Cleveland is a delightful surprise when it comes to getting lost on a good hike. It’s easy to just drive by and miss out on any one of these hot spots. It’s a kind of spot well-known to the locals. There are countless trails and paths that connect one city to another, through the metro parks. It is no wonder why these masterpiece trails are dubbed the Emerald Necklace.
This is the place to just be; to stop and see a little of this, or a little of that. The sun beams on your face a bunny hops by.. And you can’t help but greet him with
“awe aren’t you cute?” The woods crackle, a deer stands statue. Again you smile, hearing him say,
“if I stand here maybe she won’t see me.”
You do …..but just don’t tell him. You walk away ,to let him be. An eagle soars high above your head. You appreciate his freedom. You hear a knocking . You recognize it’s a wood pecker. But, where is he? Geese call out. You smile as they play follow the leader.
You look back at a shrieking mom. She is terrified her toddler wants to pick up the frog. She grabs him in the nick of time. You continue down the path and kick a stone. The air is so clean. Children giggle, you hear a discovery, just not sure what.
” oh look…. Look mommy look.” Their wonder makes you smile. The trees dance. It could be the wind or perhaps a hidden creature. You realize you found it. This is the perfect place to get lost. This moment is etched in your heart . It’s your own private post card to give to yourself any time you need a smile. The clouds dance on the blue sky. Music blows in the wind starring the whistling birds,and the swaying trees. What a spot!
You just reach the end. It feels like the beginning. It dead ends into a lake. Look at all this wild life. Let’s see there are nine white heron. That can’t be right. Are there thirteen blue heron? To the left there are six water birds. It suddenly feels like a version of Snow White. Why there are squirrels, chipmunks, and …..no way! look beyond , way back there. Three deer sipping the water. This is the most -crazy -beautiful moment ever . So, much so, you have to stop counting, and just embrace the moment. The cool scent of the earth fills your senses. Now open your eyes… And it’s OK to shake your head. Yes, this really is Cleveland with so much to offer. Who knew?
The metro parks truly connects Cleveland , and the suburbs at the core. Both locals, and visitors come together to play. There is no charge to visit. There is no charge to park. There is no charge for stress therapy. All you need is a good pair of shoes, and the time to walk.
For a city struggling to survive like so many communities the preservation of beauty is impressive. A city that put forth such effort is worth a visit. For those having a tough time knowing which path to choose…look on a map…close your eyes and point. Any of the metro parks are a scenic in their own way. Happy trails my friends. For more information On the Cleveland Metro Parks, this site may help: