Ducks, Maple Sugar & Leprechauns!

Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 10, 2016

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, March 11 to Thursday, March 17, 2016

Featured Event

Extreme Hiking: Buzzards
Saturday, March 12, 9 a.m. to noon, Hinckley Reservation, Spillway Picnic Area parking lot is located off West Drive in Hinckley Reservation, off Bellus Road in Hinckley Township.
The annual return of the buzzards is just a few days away. We will keep our eyes to the sky during this month’s hike to see if there are any buzzards scouting out the area. Terrain Difficulty: hills, 7 to 8 miles. Free.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Spring Training Hike
Saturday, March 12, 9 to 10:30 a.m., Oak Hill Trailhead
This 1.5-mile walk is along the flat, unpaved Oak Hill Trail. For more information call 330-657-2752.

Campfire Tales: Celebrate the Irish
Saturday, March 12, 7 to 8 p.m., Happy Days Lodge
Join us to celebrate the contribution of Irish immigrants to the valley and the nation by helping to dig the Ohio & Erie Canal. Free. For more information call 330-657-2752.

Hike Aboard!
Sunday, March 13, 9:15 a.m., Boston Store Visitor Center
Journey through the national park by train one way, then hike back 5 miles on the hilly Buckeye and Valley trails. Fast pace. Fee: $3 (pay upon boarding). For more information or to purchase tickets call 800-468-4070 or visit

Heron Watch
Sunday, March 13, 1 to 3 p.m., Bath Road Heronry
Celebrate the return of the great blue herons while viewing them through spotting scopes. For more information, call 330-865-8065 or visit

For the complete Cuyahoga Valley National Park events calendar click:

Ohio State Parks

Maple Syrup Festival: Malabar Farm
Saturday & Sunday, March 12 & 13, Noon to 4 p.m., Malabar Farm State Park
Experience sugar camp with live historical demonstrations, horse drawn wagon rides  music, food and maple products for sale. Free. Donations to horse group appreciated. For more info visit or call (419) 892-2784.

Extreme Hiking
Saturday, March 12, 9 a.m. to noon, Hinckley Reservation, Spillway Picnic Area is located off West Drive in Hinckley Reservation, off Bellus Road in Hinckley Township,
The annual return of the buzzards is just a few days away. We will keep our eyes to the sky during this month’s hike to see if there are any buzzards scouting out the area.  Spillway Pool Picnic Area parking lot. Free. Program Leader: Naturalist Pam Taylor. Terrain Difficulty: hills, 7 - 8 miles. Phone: 440-526-1012

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

Cleveland Metroparks

History of Maple Sugaring
Saturday and Sundays March 5 to 20, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Rocky River Nature Center, Maple Grove Picnic Area, North Olmsted, OH 44070
In late February and early March, Ohio's maple trees are typically ready to be tapped.  Take a hike along the Sugarbush Trail and view sap collecting methods.  Don't forget to visit the Sugarhouse where boiling sap transforms into tasty maple syrup! On weekends, visitors can walk through time along the Sugarbush trail from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to see the sap-collecting methods and maple syrup-making processes used by Native Americans, pioneers and modern sugar farmers.  The History of Maple Sugaring hikes will lead to the Sugarhouse, where guests can watch sap being boiled into delicious 100 percent pure maple syrup.  Guided public hikes leave the Sugarhouse every 20 minutes (last hike leaves at 3:40 p.m.). Schools and groups can be accommodated for History of Maple Sugaring programs during weekdays by appointment only.  For school groups and other groups, schedule (440) 734-6660. Maple Grove Picnic Area is located off Valley Parkway in Rocky River Reservation, between Cedar Point Road and Spafford Road in Brook Park, south of Rocky River Nature Center. Free.

Early Spring Walk
Sunday, March 13, 9:30 to 11 a.m., Euclid Creek Reservation, Wildwood Shelter, OH 44094
Join Naturalist Natalie Schroder on a walk through the restored wetlands and woodland habitat in search of early signs of spring. Terrain Difficulty: paved, natural surface, up to 2 miles. Free.

Spring Anticipation Hike
Sunday, March 13 2 to 3:30 p.m., Brecksville Reservation, Nature Center, 9000 Chippewa Creek Dr, Brecksville, OH 44141
The beginning of spring is a week away. Have you noticed any signs of spring? We’ll hike along the Hemlock Loop trail searching for indicators of spring. Terrain Difficulty: hills, slippery, 2.5 miles. Free.

For the complete Cleveland Metroparks events calendar click:

Ashland County Parks

The Ashland County Park District (ACPD) is currently composed of 16 parks. Each offers a unique experience and support a variety of recreational activities including hiking, bird-watching, canoeing, dog-walking and hunting.

For the complete Ashland County Parks events calendar click: 

Crawford County Parks

Lowe-Volk Nature Center
The Lowe-Volk Nature Center opened in Dec. 2002. The building has an eco-friendly design, and contains a passive solar heat and light system, an above ground leach bed and parallam beams. It currently features 25 exhibits on various topics, including live wildlife.

As the "hub" of Park District activities, many school groups utilize the Nature Center and surrounding Lowe-Volk Park for field trips.  There are also public environmental education programs and large events hosted here, such as Arrowhead Day (fourth Saturday in February) and Living History Day (first Saturday in June). Lowe-Volk Nature Center Hours: Mon-Sat: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun: Closed

For the complete Crawford County Parks events calendar click:

Erie County Parks

Ice Fishing For Beginners
Saturday, March 12, 2 to 4 p.m., James McBride Arboretum, 1 University Dr, Huron.
Curious about ice fishing? Come and learn about it as you fish the ponds at our Arboretum. Ages 7+. Registration required. Limit 10.

Duck Pond Waddle
Sunday March 13, 2 to 3 p.m., Meet at Margaretta High School’s football parking lot, 209 Lowell St, Castalia.
So many ducks! The Castalia Duck Pond has open water throughout the year which attracts many different types of migrating ducks. You won’t want to miss this! Bring your camera. Binoculars will be provided. Registration required. Limit 15. 

For the complete Erie County Parks events calendar click:

Geauga Park District

Night Sky Viewing
Saturday, March 12, 7 to 11 p.m., Observatory Park
Take in the wonders of the universe using the Observatory Park telescopes! If weather conditions are cloudy, join us for an indoor planetarium presentation instead. Free.

Sunday, March 13, Noon to 4 p.m., Swine Creek Reservation
Visit Geauga Park District’s sugar house, sugarbush and lodge at Swine Creek Reservation for a sweet taste of how maple sugaring methods have evolved from the Native American tradition to modern methods! Help gather sap in the sugarbush with the help of a horse-drawn sap sled, experience the tapping, gathering and boiling methods used throughout history, see sap boiling in the sugarhouse, have a taste of maple syrup and then warm up with live music and maple treats in the lodge. Sap’s-A-Risin’! will also be held Sunday, March 20th. Free.

For the complete Geauga Park District events calendar click:

Lake Metroparks

Maple Sugaring Weekends
Saturday & Sunday, March 12, 13, 19, 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lake Metroparks Farmpark
Special maple activities for the whole family. Take a wagon ride to the sugarhouse to see how maple syrup and sugar are made. Sample maple syrup and candy, make a maple craft, help gather sap, learn how to tap trees and make maple syrup in your own backyard. Regular Farmpark admission applies. Farmpark members and children younger than 2 are FREE.
Pancake Breakfast: Pancakes served all day in J&J Café ($7 ages 12 and older; $4 ages 2 to 11). No registration necessary; regular Farmpark admission applies.
NOTE: Pancake breakfasts will not be available on March 19 & 20 due to Breakfast with the Easter Bunny program.

For the complete Lake Metroparks events calendar click:

Lorain County Parks

Catch A Leprechaun!
Saturday, March 12, 2 to 4 p.m., Lakeview Park
Spring out of bed and over to Lakeview for this fun leprechaun trap building program! Craft supplies provided, but feel free to bring your own trap making materials as well. For more information call (440) 245-1193. For children and an adult families. Free.

Camp Cooking and Hiking
Sunday, March 13, 1 to 3 p.m., Sandy Ridge, JWC
No registration required. Free. 

For the complete Lorain County Metroparks events calendar click:

Medina County Parks

K 9 Kapers  
Saturday, March 12, 10 to 11 a.m., Lake Medina, State Route 18 entrance.
K 9 Kapers provides dog owners with an opportunity to socialize their pets with other dogs. These alternative hikes will interest both the dog and its owner while offering exercise and fun. All dogs must have an accompanying adult and eight foot leash (non retractable). Participants must maintain control of their dogs at all times. We recommend bringing a towel for muddy feet and a water bowl. All ages welcome. No registration required. Free.

For the complete Medina County Parks events calendar click:

Portage County Parks

Parks and Trails
Portage Parks invites you to experience the beautiful and diverse natural areas of Portage County. Portage Parks manages 1,300 acres and 14 miles of hike and bike trails, connecting communities across Portage County, and with other regional trail systems. Unfortunately, over 800 acres of parkland is not yet open to the public due to lack of funding. Visit our website to download a county map to print, with directions to parks and trails.

For the complete Portage County Parks events calendar click:

Stark Parks

High Mileage Hike (moderate pace)
Saturday, March 12, 9 to noon, Quail Hollow Park, Dogwood parking lot.
Lace up your hiking boots and get out with Stark Parks for this 7.5 mile hike along the natural surface trails of Quail Hollow Park. Be prepared for a strenuous hike with some inclines. Wear hiking shoes, dress for the weather, and bring water.

The Magnificent Bald Eagle! Our National Symbol
Sunday, March 13, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail - John Glenn Grove Trailhead.
Branch out and travel along the Towpath Trail about 1 mile south of John Glenn Grove Trailhead to discover a Bald Eagle nest in western Stark County. A table and scope will be set up to provide a closer look at these magnificent birds. Free.

For the complete Stark Parks events calendar click:

Summit County Parks

Ledges Trail Throughout The Year
Saturday, March 12, 1 to 2 p.m., Liberty Park, Twinsburg Ledges Area, 9999 Liberty Rd., Twinsburg
We'll hike the 1.1-mile Ledges Trail each month this year, taking a photographic record of the seasonal changes that happen. In December we'll come in from the cold and review the year in pictures. You can take your own pictures or just enjoy the hikes. Trail not recommended for strollers. For information, call 330-865-8065.

Heron Watch
Sunday, March 13, 1 to 3 p.m., Hampton Hills Metro Park, Bath Road Heronry, Intersection of Bath and Riverview roads, Akron
Celebrate the return of great blue herons to Northeast Ohio while viewing them through spotting scopes. For information, call 330-865-8065.

Cardio Hike
Monday, March 14, 1 to 2 p.m., Furnace Run Metro Park, Brushwood Area, 4955 Townsend Rd., Richfield
Join a naturalist for healthy outdoor exercise by hiking the 1-mile Old Mill Trail and the 1.2-mile Rock Creek Trail twice each at a vigorous pace. Beginners are welcome, but talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. For information, call 330-865-8065.

For the complete Summit County Parks events calendar click:


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