VETERANS LEGACY WOODS
In November and December, certain portions of trails (notably the blue trail shown here) will be closed as Geauga Park District begins a large-scale restoration project at this park, formerly Wicked Woods Golf Course. The first step will be draining two ponds to allow for drying in preparation for earthwork next year.
Those visiting Observatory Park may soon notice the clearing of some trees near the Nassau Astronomical Station and a nearby trail. Historically, this property’s previous landowner, Case Western Reserve University, would occasionally remove all trees tall enough to obscure the view of the night sky through their research telescope. But recently, members of the Chagrin Valley Astronomical Station (CVAS), who host monthly Nassau Astronomy Nights at the park, reported that since the Park District took over the property in 2008, trees have already grown so tall that they now block a large portion of the telescope’s view of the southern sky.
When members of our naturalist, planning and operations departments – as well as our park biologist, deputy director and members of CVAS – met at the property to discuss the issue, what resulted was a plan to replace a slice of the forest with native meadow habitat, which will also benefit wildlife and enhance educational opportunities. “An important part of our mission is to connect people with Nature,” Chief Naturalist John Kolar explained, “and the night sky is one of our most fragile natural resources. In our International Dark Sky Park, it’s important for people to be able to see and appreciate it. This important project will reopen the view to one of our most fragile natural resources out there.”
Changes will be implemented by staff in the coming weeks to remove a small section of woods to the south of the observatory, then add a native meadow habitat in that area. We hope you will come check out the changes once they are complete by enjoying an Astronomy Night at the Nassau Astronomical Station! Click here for November and December opportunities and mark your calendar, or check back December 20 for options in January, February and March.
THE MAPLE HIGHLANDS TRAIL
The Maple Highlands Trail between Burton Windsor Road and Tare Creek Parkway in the Village of Middlefield is currently completely closed due to trail construction. The work started in November 2022, for the installation of an electric line to run the pumps for a new water well. Upon reopening, please use extreme caution in this area; work to install the new water well on village property adjacent to the trail, about a quarter mile south of the Burton Windsor Road crossing, is likely to put mud, dirt and other debris on the trail surface. Patrons can expect commercial truck traffic and construction equipment at this active construction site until this notice has been removed. Some signage in this area is also impacted, so temporary signage has been installed.
Mowing along The Maple Highlands Trail is underway. The north section is complete, and as of July 20 mowing was beginning on the central section in the area of the Aquilla bridge moving south. For your own safety, please be courteous and wait for the mower to pull over before attempting to pass it.
Trail access may be affected by contracted mowing and spraying to be conducted this summer under the power lines at Frohring Meadows.
Please note the following hunting-related closures coming up this fall and winter:
The Rookery: November 18 & 19 and January 6, 7 & 8, 2024
Observatory Park: November 27 & 28
The West Woods: November 30 & December 1
Big Creek Park: December 16 & 17
For more information about this year’s controlled hunting program, click here.
The permanent bridge along Russell Uplands Preserve‘s Hickory Trace Trail was destroyed by a fallen tree and has been replaced by a temporary foot bridge.
The West Woods‘ entry drive bridge is limited to vehicles weighing three tons or less until further notice.
Alerts on this page will be updated periodically and removed as soon as parks and trails have reopened. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.