Posted in Nature, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

F. A. Seiberling Nature Realm

The F. A. Seiberling Nature Realm is a 104 acre Summit County Metro Park. The park has a large 10,000 sq. ft. nature center with exhibits detailing the natural history of the area.

Pond life exhibit in the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm.

The nature center viewed from outside. You can see the roofs of the porches accenting its entrances, but the building itself is buried within the hillock. This type of energy-efficient architecture is known as earth sheltering.
You can improve your ability to identify plants and animals just by reading the sidewalk on the way to the nature center.

The nature center includes an observation deck overlooking a pond and terrariums containing a number of Ohio reptiles and amphibians. The day we visited an individual associated with the park was introducing visitors to an Eastern Foxsnake (Elaphe gloydi).

Eastern Foxsnake
This spotted turtle had an injured shell. A vet has patched the shell up, and it is recovering in an aquarium at the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm.
Thanks to the specimen in this terrarium, I now know why I never see Tiger Salamanders while hiking.
This deck with fireplace is located to the rear of the nature center and overlooks Seneca Pond.
Bench on the shore line of Seneca Pond.

There are two and a half miles of hiking trails on the property. We followed the Cherry Trail to the Fernwood trail. Along the way we crossed a 110-foot long pedestrian suspension bridge over a ravine. At the far end of the Fernwood trail we connected with the Seneca trail that went up to the top of a ridgeline and then down past Echo Pond. There were water fowl in the pond and midland painted turtles basking on the shore line.

The trail closest to the nature center is handicap accessible, but most of the trails are dirt.
Cherry Trail marker
Suspension bridge
Ravine; although I’m looking forward to foliage, I have to admit that the lack of leaves really lets you get a good look at the terrain.
My daughter and myself enjoying the sunshine on the ridgeline.
Deck overlooking Echo Pond
Basking midland painted turtles near Echo Pond
A resident of Echo Pond

The Seiberling Nature Realm has a large parking area, picnic tables (and benches along the trails), several observation decks, a gift shop, and rest rooms. Check the Nature Realm’s web page for hours of operation of the visitor center. Dogs are not permitted at the site.

A circle of benches
Additional information


Address: 1828 Smith Rd., Akron 44313

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© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

5 thoughts on “F. A. Seiberling Nature Realm

  1. They’ve done a really beautiful job with integrating the signage into the park…. So lovely! The park’s constructions also blend very well with the natural surroundings. Wonderful!!

  2. awesome I seen the new park itself but never went into the building yet, had no idea they put a aquarium in there, will have to check it out when we go to check out the flowering trees once they get going.

    1. Roberta, it’s not a big aquarium. Instead they have a number of smaller aquariums and terrariums. But I still enjoyed looking over the animals that they had in there. It was nice to see that they were caring for injured animals, and I couldn’t believe how well that salamander was able to hide in the mud in its terrarium.

      1. most projects like aquariums start small and build from there it is nice they have this so they can care for the animals at the naturalum if they get injuried, it doesn’t happen, and I love that suspension bridge as well.

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