What is a unique Cleveland park to visit?

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Answered by: Kimberly, An Expert in the Parks and Recreation Category
It's the time of year when outdoor pools are closing, children are headed back to school, and the air is getting cooler. Fall is approaching. It will soon be time to pick out Halloween costumes, pumpkins to carve, and candy to pass out to the trick-or-treaters. With the beauty of changing leaves fast approaching, why not take your family to a unique Cleveland park to enjoy the colors of the season?

If you venture to 24000 Valley Parkway in North Olmsted, you will find yourself at the Rocky River Nature Center. The nature center has a deck available for visitors to enjoy views of the river, cliffs, and trees from ground level. However, if you are feeling adventurous, you can walk on the trail past the center, to the 155 step staircase leading up to Fort Hill.

If you are brave enough to make the trek up the stairs, you can take a break halfway up at an observation deck overlooking the river. But don't give up! The most spectacular views can be seen from the top of the cliff.

At the top of the stairs, once you catch your breath, take a peak behind you to see how far you've come from the ground below. Give yourself a pat on the back for making it up to the top! Then spend some time taking in the view. How often do you get to view the changing leaves from above the treetops? Add in getting to view the river below from high above the ground, and being able to look at the side of the cliff you are standing on, and you'll see why this hike in Rocky River Reservation makes this such a unique Cleveland park.

If you prefer staying on ground level for your hikes, there are several other interesting hikes available in Rocky River Reservation. If you leave the nature center and head south on Valley Parkway, you will find the Berea Falls Scenic Overlook just before Barrett Road. This observation deck offers stunning views of the fall leaves on trees around a waterfall. There is also a train that passes over the falls from time to time, so you might catch a glance of it if you happen to visit at the right time.

If you enjoy learning on your hikes, you can travel north on Valley Parkway from the nature center to the South Mastick Picnic Area.

Here you will find a Solar System walk that has signs for each of the planets in our solar system. Besides being able to read the signs to learn more about each planet, the walk is also designed so the signs are to scale with the distance each planet is apart in our solar system. There's still plenty of trees on this part of the trail for you to enjoy as you learn.

These are just a few of the hiking options in Rocky River Reservation. Besides trails, there are also other activities available in the reservation if you prefer to enjoy the fall colors in a different way. You can play a round of golf at one of the courses in the reservation, sit on a bench and watch boats at the marina, or take horseback riding lessons at the stables.

There's so much to experience at Rocky River Reservation. If you have not had the chance to visit this park yet, make sure you take some time for your family to enjoy the outdoors together. It will give you a fun break from the leaf raking, and time to enjoy the outdoors before it's time to switch to snow shoveling.

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