After writing three social distancing blog posts about visiting our local parks during the coronavirus crisis, we really did not plan to write anymore blog posts on this subject. However, we have been having such a great time exploring parks that we had not visited before, and revisiting old favorites, that we decided to gather tweets from park visits in June 2020, to create this blog post.
This blog post accomplishes two things that are important to us.
First, writing this post is our way to refresh our memory of the time we spent together. Time together in the peaceful environment of a park is a healthy way to be grounded, both as a couple and for each of us individually, during these stressful times in our country.
Secondly, it is our way to thank the park systems for their service to our Northeast Ohio community. Visiting parks (if you also practice social distancing and sanitizing your hands) is one of the very few safe activities you can do during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note that we have attended many more parks in June 2020 than those included in this blog post. Beyond what we include here, Stuart has been doing section hikes on the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" (the Buckeye Trail Little Loop is over 250 miles long in Northeast Ohio), and we have done eleven additional hikes as part of the Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge 2020. We plan to write blog posts about these trail activities when we complete them.
In 2017, I did the "#Cleveland #Metroparks inaugural #Trail Challenge!" https://t.co/1KnrcnzxTF— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 12, 2020
While #SocialDistancing during the #COVID19 crisis, the @CleveMetroparks #TrailChallenge 2020, sponsored by @Cigna, looks like a fun way to de-stress!
Take the challenge! Explore new #trails with Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge presented by @Cigna, & discover the wonders of nature. 25 trails to choose from! View the 2020 Trail Challenge routes at https://t.co/CPJarg1EU9. ðŸ‘Ÿ #TimeToExplore pic.twitter.com/pvT3nur4Ny— Cleveland Metroparks (@clevemetroparks) May 24, 2020
Ended my day hiking on the @HikeTheBT’s #BuckeyeTrail in the @StarkParks’ Quail Hollow Park. ??— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 26, 2020
#FollowTheBlueBlazes ??https://t.co/oNGDU8ErDKhttps://t.co/z3K6mSERct pic.twitter.com/fI37fzwmIg
We hope you enjoy seeing the photos and videos in our @sos_jr tweets and retweets, and that they encourage you to explore our local parks yourself!
Tuesday, June 2, 2020 - Gully Brook Park, Lake Metroparks
Gully Brook Park protects a valley, stream, wetland and forest. Its unique natural features, ravines and wild places are intertwined with local history. Today, visitors can enjoy more than a mile of improved trails and the chance to reconnect with nature. Explore Gully Brook and listen for the songs of winter wrens or chickadees. Watch for the footprints of raccoons, the flash of a dragonfly or enjoy the beauty of a young forest ever-changing.
Enjoyed a nice afternoon walk in @LakeMetroparksâ€™ Gully Brook Park. https://t.co/s8EjynWrpD#SocialDistancing in our local parks in the afternoon is now my norm. Luckily, we have several great park systems in Northeast #Ohio. https://t.co/zkxb0tAnv4 pic.twitter.com/79a6vM67vS— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 2, 2020
Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - The Rookery, Geauga Park District
VISIT YEAR-ROUND FOR
SCENIC VIEWS ALONG FORMER TRAIN TRACKS
This 562-acre park features the Chagrin River, the old Interurban Railroad Junction, and one of Geauga County’s nesting colonies of Great Blue Heron. Two trails total 1.4 miles. Children can have fun in a play area here.
We had never seen so many turtles! They were out looking for places to lay their eggs.
I saw a turtle at the @GeaugaParksâ€™ The Rookery before a walk on the Woodcock Trail. https://t.co/dRGevIX2Su— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 3, 2020
During this time of #SocialDistancing, I am taking many afternoon walks in our great park systems in Northeast #Ohio. https://t.co/zkxb0tAnv4 pic.twitter.com/eQT5xatXe8
At the @GeaugaParks’ The Rookery I learned about Cleveland & Eastern Railway while walking on the Interurban Trail. https://t.co/dRGevIX2Su— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 3, 2020
A railway from Cleveland to Chardon or Middlefield. pic.twitter.com/ktBUA5HCvP
At the @GeaugaParks’ The Rookery— Interurban Trail. A covered bridge over the Chagrin River. https://t.co/dRGevIX2Su— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 3, 2020
Pavilion had information about the Cleveland & Eastern Railway — a railway from Cleveland to Chardon or Middlefield. pic.twitter.com/TQGsSfRWuh
At the @GeaugaParks’ The Rookery— I saw two more turtles while walking the Interurban Trail and two more turtles back at the parking lot area. https://t.co/dRGevIX2Su pic.twitter.com/wbRGqNFVFP— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 3, 2020
We mentioned above that we are doing the Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge 2020. On June 3rd, we learned that the Geauga Park District has a Geauga Gems Trekking Series. We also know that the Summit Metroparks has a trail challenge program.
UPDATE: With changes required to our typical program group sizes, Geauga Park District has adjusted the requirements for our Geauga Gems Trekking Series in order to help registered participants meet their program goal. Details: https://t.co/IBOpeGP1PV pic.twitter.com/bTx8LHqr32— Geauga Park District (@GeaugaParks) June 3, 2020
Friday, June 5, 2020 - Paine Falls Park, Lake Metroparks
Colonel Hendrick Paine, nephew of Edward Paine, founder of Painesville, moved his family from Parkman, Ohio, in 1818 to this little valley. It became known as "Paine's Hollow." Paine built a log cabin on the terrace on the north side of the valley.
With the planning and financial help of his son's (Elazer A. Paine) father-in-law, Samuel Phelps, Paine carried out the industrial development of Paine's Hollow. He first built a sawmill. In the years that followed, many other industries came to the Hollow. By 1840, valley businesses included an iron forge and furnace, a tannery, a shoemaker, a blacksmith shop and a wagon maker. An ashery was built to produce lye for soap and potash production. The area also included several houses and a school for local children.
By 1850, surrounding forests had been felled and prosperity began to decline. With the lumber supply gone and new technological advances, water power was no longer needed. The area fell to ruin and many of the settlers moved to neighboring cities. In 1974, the area was named Paine Falls and was dedicated as a park by Lake Metroparks.
In the following tweet, we recommend John Pana's Cleveland.com articles and videos -- learn more in the "Enjoying Parks Safely During the Coronavirus Crisis" section of our blog post entitled: Social Distancing: Visiting More Parks and Park Campsite Information.
If you are looking for ideas for local parks to visit (like I am right now), I recommend @JohnPanaCLE articles and videos. https://t.co/XHkLhWdgeH— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
After re-reading today @JohnPanaCLEâ€™s article about #waterfalls in Northeast #Ohio, I visited @LakeMetroparksâ€™ Paine Falls Park https://t.co/OIAM9hWqRJ— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
In my blog post about #SocialDistancing & visiting parks safely, I recommend @JohnPanaCLEâ€™s videoshttps://t.co/LLU9ZqRkX0 https://t.co/WWLqbR95sR pic.twitter.com/9a8EJdcgN7
@LakeMetroparks’ Paine Falls Park. https://t.co/OIAM9hWqRJ pic.twitter.com/nPdmCMDenD— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
I was driving on a dirt road in Lake County and saw what I thought was a long piece of rubber right where I was about to drive.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
Luckily, I stopped to see it was a beautiful long snake!!
I helped him get off the road, so he can live another day! pic.twitter.com/eK71AHTbtB
Friday, June 5, 2020 - Indian Point Park, Lake Metroparks
Charles Lyman bought several acres at the point of land above the intersection of the Grand River and Paine Creek in 1901. In the years before World War I, he used the area as a military camp for high school boys. More than 150 youngsters attended Lyman's Camp Wissolohican during its seven-year period of existence. Lyman began carving the names of campers into a Totem Stone, which can be seen along the trail near the point. Later, the point became a Finnish camp, Kaleva Lodge. During this time, a stone hut was built and used as a sauna, intact until the 1970s, when the park system dismantled it. The property was purchased from John Phelps in 1964. A plaque was erected here, in honor of James and Edna Phelps, his parents. (In 1802, part of the property had been deeded to his ancestors by the Connecticut Land Company.)
The Whittlesey Culture
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, Indian Point has one of the earliest architectural works in this part of Ohio.
A tribe from the Whittlesey Culture lived here; a Whittlesey structure was built on the 100-foot ridge between Paine Creek and the Grand River. Two parallel mounds of their earthworks can be seen.
The Whittelsey were an early people who lived from 900 AD to 1650 AD in stockade villages on high bluffs overlooking rivers and lakes. Because they didn't have contact with Europeans, the name of their tribe is unknown. The culture is named after the archaeologist who discovered the tribe.
We were happy to explore this park for the first time! Beautiful trail combined with interesting history made for an enjoyable visit.
“May the Forest be With You” — @LakeMetroparks. https://t.co/HtS9zj7OS5 pic.twitter.com/ml3zA69Dib— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
“on the National Register of Historic Places by the #NationalParkService, Indian Point has one of the earliest architectural works in this part of #Ohio”— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
Very interesting historical markers in the middle of the woods in @LakeMetroparks Indian Point Park.https://t.co/HtS9zj7OS5 pic.twitter.com/i4w0qCJISc
Great afternoon hike at @LakeMetroparks Indian Point Park. https://t.co/HtS9zj7OS5— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
Great number of steps down hill to the Grand River and Paine Creek. pic.twitter.com/gZy2iUst0S
@LakeMetroparks Indian Point Park. https://t.co/HtS9zj7OS5 pic.twitter.com/DNHwSIb9gW— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
@LakeMetroparks Indian Point Park. https://t.co/HtS9zj7OS5 pic.twitter.com/0vUz362SUS— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
Just as we saw when we were at The Rookery in the Geauga Park District, we were happy to see a turtle looking for a place to lay its eggs while on the Little Pond Loop Trail. Early June must be the right season to see turtles laying eggs!
On Wednesday, I saw at least five turtles at @GeaugaParks’ The Rookery, and today I saw one turtle on the Little Pond Loop Trail at @LakeMetroparks’ Indian Point Park. The turtles are digging holes to lay eggs.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
We also saw a very large frog. https://t.co/HtS9zj7OS5 pic.twitter.com/B2QiMURXEg
@LakeMetroparks’ Indian Point Park #turtle. https://t.co/HtS9zj7OS5 pic.twitter.com/U5vV0FKcDj— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
Thank you, @LakeMetroparks, for the fun afternoon hike at Indian Point Park. It is a great park. https://t.co/HtS9zj7OS5 pic.twitter.com/lW3zJLpPtv— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 5, 2020
Sunday, June 7, 2020 - Chapin Forest Reservation, Lake Metroparks
Wander, cross-country ski or snowshoe through nearly six miles of trails surrounded by mature beech, maple, oak, tulip and hemlock trees. One of the best scenic overlooks in Lake County is found along Lucky Stone Loop Trail. Hiking in this beautiful forested park will take the park visitor to spectacular Sharon Conglomerate ledges, from which Lake Erie and the the Cleveland skyline are visible on a clear day.
Part of the Buckeye Trail, a continuous hiking trail throughout Ohio, passes through Chapin Forest Reservation. Blue paint blazes on some trees mark the Buckeye Trail.
To protect this beautiful setting from development, Frederic H. Chapin purchased the property in 1949 and donated it to the State of Ohio. Under a lease agreement with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, Lake Metroparks manages Chapin Forest Reservation. The ledges, or rocky outcroppings of Sharon Conglomerate, were formed approximately 300 million years ago, long before glaciers slid across northern Ohio. Visitors may explore the restricted ledges area on guided hikes only, which are offered regularly throughout the year.
Sandstone from Quarry Pond and the adjacent streambed were part of a stone quarry that operated during the 1800s. Berea sandstone from this site supplied the foundations for many local buildings including the Kirtland Temple, which was completed in 1836.
If you have a problem with the GPS while visiting a park, take a look at this article: How to fix iPhone GPS issues. We use the GPS information from the Guthook Buckeye Trail App when visiting local parks. Stuart has used Guthook Guides apps for backpacking on the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, and recommends using it as he has found it very helpful while hiking/biking in Ohio -- especially while on the Buckeye Trail Little Loop.
â€œHow to fix iPhone GPS issuesâ€ @Technobezz— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 7, 2020
Walking in a park. 2 GPS apps (â¦@googlemapsâ© & â¦@guthookguidesâ©) both showed me in wrong county. I finally fixed it.
I know how to read a map, so did know where I was on both apps but wanted GPS. https://t.co/PNHKPUKJwD
I took a photo of two squirrels in tree.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 7, 2020
Great afternoon walk @LakeMetroparks Chapin Forest https://t.co/HUuxlInpff
The @HikeTheBTâ€™s #BuckeyeTrail goes through this @LakeMetroparks park. https://t.co/L7iDQAfhqy pic.twitter.com/nmYwXNqQfV
Monday, June 8, 2020 - Gordon Park, City of Cleveland
When William J. Gordon died in 1892, he donated the land that became known as Gordon Park to the City of Cleveland under the condition that it would forever remain a free, public park. . . .
. . . some 122 acres of land along the shoreline near the spot where the Doan Brook enters Lake Erie. Gordon Park opened to the public in 1893 and quickly became a recreational destination for Clevelanders living on the east side.
In the decades after World War II, however, Gordon Park began to decline. Water pollution affected all of the city’s lakefront parks and Gordon Park was no exception. Swimming in particular became increasingly unsafe. Moreover, the late-1960s construction of a straighter route for I-90 (an upgrade of the Memorial Shoreway that the Works Progress Administration had built from East 9th Street to Gordon Park in the late 1930s) literally split the park in two, separating its lakefront areas from those further inland. Meanwhile, Doan Brook was culverted, and the area directly to the east of the park (Dike 14) became a dredge disposal site.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer announced the grand re-opening of the Gordon Park Cleveland Aquarium in its September 5, 1954 edition, citing it as the “most public institution of its kind.” The unique aspect of the Aquarium’s development in Gordon Park was the “brick by brick, fish by fish, and drop by drop” building of the facility by the Cleveland Aquarium Society, Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH), as well as volunteer “sportsmen, amateur marine biologists, teachers, housewives, and youngsters.” . . .
. . . By 1985, structural problems due to salt water corrosion emerged at the Gordon Park facility. Collapsed ceiling panels forced its closure in June, 1985 and further negotiations removed the Aquarium’s contents and program from CMNH oversight at Gordon Park to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 1986 with continued hope of a new facility at the Inner Harbor. Discussions among Aquarium supporters remained active through 2009, when developer Jeff Jacobs announced a project partnering with external developers and consultants to locate an Aquarium in the downtown flats.
We briefly stopped at the City of Cleveland's Gordon Park before going to the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, since our son, Kevin, had heard that the old Cleveland Aquarium building was still there. Kevin is very knowledgeable about, and interested in, Cleveland history. It was intriguing to see what remains of the old building, and wonder if more could be done with this property.
On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Stuart had attended a discussion about potential future plans for Cleveland's lakefront and riverfront. With the demolition of the FirstEnergy Lake Shore Power Plant in 2017, it will be interesting to see if there is an impact on the future of the City of Cleveland's Gordon Park. Read more about this 2016 Waterfront Panel in our blog post:
Blog Date: February 24, 2016 - Cleveland Waterfront Panel: Is Development Paying Off?
Be sure to see the articles about Gordon Park and the Cleveland Aquarium that I link to in the following tweets. Also note the online Twitter discussion that took place while we were writing this blog post. It includes new information about the Cleveland Lakefront.
Surprised to learn today that the old Cleveland Aquarium building still stands in @CityofCleveland Gordon Park. https://t.co/zDNG5mBkUr old photos via @ClevelandScene. https://t.co/scl1wa2UBn old photos via @ClevelandDotCom. https://t.co/IUXxTIRLPV pic.twitter.com/BbzA9iJbpt— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 8, 2020
I spent many a Saturday with my father in the building. Loved the sea horses!— BarbaraSandon Norris (@sandon53) June 8, 2020
. @sandon53, you might be interested in these historical articles from @CLEhistorical, @EncyCle_, and @CleStartsHere, that I shared with with @JoeCimperman: https://t.co/ptXYfjvFf8— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 28, 2020
I learned today that the old Cleveland Aquarium building still stands in @CityofCleveland Gordon Park.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 8, 2020
It is located across I-90 from the @PortOfCleveland Nature Preserve and @CleveMetroparks Lakefront Reservation East 72nd Fishing Area. https://t.co/IUXxTIRLPV pic.twitter.com/U1R63TRYph
That place was pure magic— joecimperman (@joecimperman) June 8, 2020
.@JoeCimperman, yes it was very interesting to see the location of the old #Cleveland #Aquarium building— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 28, 2020
Today, I am looking at the @CLEhistorical Gordon Park history https://t.co/QYgVz5LCu4 and @EncyCle_ https://t.co/tJkCrDfnAX and @CLEhistorical photos https://t.co/8gRdBxiq3N pic.twitter.com/oyysUQ40Z5
.@JoeCimperman, in 2016, I attended a panel discussion moderated by @Steven_Litt at @LakewoodLibrary that talked about Lake Shore Power Plant demolition's potential impact on Gordon Parkhttps://t.co/3G0XAQVM4x— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 28, 2020
It would be interesting to hear from this panel now with an update pic.twitter.com/f7QvyzMvuH
I grew up .5 mile away E74; the place to have this convo is in the @StClairSuperior @Famicos #glenville @asiatowncle community w/people who’ve been living with/under environmental/transportational injustice since before Mr. Porter. time for a completely new planning model.— joecimperman (@joecimperman) June 28, 2020
Count me in. https://t.co/QewsmGtxhx— Steven Litt (@steven_litt) June 28, 2020
That power plant ironically supplied power for the exurbs in the summer when the grid was stressed. The recipients of the residue? The lungs of the east side of @CityofCleveland— joecimperman (@joecimperman) June 28, 2020
And while we are at it ::: https://t.co/lOzq0vOv5G it’s time for cities and counties to make swimming lessons a priority for Black kids— joecimperman (@joecimperman) June 28, 2020
YES!@JoeCimperman, I know that pools are expensive to operate, but anytime I learn about a pool (with the opportunity for qualified staff to provide swimming lessons) closing or being replaced by a "Splash Parks," I get upset.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 28, 2020
It is saying you don't care if the kids drown!
Like this https://t.co/jT4gg445PP https://t.co/utDmBGAPBM— joecimperman (@joecimperman) June 28, 2020
Join @clevemetroparks and partners next Tuesday 6/30 @ 6pm to kick off the CHEERS plan! Share how you'd like to Embrace the Lake on the eastern side of the Lakefront. pic.twitter.com/PA9ANpEt2i— AsiaTown Cleveland (@asiatowncle) June 25, 2020
Yes!!! They did a great job!!!— AsiaTown Cleveland (@asiatowncle) June 26, 2020
@JoeCimperman, thanks for confirming that I knew about @CleveMetroparks meeting.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 28, 2020
I saw & shared @kbcoff tweet where she also shared @steven_litt article, and put the event in my personal calendar. https://t.co/VqiOz0RogU
I also later saw and shared the @asiatowncle tweet. pic.twitter.com/EV7uPKQ4AE
Thanks for getting the word out @asiatowncle @clevemetroparks @steven_litt @joecimperman @Famicos Working to hear from as many neighbors as possible in this plan for a resilient CLE lakefront incl. parks & neighborhoods https://t.co/SyXICrJiKd— Kelly Coffman (@kbcoff) June 28, 2020
@sos_jr https://t.co/83CEnqkDJN— joecimperman (@joecimperman) June 28, 2020
Director Daniel Moreno sits in a tank window, part of #Cleveland Aquarium's $350,000 addition in Gordon Park. In the bag he holds an arapaima now seven inches long, which will grow up to inhabit the 8000-gallon tank (1966). Source: @Cleve_Memory Photographer: Bill Nehez. pic.twitter.com/rAHpRPlEuM— John Skrtic (@SkrticX) June 28, 2020
Some of my fondest memories are in & around GORDON PARK! The Aquarium was a “crowning jewel”!— RICH STRANGER (@RichStranger) June 28, 2020
I know that IT has since been relocated closer to The Downtown destinations...And, I was so saddened to hear that Detroit’s Aquarium had fallen into a distinct decline, if it is open at
I loved that place. Sorry it's gone. The new one at the power house is cool tho, much better than I expected it to be. Still, I can still conjure memories of the old place.— Steve Schlaker (@schlaker_steve) June 28, 2020
6/30 @ 6PM: @clevemetroparks y @ODNR, @ODOT_Statewide, @CityofCleveland y @portofcleveland lo invitan a unirse a nosotros el martes para iniciar el proceso de planificación de un año para mejorar la #resiliencia de ¡Lakefront y las comunidades circundantes #CHEERS pic.twitter.com/PUi9urceVj— AsiaTown Cleveland (@asiatowncle) June 29, 2020
6/30 @ 6pm: @clevemetroparks, @ohiodnr, @ODOT_Statewide, @CityofCleveland, @portofcleveland ????????????????????????????????????????????????????#??????#CHEERS (the Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment ?????????) pic.twitter.com/SXsjsy8Qop— AsiaTown Cleveland (@asiatowncle) June 29, 2020
You're right @joecimperman, and that discussion kicks off in a virtual meeting Tuesday 6 p.m. as part of CHEERS study led by @clevemetroparks: https://t.co/qlfkDm4PWS Neighborhood access is part of the discussion. Details in my story in today's PD: https://t.co/JUHj50qXyj https://t.co/DBe5X5oown pic.twitter.com/Pzc9dY1FGu— Steven Litt (@steven_litt) June 28, 2020
TODAY: Cleveland Metroparks & partners invite you to join us at 6 p.m. to kick-off the year-long planning process for #CHEERS (the Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study)! https://t.co/CSS1yJxYn8 #TimeToExplore pic.twitter.com/vwJytBlzYT— Cleveland Metroparks (@clevemetroparks) June 30, 2020
Monday, June 8, 2020 - Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, Port of Cleveland
A unique urban wildlife haven on Lake Erie
The original shoreline at the site was part of the land William Gordon willed to the City of Cleveland in 1896 for use as a public park (now Gordon Park). In 1962, two old freighters were sunk offshore to create a breakwall to protect the park's beach. During this time it was not uncommon for solid waste to be dumped along the lakeshore. The waste eventually formed an approximately 10-acre area between the sunken freighters and the shoreline. The Preserve's land mass began taking shape in the late 1970's as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) disposed of sediment dredged from the Cuyahoga River in a walled-off area that juts out from the Lake Erie shoreline. The USACE placed sediment in a confined disposal facility (CDF) called Dike 14 from 1979-1999 as part of its program to dredge the Cuyahoga River. THe USACE designed the contours of Dike 14 to encompass the entire area. Over the years, layers of sediment - essentially sand, soil and clay - were placed within the walls of Dike 14, After the USACE stopped using Dike 14 as a CDF nature took hold, and with very little human intervention, the peninsula became filled with plants, trees and shrubs that attracted diverse species of birds and other wildlife. - now known as the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve (CLNP).
We have visited the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve at all different times of the year, and it has a different feel during each season. Our first time here was in wintry weather, which contrasted greatly with this warm, summer day. We also saw others enjoying a walk in this park while we were there. This was the first time our son, Kevin, had visited.
â€œurban #wildlife haven on #LakeErieâ€— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 8, 2020
â€œoriginal shoreline at the site was part of the land William Gordon willed to the @CityofCleveland in 1896 for use as a public parkâ€@PortOfCleveland #Lakefront Nature Preserve & @CleveMetroparks Lakefront Reservationhttps://t.co/6mQLNmr7EE pic.twitter.com/zK6SRvrJqd
â€œA unique urban #wildlife haven on #LakeErieâ€— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 8, 2020
There are great views here of the @CityofCleveland and Lake Erie. @PortOfCleveland #Lakefront Nature Preserve & @CleveMetroparks #Cleveland Lakefront Reservation Headquarters.https://t.co/6mQLNmr7EE pic.twitter.com/bppoxJ0bb4
Enjoy the warm weather today and commemorate #BlackBirdersWeek at our Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, home to 280 species of birds. All who wish to participate can follow the hashtag #BlackBirdersWeek on Twitter and Instagram. pic.twitter.com/0Qhz6S3VNj— Port of Cleveland (@portofcleveland) June 5, 2020
We are creating a community-focused resiliency plan for the eastern Cleveland lakeshore that will Embrace the Lake as an asset for future generations. The year-long study will focus on leveraging nature-based solutions to improve the environment, reconnect communities to the lake, enhance public health and wellness, bolster the economy, and improve aquatic and terrestrial habitats. We will be working with partners, stakeholders, and the community to identify priorities and interventions to improve resilience in the study area and adjoining neighborhoods. Preliminary technical design will explore project feasibility and advance select project components towards implementation.
While we were writing this blog post, we learned of a meeting about future developments for Cleveland's lakefront, including Gordon Park and Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve. Stuart attended the June 30, 2020, CHEERS (Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study) meeting, and recommends that if you want to learn more or give feedback to the organizations making plans for the future of our lakefront, go to: ClevelandMetroparks.com/Cheers
6pm and the @CleveMetroparks zoom (Meeting ID: 981 7190 4243 Password: CHEERS) for the CHEERS (Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study) is online via: https://t.co/LLPGEYQXqI— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
Partners: @CityofCleveland, @ohiodnr, @PortOfCleveland pic.twitter.com/xutFVDkl47
. @kbcoff introduces the CHEERS (Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study) partners: @CityofCleveland, @ohiodnr, @PortOfCleveland and @ODOT_Statewide. https://t.co/ckvl2zeBQt— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
A topic I am interested in: https://t.co/lK37lYNtoXhttps://t.co/67A5VkRQjJ pic.twitter.com/FCNbQcGsaJ
CHEERS! My neighborhood! @StClairSuperior @Famicos @MidTownCleInc @asiatowncle @clevemetroparks @CEO_CleMetParks thank you!!! Such a magical place @CityofCleveland !! We are with you all 100%! pic.twitter.com/K4pACV0NKB— joecimperman (@joecimperman) June 30, 2020
CHEERS (#Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study) is a 12 month project.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
5 community meetings, and other opportunities for the community to give feedback to @CleveMetroparks @CityofCleveland @ohiodnr @PortOfCleveland @ODOT_Statewide.
Go to: https://t.co/2nvzj2hyTK pic.twitter.com/quHqydmGQe
CHEERS (#Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study) -- "improve the area's resilience to challenges."https://t.co/2nvzj2hyTK— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
Partners: @CleveMetroparks @CityofCleveland @ohiodnr @PortOfCleveland @ODOT_Statewide. pic.twitter.com/OBHf01hMSV
Interesting small group talk about CHEERS about parks I just visited & writing a blog post about tonighthttps://t.co/PfCHCZUnp3https://t.co/TyWgvi0RSRhttps://t.co/ycKVyDh1sYhttps://t.co/2nvzj2hyTK@CleveMetroparks @CityofCleveland @ohiodnr @PortOfCleveland @ODOT_Statewide pic.twitter.com/PSpM2YuagH— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
Good to see @KhrysCLE from the @Famicos Foundation sharing her small group recommendations at the CHEERS (#Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study) online meeting.https://t.co/2nvzj2hyTK@CleveMetroparks @CityofCleveland @ohiodnr @PortOfCleveland @ODOT_Statewide pic.twitter.com/SaCClvBnpa— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
Thank you, @CleveMetroparks, @kbcoff & everyone, for CHEERS (#Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study) online meeting#Cleveland area citizens go to https://t.co/2nvzj2hyTK to give feedback@CleveMetroparks @CityofCleveland @ohiodnr @PortOfCleveland @ODOT_Statewide pic.twitter.com/8GakiG2Td1— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
Study area part of @OECanalway National Heritage Area - why a secret? -and hope Metroparks will discuss Industrial Heartland Trail Coalition @railstotrails more. @NOACA_MPO opportunities for regional trail networks plus @Amtrak bike aboard CLE-PITT-DC @TheCLE #tourism pic.twitter.com/lEoq983UEs— Laura McShane (@LauraMcShaneCLE) June 30, 2020
we are so lucky to have you SOS :)— Laura McShane (@LauraMcShaneCLE) June 30, 2020
.@LauraMcShaneCLE I was talking tonight in my CHEERS (#Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study) small group about work of @railstotrails & others to build Industrial Heartland Trail Coalition #IHeartTrails. https://t.co/2nvzj2hyTK— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) July 1, 2020
Great idea!https://t.co/jORlbG6EZX pic.twitter.com/G8vugQpwR8
Yes, very interesting work now that can have a big benefit to people in the Cleveland community in the future.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) July 1, 2020
Thanks for participating and sharing this info!— Kelly Coffman (@kbcoff) July 1, 2020
What. A. Kickoff. To. A. Real. Inclusive. Thoughtful. Planning. Process. To. Connect. Us. To. Our. Mother. The. Water. And. To. Do. For. The. East. Side. Which. Should. Have. Been. From. The. Beginning. I am all in leaders, let’s do this. PS. This is a big deal !!! pic.twitter.com/xlrhLp5vL2— joecimperman (@joecimperman) July 1, 2020
@KhrysCLE is where I want to be— lillian kuri (@lilliankuri) July 1, 2020
@sos_jr nice to be in the chat room with you Lord Stuart!— joecimperman (@joecimperman) July 1, 2020
I could talk for DAYS ABOUT THIS GEOGRAPHY/PLACE/MAGICLAND— joecimperman (@joecimperman) July 1, 2020
The good work of healing our land goes on, ty @Famicos @CityofCleveland @SeanMcDermottCM @CleCityCouncil @ODOT_Cleveland @portofcleveland @asiatowncle @StClairSuperior @WRLConservancy @lilliankuri @chrisronayne @citybobbrown https://t.co/jjGqXHH3Og— joecimperman (@joecimperman) July 1, 2020
#GreatLake #BigDeal #LetsDoThis https://t.co/4ZgrzZRNM7— Famicos Foundation (@Famicos) July 1, 2020
During the June 30, 2020, CHEERS (Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study) meeting, the topic of tying the the lakefront to the existing larger trail network was discussed. In addition to our February 24, 2016, blog post Cleveland Waterfront Panel: Is Development Paying Off?, which we mention above, the following blog posts contain information about regional trail resources that could tie into the new lakefront work of CHEERS:
Blog Date: April 23, 2019 - Great Turnout for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Opening Day for Trails - Cleveland 2019
Blog Date: April 17, 2018 - Rails-to-Trails Conservancy - Opening Day for Trails Cleveland!
This was the first year that Cleveland was a featured location for this national event. The fact that Rails-to-Trails Conservancy included Cleveland as one of the few locations in the nation to kick off the trail-use season, shows the strength of our community in making trails happen.
Blog Date: September 23, 2015 - Eastside Greenway - A Vision for a Future Eastside Cleveland Bikeway
Blog Date: September 11, 2014 - "Take a Hike" - Cleveland's Flats & Beyond!
Monday, June 8, 2020 - North Chagrin Reservation, Cleveland Metroparks
Since the 1920s, North Chagrin Reservation has been a special combination of outdoor recreation areas and wildlife sanctuaries. North Chagrin trails and picnic areas feature woodlands and wetlands as important characteristics of this large reservation. Located in Mayfield Village, Willoughby Hills and Gates Mills, the reservation includes a nature center and nature education building. Sanctuary Marsh and Sunset Pond are both popular areas to observe waterfowl, and Squire’s Castle is an interesting historical site.
After a day of visiting parks, we decided to end our day with a picnic dinner. It is always important to leave the park better than you found it, but during the COVID-19 crisis, it is extra important to pack out what you bring in.
Enjoying picnic dinner in @CleveMetroparks— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 8, 2020
Remember during the #coronavirus crisis that the @CleveMetroparks asks â€œâ€˜Pack in, pack outâ€™: bring a suitable trash bag for any disposable items you may have. Leaving no trash behind helps protect employees.â€ https://t.co/YrJ45jXwmb pic.twitter.com/6vw6YHn0En
Today is World Oceans Day AND National Get Outdoors Day! Take some time to connect with the outdoors and think about the importance of oceans to our planet.#WorldOceansDay #LendAHandCareForTheLand #NationalGetOutdoorsDay pic.twitter.com/drNbB11f4e— Woodsy Owl (@WoodsyOwl) June 8, 2020
Sunset pond in the @CleveMetroparks. https://t.co/VCbBorcMhF— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 8, 2020
â€œSince the 1920s, North Chagrin Reservation has been a special combination of outdoor recreation areas and wildlife sanctuaries. ... Sanctuary Marsh and Sunset Pond are both popular areas to observe waterfowlâ€ pic.twitter.com/BYjpbvnpAS
137% Increase in Usage Reported by Cleveland Metroparks
â€œI've seen over a 137% increase in usage. And so we've really tried to promote 'pack in pack out,' but there are certain situations where people aren't taking it homeâ€ says @CEO_CleMetParks— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 12, 2020
During the #COVID19 crisis 'pack in pack out' is important when visiting @CleveMetroparks https://t.co/JHU6oRCRER pic.twitter.com/H6BrOWlguP
During the #COVID19 crisis, I have been visiting a lot of parks.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 12, 2020
When you picnic in the @CleveMetroparks and in other parks systems, please help out by â€˜pack in, pack outâ€™ your trash.
Read more #coronavirus safety tips on @CleveMetroparks website https://t.co/ddFYqBlgIi https://t.co/4xlStaqMRM
Friendly reminder: Do your part to keep Northeast Ohio clean as parks, beaches reopen. @LindsayBuckWKYC takes a closer look at the trash that's piling up with tips on how you can help https://t.co/HapOxX9VhU— WKYC 3News (@wkyc) June 12, 2020
Friday, June 12, 2020 - Emerald Necklace Marina, Rocky River Reservation, Cleveland Metroparks
Located in the heart of the scenic Rocky River Reservation, Emerald Necklace Marina is a full-service recreational boating facility approximately 5,000 feet south of Lake Erie.
Cleveland Metroparks has been operating Emerald Necklace Marina since 2016.
After doing our first @CleveMetroparks #TrailChallenge activity for 2020 -- a 10-mile morning bike ride starting at the Rocky River Reservation Nature Center -- we visited the Emerald Necklace Marina. This was our first time visiting this marina. (Watch for our future blog post about the Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge 2020.)
In addition to visiting the Trail Challenge presented by Cigna web page, you can learn about the Challenge in our blog post from the first year of this fun program:
- Blog Date: December 29, 2017 - Cleveland Metroparks Inaugural Trail Challenge!
We hope to return again to the Emerald Necklace Marina later this summer, when we do the Trail Challenge of kayaking on the Rocky River!
After my bike ride, I stop at @CleveMetroparks Emerald Necklace Marina. https://t.co/469gn0XjIi— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 12, 2020
See Jet Skis, kayaks, and many other boats on the Rocky River.
Many people fishing here. pic.twitter.com/iG4FcExm62
While at @CleveMetroparks Emerald Necklace Marina, I learned about #kayak rentals at @kayak41north https://t.co/teL9kBbwQx— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 12, 2020
I also talked trail with #Cleveland Outpost Gear Exchange owner, who thru-hiked the @AT_Conservancyâ€™s Appalachian Trail in 2016. https://t.co/kyJG24cDjo pic.twitter.com/TpYXnIOkkc
June 12, 2020
Friday, June 12, 2020 - Edgewater Park, Cleveland Metroparks
The 147 acre Edgewater Park is the westernmost park in Cleveland Metroparks Lakefront Reservation. Edgewater Park features 9000 feet of shoreline, dog and swim beaches, boat ramps, fishing pier, picnic areas and grills and a rentable pavilion.
Sunset dinner on a beach in Cleveland! A perfect end to our day of outdoor social distancing!
I decided to end the day of enjoying our local parks by having a late dinner watching the #sunset over #LakeErie at the @CleveMetroparksâ€™ #EdgewaterPark. #Cleveland #Metroparks #Lakefront Reservation.https://t.co/oBYdCOD2bi#ThisIsCLE #summer #fun!! pic.twitter.com/4eNGS4ee3Z— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 13, 2020
June 13, 2020
Monday, June 29, 2020 - Euclid Beach Park, Cleveland Metroparks
Once the site of the famous Euclid Beach Amusement Park, Euclid Beach Park now features a 650’ beach with shaded picnic areas, a scenic observation pier and a reservable pavilion. Though it closed in 1969, signs of the amusement park including the shuffleboard area, remnants of the beachside fountain and concrete footers of the Flying Turns roller coaster are still visible.
The new pier is 315-feet long and 16 to 24 feet wide, extending 150 feet over Lake Erie. The newest park amenity was designed to improve accessibility and offers guests clear views of the downtown skyline and historic Euclid Beach shoreline that can be enjoyed from permanent benches and Adirondack chairs. The pier features three custom archways that pay homage to the historic park and former Euclid Beach Amusement Park. Silhouettes by local artist Brinsley Tyrrell are incorporated in the ironwork and feature images of dancers, carousel horses, steamships, the Thriller Car, Rocket Ship Car, Laughing Sal, and more.
Visiting the Cleveland Metroparks Euclid Beach Park for a sunset was the perfect place for our last park visit of June 2020!!
To learn more about the park, and the history of the Euclid Beach amusement park, please read our Euclid Beach blog posts:
Blog Date: May 20, 2020 - Social Distancing: Visiting More Parks and Park Campsite Information
See the section about our May 2, 2020, visit to the Euclid Beach on the 110th birthday of the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel. Julie and our son, Kevin F. Smith, are on the Board of Euclid Beach Park Now, and Julie is a ride attendant at the restored Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel at the Cleveland History Center.
- Blog Date: October 21, 2019 - Celebrating 50 Years of Fond Memories of Euclid Beach Park
2019 was a VERY special Year for Euclid Beach Park!
* For the amusement park, it represented 50 years of memories.
* For our family, it represented a new role for Julie and for our son, Kevin.
* For the Cleveland Metroparks, it represented fulfillment of a plan to honor Cleveland's history while better serving Cleveland's Collinwood community.
Came to @CleveMetroparks’ #EuclidBeach to watch the #sunset over #LakeErie. https://t.co/7MyHHbMzXL— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
Great to see many people here enjoying the park this evening.
Thanks to the @ohiodnr, @CleveFoundation, and @CleveMetroparks for the pier. It looks great. pic.twitter.com/xmQzP6gPqz
Came to @CleveMetroparks’ #EuclidBeach to watch the #sunset over #LakeErie. https://t.co/7MyHHbMzXL— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
This tree still has remains of old wires and a light fixture from #EuclidBeachPark that closed in 1969. https://t.co/b5wCXzM0tw pic.twitter.com/qCfmPiSyAA
#Sunset over #LakeErie at @CleveMetroparks’ #EuclidBeach. https://t.co/7MyHHbMzXL#ThisIsCLE pic.twitter.com/tR5TKrn6Xo— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
I talk to some people here, and we agree that this is the place to be — in @CityofCleveland enjoying the #sunset over #LakeErie at @CleveMetroparks’ #EuclidBeach.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
#Sunset on #LakeErie at @CleveMetroparks’ #EuclidBeach https://t.co/7MyHHbMzXL#ThisIsCLE history remembered by the #EuclidBeachPark pier supported by @CleveFoundation & @ohiodnr— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) June 30, 2020
Visit @CleStartsHere to see the carousel that was here until the amusement park closed in 1969 pic.twitter.com/ujbXgICSuE
Social Distancing Blog Posts
Our park walks, Stuart's hikes on the Buckeye Trail, and online events are filling the void caused by so many activities being canceled. Most of the venues that we write our sosAssociates.com/Blog posts about are currently closed. Our "Social Distancing" blog posts capture some of our current activities. Once the coronavirus crisis is over, it will be interesting to read these to see the contrast between these times and "normal life."
Blog Date: June 16, 2020 - WordCamp Kent 2020 Online & Beyond
Blog Date: May 20, 2020 - Social Distancing: Visiting More Parks and Park Campsite Information
- Blog Date: May 6, 2020 - Social Distancing with Virtual Trail Talks #CelebrateTrails #VirtualTrailDays
Blog Date: April 23, 2020 - Social Distancing with Park Walks & Online Life
Blog Date: April 8, 2020 - Humor and Creativity on the Twitterverse While Social Distancing
Blog Date: March 30, 2020 - Peaceful Parks While Social Distancing
If you are interested in reading related blog posts, please see: