A chilly start to the day couldn’t stop my friend Keith and I from packing our day packs, grabbing hiking poles, and heading over to Akron at first light to visit a couple more of the Summit Metro Parks for the SMP Spree. We started at Munroe Falls Metro Park (the Lake Area) so that we could tackle the Indian Springs Trail and get a “moderate” hike out of the way first thing.
The trail led us into the woods, first passing the still, algae-covered beaver pond and then climbing and winding through stands of beeches, maples, and other tall trees. The hills as well as the twists and turns in the path kept this morning hike interesting for us, and it was (as always) such a treat to walk through sun-dappled woods to start the day.
Eventually the trail wound back around to a wetter area, including the Heron Pond (pictured above) that glowed with light and fall color. Such a peaceful place!
When we finished the trail — our 8th for the Spree, which means technically we met the goal! — we sat on the truck’s tailgate and enjoyed our tea and scone while watching the morning light dance on the swimming lake. It’s a hard life, I know.
Since we were in the area, I suggested we visit the other portion of Munroe Falls Metro Park, at Tallmadge Meadows, and hike the Meadow Trail even though it isn’t on the Spree list. Though this 2-mi trail goes back through the woods for a while, most of it winds through the wildflower meadow that makes up most of this park.
Talk about a gorgeous place! Bright sunshine, blue skies, and puffy white clouds highlighted all the golds and reds among the trees as well as the golds, browns, whites, and purples among the wildflowers. We saw and heard a different variety of songbirds along this trail, as well as grasshoppers, beetles, and other creatures getting a last taste of summer. We walked much of this trail in silence, just appreciating the sounds around us and basking in the morning glow.
The trail reminded me in some ways of Oak Hill Park, closer to home, but it had enough differences to keep me craning my neck around to see everything: a different mix of wildflowers, different concentrations of wildflowers in different areas, different vistas.
What a beautiful morning!