On such a beautiful day, I just want to keep going and going on our explorations of the Summit Metro Parks. And since my hiking buddy Keith hadn’t been able to join me on my first Spree hike at Silver Creek Metro Park, I proposed we stop there on the way home so he could log the walk and get caught up to me.
Since I had walked the Pheasant Run Trail clockwise last time, I decided we should walk it counterclockwise this time so that I could enjoy different perspectives and views. This meant we found the pond earlier in our hike than before, and we could appreciate the turtles sunning on logs in the water before we slipped back into the woods. We also had a different, sunnier approach to the white pine grove, my favorite spot on the trail.
As we finished the last stretch through the wildflower meadow, I could see rain clouds heading in from the west. But surprisingly, I still wasn’t quite worn out, so I asked Keith if he wanted to explore the Chippewa Trail, heading out from the other end of the parking lot.
Keith has earned the privilege (or burden?) of being my favorite hiking partner because he never pushes me too hard, lets me set the pace, and is generally happy to hike as much or as little as I am. He’s even patient with me as I stop to take photos! So it’s no surprise he shrugged and agreed to carry on.
The 2-mi Chippewa Trail took us across the access road, through woods and meadows below the lake dam, and across reclaimed farmland that was formerly part of Harter Dairy Farm. At one point the trail emerged from the woods with a scenic view to the old farmstead, recently restored by the park.
Along the trail, we found information signs to point out different tree species and explain their roles in the forest ecosystem. As we had been lamenting our limited recognition of different trees, we both found this to be very useful!
By the end of the loop, we both wanted to return to the truck and call it a day. After four hikes totaling almost 7 miles — more than either of us has walked in a long time — we happily ended our adventures and headed for the nearest ice cream parlor for sustenance.
Seven Spree hikes down!