The Rookery is a 562-acre tract located in southwest Munson Township. The Chagrin River, the old Interurban Railroad Junction, and one of Geauga County's largest nesting colonies of great blue heron are all special features of this park. It is Geauga Park District's intent to protect this natural area in
From 1899 until 1925, the Cleveland & Eastern Traction Company operated an electric-powered Interurban Railroad that
traveled from Cleveland to various points in Geauga County. Located at The Rookery is the "Junction," a
wye in the tracks where passengers from the city could either continue northeast to Chardon or wait for a connecting trolley to Burton or Middlefield.
In 1968, Cleveland-based TRW, Inc. bought more than 1,000 acres with the intent to build a 54-hole golf course for its employees. By the late 1980s however, the company's focus had changed and the property was sold.
In April of 1991, Geauga Park District purchased some of the surrounding land and named the property for after the large heron rookery. Trails and facilities were
later constructed, and the park opened in October 1997. Additional acres were added in
Visitors may enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the tables in the Silo Picnic Area. Water and restrooms are available nearby.
For larger groups, the enclosed Great Blue Heron Lodge is available by reservation or on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please review the lodge guidelines here. There is no running water inside the lodge. Click here to reserve a shelter.
The Rookery has nearly 1.5 miles of trails. Download
the trail map here.
Hikers, bicycle riders and cross-country skiers can follow the Interurban Trail along wetlands and over the Chagrin River.
The Woodcock Trail, a short loop trail, has a deck overlooking an abandoned oxbow of the Chagrin River.
Located in an old glacial lakebed, much of the land within The Rookery is considered wetland. Open marshes and swamp forests - enhanced by the work of beavers - are found throughout the
park, as are several abandoned oxbows of the original
channel of the Chagrin River.
The property surrounding the Silo Picnic Area is brush land. A beech-maple forest and several red-maple stands provide habitat for a variety of animals, including songbirds such as wood thrush and veery.
A large forested preserve protects cold water habitat for a threatened species of native brook trout, introduced by the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Wildlife.
One of the largest great blue heron rookeries in the county is located within the park's preserve. Herons rest in tree-top colonies of
a few to several hundred nests. The isolated colony at The Rookery has been in existence for more than 60 years and has more than 150 active nests. Since herons are apt to abandon eggs or young if disturbed, the heron rookery itself is accessible only during naturalist-led programs.
Click below for a map, courtesy of Mapquest®.
From Erie and points north: Travel I-90 to exit 200 (Painesville/Chardon). Turn south onto
Route 44, turning right at the first intersection (.3 mile) onto Auburn Road. Travel south on Auburn Road for approximately 9.7 miles, cross
Route 322 (Mayfield Road) and continue 2 miles to Cedar Road. Turn west onto Cedar Road, and travel approximately 1.9 miles to park entrance.
From Akron and points south: Travel Auburn Road for approximately 2.6 miles, north of
Route 87 (Kinsman Road). Turn west onto Cedar Road, and travel approximately 1.9 miles to park entrance.
From Cleveland and points west: Travel US-422 E. Merge onto I-271 N. Exit 29, OH-87 turn right. Travel Route OH-87 east. North on Sperry Rd. East on Fairmount Rd. North on Rockhaven Road. Turn west onto Cedar Road, and travel approximately 1.9 miles to park entrance.