Last days of winter, get ready to welcome spring

Posted at 7:00 AM, Mar 17, 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 18 to Thursday, March 24, 2016

Featured Event

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.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Maple Sugar Express
Saturday, March 19 & Sunday, March 20, 10:45 a.m., Rockside Station.
Ride the Maple Sugar Express to the Maple Sugar Festival and Pancake Breakfast at Hale Farm & Village. Fee (includes admission): $25 adults, $20 children ages 12 and under. For tickets, visit

Hiking the Hills
Sunday, March 20, 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Ledges Shelter.
Challenge yourself to 7 miles on the unpaved, hilly Ledges, Haskell Run, and Boston Run trails. For more information call 330-657-2752.

For the complete Cuyahoga Valley National Park events calendar click:

Ohio State Parks

Browns Backers Easter Egg Hunt: Lake Milton
Saturday, March 19, Lake Milton State Park
Easter Egg Hunt for children of various age groups prizes and candy for various age groups. For more information contact

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

Cleveland Metroparks

Hike to the Falls
Saturday, March 19, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Garfield Park Reservation, Windy Ridge Picnic Area
Join Naturalist Wendy Weirich for a hike to the highest waterfall in Cuyahoga County - Mill Creek Falls! Terrain: paved, mostly flat, 3 miles. Call 216-881-8141 Ext. 3005 for more information.

Chipmunk Boot Camp
Saturday, March 19 at 12 to 3 p.m., North Chagrin Reservation, Nature Center, 3037 SOM Center Roaqd, Willoughby Hills, OH 44094
Families will enjoy hitting the trails today and following our training route for Chipmunk Bootcamp. Learn all the skills necessary to earn your stripes! Drop in anytime and try this self-guided adventure. You may purchase a hiking chipmunk shirt upon completion for $8. Terrain Difficulty: on-trail, 1 mile. 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

Fishing lure making
Saturday, March 19, 2 to 4 p.m., Osborn MetroPark, Frost Center, Erie Room, 3910 Perkins Ave, Huron.
Learn how to make some simple fishing lures that you construct yourself and be ready for the upcoming fishing season. This is an easy and fun class! Ages 7+. Registration required. Limit 10.

Waterfowl Watch
Sunday, March 20, 8 to 10 a.m., East Sandusky Bay MetroPark, Eagle Point, 3819 Cleveland Rd, Sandusky.
Grab your field guides and your binoculars because waterfowl migration is on its way! Join a naturalist and watch for migrating ducks, geese, and swans! 

For the complete Erie County Parks events calendar click:

Geauga Park District

Egg Hunt: Nature Style
Saturday, March 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., The West Woods
Come celebrate spring by following clues taking you indoors and out that lead to hidden eggs and fun facts. Find all of the eggs on the hunt and be rewarded! Drop in anytime during program hours to pick up a scavenger hunt card. Participants will turn in answers for a fun prize. There will be 2 levels of scavenger hunts available for kids 5&under and 6 & up. Free.

Sunday, March 20, 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 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.
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

Outer Limits Hike
Saturday, March 19, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Sandy Ridge, JWC
No registration required. Free.

For the complete Lorain County Metroparks events calendar click:

Medina County Parks

Hiking for the Health of It   River Styx Park
Saturday, March 19, 9 to 11 a.m., River Styx Park
This is a hiking club for those adults who can hike four to five miles at a brisk pace. Walking trails can be mildly strenuous with a limited amount being off trail. Please dress for the weather, and be sure to have appropriate footwear. Ages 10 to adult. No registration required. Free.

Natural Discoveries Hiking Series: Waterfowl Migration  
Sunday, March 20, 3 to 4 p.m., Chippewa Inlet Trail North off Lafayette Road
Natural Discoveries is a series of free nature themed programs designed for ages seven to adult. Participants in the program who complete certain hike requirements are eligible to receive awards. See the Natural Discoveries link on our website for award details. March is a great time of year to observe waterfowl including ducks, geese, and swans as they pass through Ohio on their way to Canada to nest. Please bring binoculars and bird ID books. Several spotting scopes will be set up for viewing waterfowl at a distance. Please dress for the weather. Ages 7 to adult. 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

Full Moon High Mileage Hike (moderate pace)
Wednesday, March 23, 6 to 9 p.m., Petros Lake Park, Perry Drive Trailhead.
Lace up your hiking boots and get out with Stark Parks for this 6 mile hike around Petros Lake Park under the full moon. Be prepared for a strenuous hike. Wear hiking shoes and dress for the weather.

Adventures in Birding
Tuesday, March 22, 7:30 to 9 a.m., Walborn Reservoir - Marina
Come take a leisurely walk along the trails at Walborn Reservoir and search for returning migrant birds. Birders of all levels of experience are welcome. Please bring your own binoculars. Meet at Walborn Reservoir. Free.

For the complete Stark Parks events calendar click:

Summit County Parks

Welcome Spring
Saturday, March 19, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Liberty Park, Pond Brook Conservation Area, 3973 E. Aurora Rd., Twinsburg
Beat the winter blues by hiking a moderate trail with a naturalist. For information, call 330-865-8065.

First Day Of Spring Hike
Sunday, March 20, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Cascade Valley Metro Park, Chuckery Area, 837 Cuyahoga St., Akron
Get out and explore on the first day of spring while hiking the vigorous Chuckery Trail. For information, call 330-865-8065.

Meet Me In The Garden
Wednesday, March 23, 7 to 9 p.m., F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, Visitors Center, 1828 Smith Rd., Akron
Join the Master Gardeners of Summit County to assess and improve your soil's health. Learn about soil biology as an ecosystem, how to test your soil and how to make it healthier. Presented by Ann Brandt, owner of Walnut Creek Seeds, LLC. For information, call 330-865-8065.

For the complete Summit County Parks events calendar click:


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