical place.”
Activities like show shoeing and cross-country skiing highlight a list of winter activities. Each is offered when there are four or more inches of snow on the ground.
“The great thing about being outside is it’s great for your mind, body, and soul,” Nagle said.
If you’re looking for something a little slower paced, the Cleveland Metroparks 2021 Trail Challenge offers a self-led program where you explore new trails throughout all 18 reservations.
Complete 10, 20, or 30 trails by running, walking, hiking, biking, or even paddling from January 1 to December 31 to receive this year’s trail challenge sticker and prize.
“The cool thing is it really lets you connect with nature,” Nagle said. “Because if you look in the snow you can see animal prints. Deer or raccoons. Maybe a fox running through.”
There are also a pair of toboggan chutes at The Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation. The chutes require no snow and operate up to 50 degrees.
Reservations are required and you must wear a face covering and have gloves or mittens that cover your fingertips.
The “Try-it” and “Learn-It” programs allow guests to test out new activities for feeds ranging from $5 to $15 and focus on snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
The Metroparks offer more than 300 miles of trails, so a walk or a hike could be the cure for your winter blues.
“It’s going to help you be able to relax and it’s also going to get your heart pumping, keep you active,” Nagle said. “Something to do all winter long.”
There are also various virtual programs offered as well.