Learn about Snowshoe Hares, Groundhogs & Owls

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 06:09:52-05

Get Rich Outdoors

Here you will find a weekly update on select events and activities happening in northern Ohio national, state and county parks, which are in the NewsChannel 5 viewing area. Programs sometimes change for weather and other unforeseen circumstances! Check the park web-site before traveling.

Pick of the Park's for Friday, January 29 to Thursday, February 4, 2016

Featured Event

Winter Fun: Free Snowshoe Borrowing- Geauga County Parks
We know it can be hard to get out during a Northeast Ohio winter, but we've got you covered when it comes to motivation! There's no shortage of great activities to enjoy in your Geauga Park District Back this year: our popular free snowshoe borrowing program at The West Woods! And did we mention it's FREE?
At least a few inches of snow on the ground is needed, and the deeper the snow, the better.
Registration is preferred at 440-286-9516. Any snowshoes not reserved are available on first-come, first-served basis. Borrowers must be 18+ to check out a pair; anyone younger must be accompanied by an adult, and no one under 40 pounds may use the snowshoes due to their weight. Snowshoes may not leave The West Woods except for registered programs. Registrants must sign a waiver form and leave a driver's license as a security deposit. Borrowing can take place any time 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and last up to two hours. Want a little extra guidance? Register for this program on Saturday, December 19! And for more guided snowshoe experiences this winter, visit to get your name on our call list for special snowshoe programs that will be "called into action" anytime now through March 1 whenever the snow conditions are right for snowshoeing.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Hike Aboard!
Saturday, January 30, 9:10 a.m., Boston Store Visitor Center
Journey through the national park by train and hike 5 challenging miles back on the hilly Buckeye Trail. Fast pace. Fee: $3 (pay upon boarding). For more information call 330-657-2752.

Campfire Tales: Road Trip
Saturday, January 30, 7 to 8 p.m., Happy Days Lodge
Join us for a fun look at how the automobile changed from a horseless carriage to a hot rod, with costumed characters bring the past to life. For more information call 330-657-2752.

Winter Warm-up Hike
Sunday, January 31, 9 a.m. to noon, NPS Park Headquarters.
7 miles of the hilly, unpaved Buckeye and Valley trails. For more information call 330-657-2752.

For the complete Cuyahoga Valley National Park events calendar click:

Ohio State Parks

Hiking Happy Through Winter at Ohio State Parks
Whether you are looking for a strenuous hike to help shake your cabin fever or you just need to get the kids out of the house during the day, your Ohio State Parks offer plenty of winter hiking adventures. No matter what type of hike you are looking for, it’s always important to be prepared. Here are a few tips from our naturalists, who hike in our state parks throughout the year:
-  Check the weather. Know what the conditions will be like and dress accordingly. Dress in layers: Keep your head, neck and hands covered. Your backpack (see below!) can always be used to carry the layers you peel off as you warm up on the hike.
-  Find a map of the area as well as a trail map. Knowing about your surroundings really pays off to keep you safe and maximize your enjoyment. Knowing the options on where you can go after your hike -- to get a warm drink or a meal -- can be an incentive for getting outdoors, too.
-   Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good tread and ankle and arch support. Waterproof boots are a good choice in the winter. Thick hiking socks help keep the moisture away from your feet. Trails can be wet, muddy, icy, snowy, and all of the above.
-   Bring a backpack. You don’t need anything fancy, a simple over-the-shoulder school pack will do. What to pack:  a small first-aid kit (band-aids), lip balm (can be used to prevent chapping on your cheeks as well as your lips), water, snacks, the trail map, gloves, hat, scarf you didn't think you'd need, plastic bag to carry out your trash
Some things to remember:
-   Stay on the trail. Leaving the trail is best way to get lost. Also, staying on the trail allows you to respect the natural environment by avoiding trampling any plants or animals in the area.
-    Pay attention to signage. Most paths are color-coded to help you find your way in and out, especially at intersecting points. If you’re taking the blue trail, follow the blue markers!
-    Avoid slippery rocks and steep embankments. Slippery rocks can swoop out your legs and take you, painfully, to the ground. Slippery rocks near cliffs, drop-offs, or embankments can lead to falls resulting in serious injury or worse. Be careful.
-    Be alert for symptoms of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, drowsiness, slow or slurred speech, memory lapses, or clumsiness.

For a complete list of Northern Ohio State Park events click:

Cleveland Metroparks

Extreme Hiking
Saturday, January 30, 9 a.m. to noon, Bedford Reservation, Egbert Picnic Area, located off Gorge Parkway in Bedford Reservation, off Egbert Road in Walton Hills
Get out of the house and into the woods! Join Naturalist Pam Taylor as we explore the trails. Final distance will depend upon weather and trail conditions. Egbert Picnic Area parking lot. Terrain Difficulty: hills, 6 - 7 miles. Free.

Owl Quest
Sunday, January 31, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Rocky River Reservation, Nature Center, 24000 Valley Parkway, North Olmsted.
Join Naturalist Jen Brumfield on a search for daytime-roosting owls. We'll seek resident barred owls in the Rocky River Valley and learn about their remarkable adaptations for winter survival.
Terrain: mostly flat, some stairs, 1.5 miles. Free.

For the complete Cleveland Metroparks events calendar click:

Ashland County Parks

Archery Deer Hunting
Saturday, January 30, 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Hunting parks will be closed from for all non-hunting uses, except as noted. One exception is that hunting parks will remain open for hunting, but will also open Sunday afternoons from 12:00 noon until closing for non-hunting activities such as hiking, except during gun deer hunting season. These Sundays will be posted at all hunting park entrances.
Parks Include:
Audubon Wetlands, Black Fork Bottoms, Carpenter Waterfowl Park, Cooke Family Park, Cool Springs, Esbenshade Wetlands, Gilliom-Cherp, Pine Hill Sauers Farm and Sprinkle Park.

For the complete Ashland County Parks events calendar click:

Crawford County Parks

Winter Tree ID
Saturday, January 30, 10 a.m., Sears Woods, 1486 Mt. Zion Rd.
Join Crawford Park District Naturalist, Josh Dyer, for this morning stroll through Sears Woods to learn the ins-and-outs of winter tree ID.
Without leaves, trees can be an enigma for some.  One must look much closer at bark, the twigs, and any fruit that may be found. Sears Woods is located west of Bucyrus on Mt. Zion Road. For more information contact the Crawford Park District office at 419-683-9000.   Look for information on other programs offered by the Crawford Park District by visiting their web site.

For the complete Crawford County Parks events calendar click:

Erie County Parks

Erie MetroParks offers, for your enjoyment, a variety of reservable facilities! Many are available year-round. Picnic shelters, meeting rooms, overnight lodging, playing fields, terrace, a pergola, and public garden spaces are available for exclusive use through advanced reservation. Call 419-625-7783 ext. 221 for more information.

For the complete Erie County Parks events calendar click:

Geauga Park District

Winter Fun: Cross Country Skiing
We know it can be hard to get out during a Northeast Ohio winter, but we've got you covered when it comes to motivation! There's no shortage of great activities to enjoy in your Geauga Park. Trails are once again being groomed at Orchard Hills Park and along The Maple Highlands Trail between Mountain Run Station in Chardon and Claridon Troy Road. Visit our Facebook wall or Twitter feed for grooming updates.

For the complete Geauga Park District events calendar click:

Lake Metroparks

Winter Blast Weekends
January 30, 31, February 6, 7, 13, 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lake Metroparks Farmpark
Enjoy the January and February snows by strapping on snowshoes and striking out into the winter woods. Warm up with cocoa and cookies at the J & J Café. For a warmer Farmpark experience, be sure to try your hand at traditional crafts and activities including candle and soap making, wool processing and more! Plus meet the animals and enjoy Farmpark’s regular winter activities families have come to know and enjoy! Regular Farmpark admission applies.

Winter Art Show: Burroughs Art Show: 100th Birthday Celebration
January 23 through February 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Penitentiary Glen Reservation
Burroughs Nature Club is one of the oldest nature clubs in the U.S., founded in Willoughby in 1916 by some of Cleveland’s leading scientists, scholars, naturalists and photographers of the era. These men shared a common love of hiking, wildlife watching, and other investigations of the natural world. Discover the natural and cultural history of the club through this never-before-seen collection of antique hand-colored photographs taken by C.M. Shipman, one of the earliest members of Burroughs. Free to all; all ages welcome.

For the complete Lake Metroparks events calendar click:

Lorain County Parks

Evergreen ID Hike
Saturday, January 30, 11 a.m. to noon, Schoepfle Garden
Tour the garden and woods looking for evergreens. For more information call (440) 965-7237. Free.

For the complete Lorain County Metroparks events calendar click:

Medina County Parks

Snowshoe Hares
Saturday and Sunday, January 30 & 31 Noon to 5 p.m., Susan Hambley Nature Center
What looks like a rabbit but magically changes color in the winter to camouflage into the snow? A snowshoe hare! Despite their appearance, they are actually quite different from rabbits. Learn all about these unique animals through activities, games, and crafts. All ages welcome. No registration required. Free.

For the complete Medina County Parks events calendar click:

Portage County Parks

Enjoy Portage Parks all year round, on your own or with others at our educational programs and special events. Each park and trail has its own character and potential for use or protection. Portage Parks strives to balance conservation of our natural resources with public use and enjoyment. We provide opportunities for enjoying and learning about our natural areas through activities such as walking, biking, hiking, boating, fishing, geocaching, picnicking, camping, nature programs, races and special events.

For the complete Portage County Parks events calendar click:

Stark Parks

Weekday Wildlife
Friday, January 29, 10 to 11 a.m., Lock 4 Trailhead
Come take a leisurely 1.5 mile walk along the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail while we search for sights and signs of local wildlife.

For the complete Stark Parks events calendar click:

Summit County Parks

Groundhogs and American Folklore
Saturday, January 30, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Goodyear Heights Metro Park, Pavilion, 2077 Newton St., Akron
Can groundhogs actually predict the weather? Join wildlife rehabilitator Fran Kitchen and a naturalist to learn about groundhogs and the folklore associated with them. This event includes a craft, a chance to see a groundhog up close and a short hike. Please bring a donation of laundry products or small wicker baskets to help Kitchen with injured and orphaned animals. For information, call 330-865-8065.

Animal Tales
Saturday, January 30, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. & 1 to 2 p.m., F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Rd., Akron
Children and their adult companions will enjoy a story about our chickadee friends. After the story, the children will hike outside and try to hand feed the birds. Dress for the weather. Advance registration is required and begins 1/22. For information, call 330-865-8065.

For the complete Summit County Parks events calendar click:


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