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Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Park
7940 Cedar Road
Chester Township

Sign coordinates N 41° 30.474 W 81° 21.422
picnic shelter

  • About this Park
  • Facilities
  • Trails
  • Habitats
  • Directions

Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Park is a 65-acre tract located in Chester Township.
Wildlife is attracted to the park's diverse habitats and visitors of all abilities and interests find much to enjoy. It is Geauga Park District's intent to protect this natural area in perpetuity.

James Metzenbaum discovered a 100-acre parcel in Chester Township in the 1940s. He purchased it as a memorial to his wife, Bessie Benner Metzenbaum, who had died several years earlier. He deeded the land to the Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Foundation, and it was used by various children's organizations, including the Girl Scouts and the YMCA. Later, in 1965, the Metzenbaum School was constructed. In 1991, the Metzenbaum Foundation donated 65 of the wooded acres to Geauga Park District. After improvements were made, the park opened a year later

The Wisteria Hill picnic area offers a shelter, restrooms and a playground. The playground is designed to be enjoyed by visitors of all abilities. The shelter is available for reservations, and is otherwise available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to reserve a shelter.

Wisteria Shelter, Playground

Griswold Creek Trail - 0.2 mi

Evergreen Trail - 0.3 mi

Summit Trail - 0.5 mi

Three trails totaling 1 mile are available for Nature lovers of all abilities. Download the trail map here.

The Summit Trail ascends the sandstone knoll to an overlook that offers a canopy view of the surrounding forest. The paved Evergreen Trail loops through the beech woods and conifer plantation, while the boardwalk on the Griswold Creek Trail takes visitors across the stream and through the wetlands.

A mature beech-maple woods covers the majority of the property. A sandstone knoll at the western edge of the park rises 140 feet above Griswold Creek. Wildflowers and small rock outcroppings grace the hillside. 

The remains of an old orchard are located in the meadow at the foot of the hill where an old homestead once stood. Two conifer plantations add greenery year-round.

A majority of the area surrounding Griswold Creek and its tributaries is considered wetland. Dense thicket provides cover to a variety of birds and other wildlife in the lowlands surrounding the creek. Beavers have constructed a dam that attracts even more aquatic life.

Click the map below to see Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Park plotted by Google Maps and get directions.

From Akron and points south: Travel I-422 to Route 306 exit. Take Route 306 north of Route 87. Turn west onto Cedar Road. Travel 1 mile to park entrance.

From Cleveland and points east: I-271: Travel I-271 to Route 322 exit. Head east 5.3 miles on Route 322 to Caves Road. Travel south on Caves Road approximately 1 mile to Cedar Road. Turn east and travel .2 mile to park entrance.