After a “warm-up” hike at Springfield Bog, I navigated while Keith drove to our second park of the morning: Firestone Metro Park.
I had looked at a park map before we headed out, and though I saw that the Redwing Trail (the Spree choice) was most easily accessed from the Tuscarawas Shelter on the east side of the park, we could also park at Coventry Oaks on the west side and follow a short connector trail to this easy loop.
You do know, of course, that maps don’t always give you the whole picture, right? So looking at the map did not prepare me for the hill going right down from the parking area to the trails. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a difficult hill, but it did make me briefly wish for hiking poles and added a little extra exertion at the end of the hike. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
The Redwing Trail takes an easy, meandering 1.1-mi loop through that part of the park, and we started walking through the wetlands and woods along the Tuscarawas River. After emerging in a wildflower meadow near the Tusc Shelter, we returned to the woods on our way to Little Turtle Pond, where we found a number of kids lined up to fish. A path around the pond led us back to the end of our trail loop and another pass by the river.
A popular trail, we encountered several other hikers along the way, including families, joggers, and dog walkers. But by the time we reached that hill back up to our parking area, we were on our own again.
And that turned out to be a gift. As I huffed my way up the hill, I stopped short and pointed at two does crossing the meadow at the top of the path. I couldn’t complain about that little climb after such a magical moment!
Over a post-hike tea break, I persuaded Keith that we should find an early lunch before tackling a third Spree hike for the day. Guess that dose of Vitamin N(ature) really perked me up!
Just how many hikes can you squeeze in one day?