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Today's Family Magazine

7 activities to try this winter at Lake Metroparks

Photo credit: Jim Marquardt

Snowshoe the Parks:  Have you ever tried snowshoeing?  It’s a great way to explore the outdoors and also has many health benefits.  Lake Metroparks offers visitors opportunities to snowshoe on a variety of terrain throughout the park district. Girdled Road Reservation offers backcountry snowshoe trails, Chapin Forest Reservation offers nearly six miles of trails and Penitentiary Glen Reservation offers seven miles of trails.

Snowshoe rentals are available at Chapin Forest Reservation Pine Lodge Ski Center (first-come, first-served) and at Penitentiary Glen Nature Center (first-come, first-served).

Skiing Fun:  Because Lake and Geauga counties are blessed with the best snowfalls in the state each year, cross-country skiing is a great way to get out and enjoy the parks!  Lake Metroparks offers both groomed and ungroomed trails for skiers of all abilities.

Sled Down the Hills:  Lake Metroparks offers a variety of winter activities for all ages, but by far, sledding is one of the most popular.  The parks offer four different places to bring your family for a day of thrills upon whatever apparatus you choose to bring.

Hike the Trails under the Lights: Feel free to hike under the lights this winter at Chapin Forest Reservation.  A mile of trail lights will be turned on at the Arbor Lane Loop Trail (Hobart Road entrance) each evening from dusk until the park closes, regardless of ski conditions.  If hiking and snow is on the trail, watch for skiers, respect groomed trails and do not walk in ski tracks.

View the Dunes:  Have you ever seen the ice dunes along the Lake Erie shoreline?  Visit one of their lakefront parks and discover what happens to the lake in winter.

Winter Bird Feeding:  Many of our feathered friends fly south for the winter in search of food, but many stay right here in northeast Ohio.  We also see some species in the winter only—these birds nest north of us and fly south to Ohio for their winter vacations. 

Winter Camping:  Have you ever thought about camping in the winter?  Lake Metroparks offers winter camping at Girdled Road Reservation in Concord Township.  It is a hike-in or ski-in site about ¾ of a mile into the Big Creek Valley. Enjoy this park in a new way from the comfort of your tent!

Cross-country ski and snowshoe rental equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Equipment cannot be reserved.  A driver’s license is required as a deposit with all rentals.

Call the winter sports hotline at 440-256-2118 x4178 or check Twitter or Facebook for up-to-date weather conditions.