This weekend’s forecast has called for rain off and on, but when I checked this morning and found that the rain might hold off until late afternoon, I decided to take a chance and head north to walk the Chippewa Rail Trail.
Another relatively flat, wide, paved trail ideal for biking, this rail trail passes farmland on one side and the country club golf course on the other — quite a contrast. I kept looking for signs of spring along the way and discovered a couple patches of coltsfoot in bloom as well as several red-winged blackbirds.
The wind picked up as I headed north, though the temperature remained in the unseasonably balmy 60s, so I happily turned around to head back once I’d reached my goal. And by finishing this trail, I’ve also completed my goal of hiking all the trails in the Medina County Parks. Since that was worth a celebration, I stopped for ice cream on the way home. Huzzah!
So what were my favorite parts of this county park system? There are a few parks that will likely make it into my list of return hikes, just so I can enjoy the change of seasons: Allardale, Buckeye Woods and Schleman Nature Preserve, Hubbard Valley, Killbuck Lakes, Medina Marsh, and River Styx. Most of these are about half an hour to 45 minutes from home, so they will provide some lovely quick getaways for me.
I’ve discovered I’m not particularly a fan of rail trails, though I appreciate the occasional easy hike. I imagine these trails are more appealing for cyclists, but I find them a bit dull and prone to creating too much stress on my hips and lower back (due to limited movement from keeping to one steady walking stride, instead of the stretch I get from climbing hills).
Most of all, exploring these parks has helped me appreciate a county I rarely visit, and I wish my own county had a similar network of public parks that would allow me to explore more of the world around me.
I’ll shift my efforts to my other hiking goals now, but I’ll be back in Medina County again soon!