Summit Metro Parks: Hidden Gem of Akron 10-20-16


Michelle DeShon

One of the Firestone Metro Park locations in Akron.

By Michelle DeShon, Opinion Editor

Imagine the crunching of dead leaves under your feet and breathing in the smells of the woods surrounding you. Fall hiking is a great way to relax and, in Akron, there is so much beautiful scenery. If you’ve never been to a Metro Parks in the fall, you’re missing out.

Each year, the Summit Metro Parks do the Annual Fall Hiking Spree. This year marks the 53rd hiking spree at the Metro Parks. I used to do the fall hiking spree every year with my family and had a pretty impressive collection of badges that I earned each year. The event runs from Sept. 1 – Nov. 30, so there’s still time to get your hike on.

To take part in the spree, go to and sign up. Download a participant form and then log your hikes. To complete the hiking spree, you must hike at least eight of the designated trails. One of them is a “Hiker’s Choice,” so go back to your favorite again or find one that is not on the list. After completing the form, take it to either the Administrative Offices at 975 Treaty Line Rd. or the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm at 1828 Smith Rd. to receive your badge.

The rewards are usually a metal badge that is designed specially for that year’s spree. Most of them have a cute cartoon woodland creature, like a skunk. As you take part in the hiking spree each fall, put these badges on a hiking stick. I love seeing hikers who have a hiking stick covered in badges from all the years they’ve been hiking during the fall spree.

Even if you don’t have time to get involved with the hiking spree, it’s still a great way to clear your mind from the stresses of classes and midterms.


Parks nearby that are on the hiking spree list:

F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm

1828 Smith Rd., Akron, OH 44313


Cascade Valley Metro Park

1690 Cuyahoga St., Akron, OH 44313


Goodyear Heights Metro Park

1950 Eastwood Ave., Akron, OH 44305