Since I recently created the Cleveland Metroparks Guide, I also wanted to shed some light on Lorain County Metro Parks. This park system spread throughout all of Lorain County is home to 27 different metro parks encompassing over 10,000 acres. 22 locations are open to the public (one of which is a golf course, the other the North Coast Inland Trail, & a rental barn for events.)
For this guide, I will be focusing on the remaining 19 that are open to the public & offer a more traditional metro park experience. They are listed in closest to farthest away from the Cleveland area.

KOPF FAMILY RESERVATION

Kopf Family Reservation is located in Avon Lake behind the Avon Lake Public Library building. This location is great if you are close by already or are visiting the library. I wouldn’t necessarily make a long trip for it. It does feature a storybook trail & more than 3 miles of walking paths. Two lead to playgrounds – Sunset Park & Belle Road Park.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/kopf-family-reservation

MILLER NATURE RESERVE

Miller Nature Reserve, in Avon, is home to the 5000 sqft Conservatory that houses various plant specimens from all over the world & butterfly house. There is no fee for the outdoor grounds; however the Conservatory is $2 per person. There are plenty of walking trails to go hiking here as well as the Orchid Cafe & event rental space.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/miller-nature-preserve

FRENCH CREEK RESERVATION

French Creek Reservation, in Sheffield Village, is home to some of the most beautiful trails & an indoor Nature Center. French Creek Theatre is also here which is the park district’s very own live theatre program. The Nature Center has a small play place for children (currently closed.) The hiking trails lead you through gorgeous forests & along 3 creeks.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/french-creek-reservation

BLACK RIVER RESERVATION

According to the LCMP’s website, Black River Reservation system is the most visited location. In both Elyria & Lorain, it has 3 different parks: High Meadows, Bur Oak, & Day’s Dam. You can find a beautiful waterfall at the Day’s Dam location. Most of the trail is paved but in order to get a view of the falls, you’ll have to hike through natural paths which in my opinion are well worth it!
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/black-river-reservation

SANDY RIDGE RESERVATION

Sandy Ridge Reservation is a 526 acre wetland & wildlife preserve located in North Ridgeville. It is incredibly popular for bird watching as nearly 250 different species have been observed here since it opened in 1999. To get to the wetlands, follow the main trail by the playground & be prepared for the view. It is really stunning. You can walk the whole 2 mile trip around the pond or just catch the view when you make it out of the woods.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/sandy-ridge-reservation

CASCADE PARK

Cascade Park, in Elyria, is home to rivers, waterfalls, & hemlock forests. More notable here are the West Falls. Hike the primitive trails to it or take the asphalt trail that overlook the ledges. The primitive, natural trail would be more fun for slightly older kiddos. There’s wooden bridges, rocks to climb, & the view of the cliffs are extraordinary. There is also a music themed inclusive playground here.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/cascade-park

COLUMBIA RESERVATION

Moving in a more south direction is Columbia Reservation in Columbia Station. This 425 acre primarily wetland reservation has both paved & limestone trails that surround ponds & waterways. Seasonally, Sundae Funday is here which has a mini golf course & pizza/ice cream joint.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/columbia-reservation

LAKEVIEW PARK

Back northwest is Lakeview Park in Lorain. This metro park has a beautiful beach with views of the Lorain lighthouse, a rose garden, & a concession stand in the summer. Sunset Cafe is also here, a very nice casual restaurant that overlooks the beach.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/lakeview-park

HOLLSTEIN RESERVATION

This location’s main feature is the MercyHealth Amherst HealthPlex. The 50,000 sqft facility offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as swimming, fitness, & youth programs. Outdoors, it has a splash pad open seasonally as well as an Inclusive Playground. Worth noting there is a $2 admission fee & is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/amherst-healthplex

AMHERST BEAVER CREEK RESERVATION

Also in Amherst is Amherst Beaver Creek Reservation. With 108 acres of mature woodlands & flood plains, there are many walking paths here and creeks to skip stones. In addition, there is a reservable shelter, playground, soccer field, & visitor’s center. There is also a cute safety town area for the younger crowd.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/amherst-beaver-creek-reservation

VERMILION RIVER RESERVATION

Moving a bit further southwest is Vermilion River Reservation in Vermilion. This location is home to Mill Hollow & Bacon Woods. Many events have been held here in different times. There is a plethora of hiking trails, a canoe/kayak launch, & views of the millions of years old shale cliffs. Mill Hollow also has an excellent sledding hill in the winter & plenty of space for outdoor activities/picnics.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/vermilion-river-reservation

SCHOEPFLE GARDEN

Continuing to move south is Schoepfle Garden in Birmingham. This location is primarily a botanical garden (that is free!); however, it holds plenty of walking trails as well. The gardens have stunning displays of blooms all throughout the year spanning 77 acres. There is also a children’s garden, playground, & carousel (that is free in season!)
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/schoepfle-garden

KIPTON RESERVATION

Kipton Reservation in Oberlin is primarily used for horseback riding. It is a very primitive area with limited things to do. In case you saw this listed on the LCMP site & were wondering about it, this is a skippable location honestly speaking.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/kipton-reservation

SPLASH ZONE

Splash Zone in Oberlin is an aquatic & fitness center with admission fees. Oberlin residents get 50% off memberships.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/splash-zone

CARLISLE RESERVATION

Carlisle Reservation, in Lagrange, is the county’s largest metro park. It is home to the Carlisle Visitor Center (which has an indoor dinosaur themed play space – currently closed & an outdoor raptor center), Duck Pond Picnic Area, & the Equestrian Center. Trails here are plenty for any outdoor seeker including a Children’s Nature Discovery Trail with cute themed cabins along the way to explore. This location holds many events through the year (though these times have been limited.)
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/carlisle-reservation

INDIAN HOLLOW RESERVATION

Located in Grafton, Indian Hollow Reservation is home to Sheldon Woods, Royal Oaks, & the Midview Soccer Complex. If you’re looking for mountain bike trails, you’ll find them here. There’s plenty of hiking trails & views of Black River.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/indian-hollow-reservation

CALEY RESERVATION

Caley Reservation is located in Wellington. Though on the smaller side, there are 529 acres of wetlands, forest, fields, & two ponds. The hiking trail here is all natural so be sure to have your hiking boots on in case of mud.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/caley-reservation

WELLINGTON RESERVATION

Also in Wellington, Wellington Reservation is a beautiful metro park that is home to 21+ acre lake. In season, you can rent paddleboats or bring your own kayak/canoe to enjoy the scenery on the water. There is opportunities for hiking, biking, strolling, fishing, boating, & wildlife observation. The visitor center is also available for rental.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/wellington-reservation

CHARLEMONT RESERVATION

Charlemont Reservation in New London is another location that is suitable for horseback riding & not much else.
More info can be found here: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com/wellington-reservation

For information on all 27 reservations, visit: https://www.loraincountymetroparks.com

 

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