Cascade Valley South Metro Park

Cascade Valley South is part of the Summit County’s Metro Park system. The park has multiple entrances with different attractions at each. In all there are seven miles of trail and many locations where you can view the Cuyahoga River. We began our tour near one of the River’s oxbows (an oxbow is just a tight bend in a river).

Oxbow in the Cuyahoga River Viewed from the observation deck

Oxbow in the Cuyahoga River viewed from the observation deck off the Observation Trail.

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Hiking A Nature Trail at Holden Arboretum

When we visited Holden Arboretum this past spring, we primarily visited the formal gardens. So in August we decided to go back and check out one of the nature trails. It turns out there are 19 miles (30.6 km) of hiking trails at Holden Arboretum.

Stairs leading to the valley floor on the Old Valley Trail.

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Northeast Ohio Fall Foliage 2013

This past weekend we went back to our favorite spots for fall foliage in northeast Ohio: Mohican State Park and Malabar Farm. At Mohican we stopped at Pleasant Hill Dam. We photographed the foliage in the Clear Fork Gorge on one side of the dam and along Pleasant Hill Lake on the other. Lots of people were taking advantage of the wonderful weather to sight-see, hike, or boat on the lake. We then drove over to Mohican Lodge for lunch and a short walk from the lodge over to the lake.

View from the Mohican Lodge of Pleasant Hill Lake.

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Holden Arboretum

When I entered information for Holden Arboretum into our on-line guide, I was impressed by the size of this Lake County arboretum – 3,600 acres (14.6 km²) with 19 miles (30.6 km) of trails. I added it to my must-see list. Would it live up to its statistics?

In mid-May, we visited Holden Arboretum. I’ll spare you the suspense, my only regret about my visit, is that I didn’t have a lot more time to explore this wonderful place.


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Penitentiary Glen

Lake County’s Penitentiary Glen park can easily be described as “deluxe”. In addition to being endowed with natural beauty, the park has developed a number of first-rate facilities. If you enjoy hiking, as we do, you’ll also appreciate its trails; they’re both well-marked and well-built.

The odd name, Penitentiary Glen, has nothing to do with a prison. The centerpiece of the site is a 130-foot deep gorge. Settlers in the 1800s gave it this name due to the steep walls of the gorge. It was easy to enter Penitentiary Glen, but extremely difficult to leave.

Looking down into the “penitentiary”.

You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.
“Hotel California” – the Eagles (1977)

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Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park

Nelson Kennedy Ledges is a most unusual state park located in Portage County in northeastern Ohio. The park is a relatively small 167 acres with 3 miles of trails. The main section of the park consists of a massive rock outcropping. The outcropping is cracked with narrow passages between tall cliffs, small streams flowing through them and huge slump blocks broken off of the cliff face. The trails go around, over, and through the openings and resemble an enormous stone maze.

Deb about to go between slump blocks.

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