Greater Akron — As the weather turns colder and snowier, Summit Metro Parks has plenty of winter activities for people of all ages.
“Spending more time at home in the winter can lead to feelings of isolation,” said Claire Merrick, marketing and public relations manager for Summit Metro Parks. “Whether it’s meeting up with friends on a winter hike on the trails or joining Metro-Her Parks program, getting out of the house and into nature can help you fight cabin fever and connect with others. .”
She added that spending time outdoors, including during the winter months, can improve a person’s physical and mental health.
Winter sports offered in the park include sledding, ice skating, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Sledding is offered at the following locations: Firestone Metro Park (Warner Road area), 200 E. Warner Road and (Tuskalawas Meadows area), 2620 Harrington Road. Goodyear Heights Metro Park (main entrance), 2077 Newton Street. Sand Run Metro Park (North Hawkins area), 800 N. Hawkins Ave.
Ice skating is available on the Sand Run (Big Bend area).
Ice fishing is offered at Nimisila Reservoir (Lot C4) at 5550 Christman Road in Green and Silver Creek Metro Park at 5000 S. Hametown Road in Norton.
Cross-country skiing is available at Firestone (Warner Road area, Redwing Trail, Walking Trail, Willow Trail). Goodyear Heights (cross-country trails), 550 Frazier Ave.; Silver Creek (cross-country trails), 4579 Medina Line Road, Norton (Pheasant Run Area, Chippewa and Pheasant Run Trails). Springfield Bog Metro Park (Prairie Trail), 1400 Portage Line Road.
Merrick said he recommends checking park and trail alerts posted on summitmetroparks.org to stay up-to-date before visiting the parks. Officials also recommend that visitors dress in layers and bring water, as the water fountains are closed during the winter months.
Visitors can check hours of operation by visiting the website above or by calling 330-867-5511. Most areas of the park are open daily from 6am to 11pm.
Visit bit.ly/SMP-WinterSports to check sledding conditions and for other winter sports offerings and locations.
If snow conditions permit, Botler Park at 5300 Massillon Road in the City of Green is also available for sledding.
Additionally, winter activities are offered at Lock 3 at 200 S. Main St. in Downtown Akron. Times and prices for ice skating, ice bumper cars, and ice bikes vary. For more information, call 330-375-2877 or visit www.lock3live.com/winteractivities.