Public Places: Parks/Reservations
More than 400 acres of natural beauty. Enjoy hiking trails, picnic shelters, exhibits, a gift shop, and wildlife center.
The falls were once called Bakers Falls, named for the Baker family, who had lived in the area since the early 1800s and operated one of the first mills. In 1974, the area was named Paine Falls, at which time it was dedicated as a park by Lake Metroparks.
The district features 28 parks, two golf courses, three lakefront locations, nature and wildlife centers, and agricultural theme park.
In 1993, Lake Metroparks acquired 101 acres along the Chagrin River, located in the communities of Eastlake and Willoughby. Most of the park's natural areas are made up of dense shrubs, with pockets of mature forest bordering wetland areas. The Chagrin River is the park's southern boundary. Look for great blue herons, kingfishers, bank swallows, and sandpipers near the river.
The reservation includes a nature center and nature-education building, a number of trails, and picnic areas. Sanctuary Marsh and Sunset Pond are both popular areas to observe waterfowl. The reservation is also home to Manakiki Golf Course, located off SOM Center and Eddy roads in Willoughby Hills.
The Walter C. Best Preserve features a 30-acre lake that attracts ducks, geese, grebes, mergansers, gulls, terns, and herons at various times of the year. More than 100 species of birds have been sighted on Best Preserve's 101 acres.
The outdoor sculpture known as "Squaw Rock" in South Chagrin Reservation was carved by artist and blacksmith Henry Church in 1885. During his life, the American Indians knew only hardship at the hands of white settlers. Henry Church was compelled to tell the story of the American Indians. He called this work The Rape of the Indians by the White Man.
Girdled Road Reservation was purchased by Lake Metroparks in 1965. It is named for the first road that the early European settlers built from the Pennsylvania line to the new city of Cleveland in the early 1800s.
This 642-acre tract, primarily covered with a mature beech-maple forest, is bisected by Big Creek. Many species of neotropical songbirds migrate from equatorial rainforests to nest in Big Creek Park; wildlife watchers also enjoy spotting deer, turtles, beaver, and small woodland animals.
The trademark of this park is its mile-long sand beach, the largest in the state. In addition to its popularity during the summer season with picnickers and swimmers, the area is home to many plant species typically found only along the Atlantic Coast.
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