Public Places: Parks/Reservations
Caley is a semideveloped park reserved for wildlife and nature study. Its 507 acres include wetlands, forest, and field habitats, including two large ponds and Wellington Creek, which runs roughly through the middle of the reservation. Two popular activities include wildflower hikes and fishing, but visitors are welcome just to come and enjoy the quiet and natural beauty of this unique park.
Carlisle is the largest of the Lorain County Metro Parks, encompassing 1,820 acres, with the Forest Hills Golf Course at the northeastern end. Carlisle also offers a large variety of events and activities throughout the year and is home to the administrative offices of the entire park system.
The ruggedly beautiful reserve is home to about 240 species of native plants, including ferns, wildflowers, trees, and shrubs growing in the gravelly soil of the park. Visitors are asked to take only pictures and to leave the plants, flowers, and other natural features of the reserve for others to enjoy.
Charlemont is a 757-acre, undeveloped park located in the main farming region of southern Lorain County. It's the only reservation in the Lorain County Metro Parks system that allows rabbit and pheasant hunting. The park is also a favorite of horseback riders, who are free to enjoy the equestrian trails built and maintained by the Lorain County chapter of the Ohio Horse Council.
The Coupling Reserve is made up of 20 sloping and river-bottom acres. The reserve was donated to the Erie MetroParks in 1991 by the nonprofit Coupling Corporation, which for years had operated the property as a spiritual retreat center. Built around a historic railroad theme, the reserve grounds are open to the general public from 8 a.m. to dark year-round.
DuPont Marsh is one of the best riverine marshes remaining in Ohio and is an excellent site for viewing wildlife. Most of the preserve consists of a marsh situated along the edge of the Huron River.
Edison Woods Preserve offers a variety of opportunities to enjoy a relaxing and educational visit with nature within its more than 1,300 acres. The trail system at Edison Woods allows visitors to appreciate marshy meadows, wet woodlands, and sandstone cliffs. The reserve is also home to a vast array of wildflowers, rare plants, amphibians, and reptiles.
Once a state forest, Findley State Park is wooded with stately pines and various hardwoods. The scenic hiking trails allow nature lovers to view spectacular wildflowers and observe wildlife. The fields, forests, and quiet waters offer a peaceful refuge for visitors.
Geneva State Park reflects the character and charisma of Lake Erie. The shimmering expanse of the lake lures vacationers who enjoy fishing and boating. Swimmers rejoice in the beautiful sand beach, while nature enthusiasts retreat to the park's freshwater marshes and estuaries associated with the lake.
Hoffman Forest Reserve provides a delightful respite from the sights and sounds of urban life. Several unpaved trails begin near the parking lot and loop through the reserve. Trails wander through diverse habitats, over and through creeks, up hillsides, and around a meadow.
Hogback Ridge Park, one of the first Lake Metroparks, is named for its most prominent natural feature: a high, narrow ridge of land bounded on two sides by steep valleys. This type of ridge is named for its resemblance to the bony spine of a hog.
With two reservable picnic shelters, a playground and soccer field, and nearly two miles of trails, this is a great place to visit, walk, picnic, bike, or just relax and listen to the trees.
Highlighting a vast collection of flowering crab apple trees, the serene setting introduces visitors to a variety of ever-changing formal and ornamental plants and flower gardens throughout its 50 acres. A paved pathway leads visitors on a scenic stroll along the banks of William J. Parker Lake, which supports fish, wildlife, aquatic plants, and migrating birds, as well as the resident swans.
This undeveloped reservation once housed the city of Oberlin's water supply and was known as the Kipton Reservoir. The current reservation is now used for horseback riding along unimproved trails that loop around the old reservoir. The trails were created and are maintained by the Erie and Lorain County chapters of the Ohio Horse Council. This is a primitive area, and there are no restroom facilities. Picnicking is prohibited.
This property was once owned by 10 people who had summer or permanent residences along Lake Erie. Several property boundaries are still visible because of tree lines that remain.
Old Woman Creek is the smallest reserve in the National Estuarine Research System. It is also the only Great Lakes-type, freshwater estuary in the system. The reserve features freshwater marshes, swamp forests, a barrier beach, upland forest, and estuarine waters near Lake Erie.
Osborn Park offers its visitors 163 acres in which to enjoy nature and recreational activities. Acquired in separate parcels, the park's first and largest area of 160 acres was donated by the Erie County Commission, which purchased it from the state in 1974.
The name given to the area comes from one of the previous owners of the property. His daughter, named Princess, liked to play on the sandstone ledges located on the property, thus the name "Princess Ledges." The beautiful ledges on the site become a fascinating site in the winter, as ice forms from springs flowing from the rock formations. This area is heavily wooded and offers an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers.
Punderson State Park boasts a natural lake, resort manor house, family cottages, golf course, and scenic campgrounds. It provides myriad recreational opportunities for visitors. Punderson is also Ohio's premier winter sports park. Sledding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are all at their best.
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