SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — One of the region’s most important hangout spots for birdwatchers and nature education programming is back open. The All People’s Trail (APT) at Shaker Lakes has been completed, offering visitors a 1/3-mile, ADA accessible elevated boardwalk that overlooks a native marsh, while winding through a floodplain forest with a bird's eye view of the Doan Brook.
The newly reconstructed trail will continue to give visitors an up-close look at the native wildlife and vegetation, according to a news release from the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. What started in 1966 as the Nature Center, the wildlife refuge located in residential Shaker Heights continues to serve as a connector to nature for the community.
The center is the result of a large grassroots undertaking that preserved the Shaker Parklands and prevented the constructive of a freeway that would have connected Cleveland East Side to downtown.
Recently undergoing a $2.5 million reconstruction, the trail offers more features for people of all ages and abilities.
New features include:
- A nature inspired Rose Foundation Gazebo designed by local carpenter and artist Matt Parker.
- The Kohl Fund All People’s Trail Gateway, a larger entrance into APT.
- North Woodland Trailhead, provides improved ADA accessibility and connectivity to a larger lake to lakes trail system
- Larger wildlife viewing areas, including the Mulligan Family Fish Observation Deck, the Jim Reid Marsh Overlook and the Jack and Alexa Sulak Wildlife Viewing Bridge.
The renovation of APT is a smaller piece of a larger, multi-phase improvement project to restore and renovate the outdoor space of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. The overall project is on paced to be completed over multiple years, allowing visiting and programming to continue while the center raises funds and do renovations across its 20 acres.
“The new All People’s Trail is built to last 50-100 years, so we are making a significant investment in our community. This campaign and associated enhancements are our opportunity to create a lasting legacy for both current and future generations to enjoy,” says President and CEO Kay Carlson in the news release.
The public grand opening for the trail is Nov. 9 at 12 p.m. During the grand opening, guided hikes on Stearns Trail will be offered to guests, along with previews of plans for a tree house, mini-marsh viewing deck and play area at the center.
Visit Shaker Lakes | 2600 South Park Boulevard, Shaker Heights.