Orchard Hills Park is a 237-acre parcel in Chester Township. The property had formerly been managed as a golf course.
Driven by research of the Natural Resource Management and Planning departments, Geauga Park District followed its mission toward the reclamation and reforestation of this beautiful landscape. Phase I ended in the fall of 2010 and included the planting of hundreds of trees and the addition of a parking lot, restrooms, indoor/outdoor lodge and sledding hill. Phase II ended in the fall of 2011 and continued the effort of reforestation and trail construction.
The restoration of Orchard Hills Park was funded in part through a grant from Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the provisions of Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act.
It is Geauga Park District's intent to protect this natural area in
Formerly operated as Orchard Hills Golf Course, this property has 3.6 miles of trail that loop through former fairways, restored wetlands and reforested areas. The Sedge, Cricket and Harvest trails are paved and utilize portions of former cart paths. The vantage from the hillside affords a rare view of Lake Erie from Geauga County. Download the trail map here.
When Orchard Hills Golf Course ceased operations in January 2007, it was the intent of the Patterson Family to permanently preserve that portion of their family’s land for the public to enjoy.
Working with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Geauga Park District, the Pattersons accomplished that goal. A conservation easement was placed upon that property specifying that
the land be used as a “passive use public park,” the two conservation agencies worked together to fund the purchase of the land, and Geauga Park District took over management.
To restore what was once there - a mature beech-maple forest ecosystem with clean headwater streams and wetlands for the Chagrin River - the Park District will "jump start" natural recuperative ecosystems that support a vast array of native flora and fauna for the Chagrin River corridor.
Conservation projects include the restoration of 1,500 linear feet of stream, three acres of wetlands, 50 acres of forest and 22 acres of meadow. The restoration will help protect and preserve stream corridors and reestablish more natural and healthy functioning streams. The project will also improve the water quality and overall health of the surrounding habitats.
Reforesting one former fairway per year began in 2010 will take at least 10 years to complete; making sure each year is a success will also be crucial.
Click below for a map, courtesy of Mapquest®.
From Cleveland and points east: Take I-90 E until Exit 189 into OH-91. Turn left onto SOM Center Road/OH-91. Turn left onto Chardon Road/US-6, which becomes Euclid Chardon Road. Turn right onto Tibbetts Road, which becomes Caves Road. Continue 0.7 miles. Park is on the right.
From Erie and points north: Take I-90 W to exit 193 and turn left on OH-306 S/Broadmoor Road. Continue straight onto Chillicothe Road, then right onto Euclid Chardon Road, then left onto Tibbetts Road, which becomes Caves Road. Continue .7 miles. Park is on the right.
From Warren and points west: Take I-422 W to OH-528 N to OH-608 N/Old State Road to US-322 W/Mayfield Road. Turn right onto Caves Road and continue 2.6 miles. Park is on the left.