Gazette Managing Editor Liz Sheaffer and her sometimes faithful companion, Abby, are participating in the Medina County Park District’s Trekking Through Autumn, a self-guided hiking program.
What once served as a township dump is now more than 260 acres of natural wonders.
Only two Plum Creek Park trails are part of the Trekking Through Autumn program this year, but the day Abby and I visited the temperature was in the low 60s and sunlight streamed through leaves beginning to burst with autumn’s colors.
Days like this have been rare since, so we took advantage of the temperate weather and hiked all four trails on the park’s north and south sides.
The half-mile All Persons Trail, aptly named because individuals of all mobility levels easily can travel the wide, paved path, serves as a kind of hub from which all trails are accessible.
When not on the paved path, the 1.5-mile Tulip Trail, named for a stand of tulip poplars, might be challenging for a hiking novice, although wooden steps help trekkers up and down ravines.
Leaves littered this path and others the day we hiked, which meant being mindful of our steps and where each of the other nature trails — Hidden Creek Interpretive and Deer Run, both a half-mile — led.
As we looped from one trail to another, I marveled — Abby was absorbed with smells and movement in the trees — at tree vines that are works of art and muted colors reminiscent of a Monet painting reflected in the Pine Pond on the north side and another on the south side.
The uniqueness of this park, opened in 1980, is that so much beauty rises from the former Brunswick Township landfill.
The park district and other groups came together to preserve the area from development, including Friends of the Plum Creek Park and Medina Summit Land Conservancy. The Friends helped secure a Clean Ohio grant toward purchasing park land by raising $100,000 in matching funds.
Over the years, the park district has added more than 160 acres to the original 30-acre landfill, and there’s some 60 acres of a mature forest and meadow to explore as well as a vernal pool, accessible from the Tulip Trail.
Although we spent about 2ﾽ hours hiking throughout the park and exploring fall’s splendor, Abby and I plan to return in the spring. That’s when the dogwood and tulip trees will bloom and there will be fresh scents to amuse Abby.
Contact Managing Editor Liz Sheaffer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (330) 721-4060.