Unlike many of our National Parks, the Cleveland Metroparks have free admission. My favorite thing to do in the Metroparks is to walk on the paved trails, in all seasons. I most often walk in the Rocky River Reservation because it’s closest to home, but occasionally I walk in the other reservations for a change of scenery. The differences among them are remarkable.
Even though summer is winding down, there’s still time to complete the . The challenge is to complete at least 10 of 25 trails before Dec. 31. The trails differ in length and difficulty, but there’s no need to be a hero. You can walk 10 of the “easy” trails and still complete the challenge. You choose how much of a challenge you want to take on. Speaking of which, have any of you climbed the Fort Hill stairs near the Rocky River Nature Center? I haven’t, but it’s a goal.
If you’re not interested in competing, you can use the trails at your leisure. You also can picnic, golf, fish, kayak, try stand-up paddleboarding and go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or tobogganing, weather permitting. The parks also offer great opportunities for picture taking and bird watching. Some activities do require a charge, so check the website for details about what interests you.
also is part of the system. Most days the zoo charges admission, but residents of Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township are admitted free on Mondays (excluding holidays). There are on admission, too. For you hardy souls, admission is half-price when the temperature is below 32 degrees. I haven’t taken advantage of that discount, but it’s probably a good option if you don’t like crowds. One caveat: Not all the animals can be out in cold weather.