The new suspension bridge at Girdled Road Reservation provides visitors with access to more than six miles of trails; connecting the eastern and western (Skok Meadow) portions of the 932-acre park, previously separated by Big Creek.
Lake Metroparks' mission is to conserve and preserve the natural resources of Lake County while providing a variety of safe, affordable and enjoyable educational and recreational programs and activities that enhance the quality of life in Lake County now and for the generations to follow.
Park District Priorities
"We continue to provide the citizens of Lake County and the broader region with the clean, safe and outstanding parks and outdoor education programming that they have come to expect from their Lake Metroparks, explains Executive Director Paul Palagyi. "Staff are looking for new ways and creating new opportunities for people to enjoy their parks."
Lake Erie Bluffs
Reservable three-season shelter
A reservable three-season shelter is currently being completed at the end of Lane Road and will offer great views of Lake Erie while you enjoy your gatherings with family and friends. Unique to this building will be the ability to close overhead glass doors to allow for comfortable use during cool or inclement weather. The shelter will also feature attached flush restrooms.
Now that trail segments have been completed at both the Lane Road and Clark Road sections of the park, it makes
good sense to connect these areas via a pedestrian bridge over the deep stream cut that currently separates the park. We expect installation of the nearly 100-foot bridge late this summer. This will allow energetic hikers to complete a loop that includes both the park’s sand beach and the trail that runs along the top of the shoreline bluff.
Multi-story observation tower
Perhaps the most exciting addition to this park will be a multi-story observation tower sitting atop the bluffs and overlooking the broad spectrum of habitats covering the site. The views of Lake Erie are expected to be spectacular, but the views of mature forests, vast meadows and scattered wetlands should prove equally impressive. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2016 at the Clark Road section.
New shelter and flush restroom
New shelter and flush restroom are being designed to complement the tower at Clark Road and to allow visitors
to enjoy this 592-acre park without feeling overcrowded. Construction is expected to begin later this year.
Bluffs Loop Trail
Take a walk along the new Bluffs Loop Trail at Lake Erie Bluffs (Lane Rd). Enjoy new picturesque views of the lake and shoreline and travel through fields of highly diverse vegetation.
For a map and directions, visit http://bit.ly/lm-lakeeriebluffs
Girdled Road Reservation
South entrance The southern section of Girdled Road Reservation, accessed from Radcliffe Road, is getting a facelift. One of the park district’s oldest shelters and one of its oldest playgrounds are being replaced. A new restroom and improved access to the popular nearby pond are also included in the project.
Completion is expected this summer.
Bridging a Big Creek
Work has begun to install a suspension bridge that will cross Big Creek and link the Skok Meadow section to the eastern section of the park. Once completed, the bridge will connect over five miles of trails within Lake Metroparks’ largest park. Completion is scheduled to be mid-July, weather permitting.
Painesville Township Park
The revetment wall project at Painesville Township Park is under construction by Huffman Equipment. Lake Metroparks is in the process of obtaining permits necessary for construction of the access and pier in 2016.Click here for more information.
Lake Erie Bluffs: a successful modern conservation project
Many Northeast Ohioans recognize the value of Lake
Erie. Now they have a park that features this natural
wonder in Lake County’s front yard.
Lake Metroparks Executive. Director Paul Palagyi talks about scenic Lake Erie Bluffs Park in Perry Twp.
Lake Metroparks Executive Director Paul Palagyi shows where bridge to link Clark & Lane roads sections of Lake Erie Bluffs.
Lake Metroparks Director Paul Palagyi shows where a pavilion will be built at Lake Erie Bluffs park.
Lake Metroparks Director Paul Palagyi talks about the trail system and birds at Lake Erie Bluffs in Perry Twp.
Lake Erie Bluffs is nationally significant: The 600-acre Lake Erie Bluffs property
will permanently protect a significant amount
of wetland, meadow and mostly undeveloped lakefront habitat used
by rare and common plant and animal species.
Amazingly, the property remains largely unspoiled by previous development. The mix of 40-foot high beach bluffs and open sandy
and cobble beach across 9,000 feet of shoreline are
the site’s dominant features. The beach area hosts
trees, shrubs and small plants including the majority
of the park’s rare plants.
Lake Erie Bluffs provides public access
to Lake Erie and protects habitat used
by rare species including:
Bald eagle • Merlin • White-eyed vireo • Least flycatcher
Hairy-necked tiger beetle • Various other rare plants
Over the past several years, Lake Metroparks worked
with various local conservation partners to complete a
detailed study of the Lake Erie Bluffs site and together they
produced a conceptual master plan that illustrated how
conservation, recreation and economic development can all
be sustained within and around the project area. The shared
vision and commitment to promote and integrate the value
of conservation efforts within existing local and regional
planning groups and agencies was a result of funding from
the Cleveland Foundation’s Lake-Geauga Fund.
The development of Lake Erie Bluffs was made possible
with help from a wide range of committed partners. Working
together, this collaborative effort secured more than $10
million in local, state and federal competitive grants and
donations to purchase the $11 million property. More than 1.6 miles of undeveloped shoreline and nearly 600 acres
of diverse and important natural habitat are now protected
by Lake Metroparks thanks to the help of many valuable
The funding for Lake Metroparks’ purchase came from
the following sources: Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, Ohio
Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Environmental
Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish
and Wildlife Foundation, The Conservation Fund, the Novak
Trust, Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District and
the Lake Metroparks Improvement Fund. The project would
not have been possible without the dedicated support and
hard work of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and The
Trust for Public Lands.
Main entrance to Lake Erie Bluffs
3301 Lane Road
Perry Township, OH 44081
From the East: Take Route 20 to Lane Road in Perry Township. Turn right (north), and follow Lane Road to the park. Entrance to the park will be on the right (west).
From the West: Take Route 2 East to where it ends and becomes Route 20. Follow Route 20 to Lane Road in Perry Township. Turn left (north), and follow Lane Road to the park. Entrance to the park will be on the right (west).
$100K Grant from the Cleveland Foundation’s Lake-Geauga Fund
Elevates Plan for Lake Metroparks Tower
Lake Metroparks has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation for the construction of an impressive observation tower at the agency’s newest park – Lake Erie Bluffs in Perry Township. The new park provides visitors with access to almost two miles of undeveloped Lake Erie shoreline through two access points off of Lane Road and Clark Road.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Cleveland Foundation, the addition of this 50-foot coastal observation tower will serve as a cornerstone of this amazing 600-acre Lake Erie Bluffs Park,” said Paul Palagyi, executive director of Lake Metroparks. “This tower will give visitors an impressive panoramic view of Lake Erie, the shoreline and the landscape of central Lake County.”
The 50-foot high observation tower will be situated overlooking the lakeshore with multiple viewing platforms along a staircase that will culminate in a deck featuring 360-degree views. The height and location of the tower will provide visitors with a unique view of the lake and the surrounding woods, fields and wetlands along with the associated wide-range of wildlife – particularly the large number of bald eagles that are regularly seen at the park. The south shore of Lake Erie is known worldwide as an important corridor for bird migration. As songbirds migrate north in spring and south in fall, large concentrations of birds can be witnessed migrating around the smallest of the Great Lakes, sticking close to the shoreline.
“The view of the lake and this amazing park is about to be raised to new heights,” said Frank Polivka, President of the Lake Metroparks’ Board of Park Commissioners. “Thanks in large part to the grant from the Cleveland Foundation, visitors to the park will have an amazing view our greatest natural resource – Lake Erie.”
“The Lake-Geauga Fund of the Cleveland Foundation values its long-standing partnership with Lake Metroparks,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation. “This is the second centennial grant made by the Lake-Geauga Fund in recognition of our upcoming 100-year milestone in 2014. We are pleased to support all efforts that celebrate and preserve the unmatched natural resources and beauty of this region for future generations.”
Construction of the tower is scheduled to begin next spring. Total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $200,000-$250,000.
Spend the night at Lake Metroparks in a tent
Spend the night in the parks
In an effort to provide more opportunities to enjoy our parks, Lake Metroparks offers tent camping so campers may experience unique natural features and the great outdoors.
The campsites provide a “rustic” experience for small groups of up to eight people staying in tents. Campers must hike or paddle to the campsites. The sites are set back from the developed areas of the parks from about 1/4-mile to more than a mile. Each location is different, and there is only one campsite per park to provide a quiet, intimate natural experience—much different than crowded campgrounds. Baker Road, Hidden Lake,
Lake Erie Bluffs, Riverview Park and
Penitentiary Glen Reservation
May be reserved May 1 through November 30
River Road campsite
May 1 through Labor Day
Girdled Road Reservation
Reservations are required.
Click here for more information about tent camping at Lake Metroparks.
Deer exclosure at Veterans Park
When you drive past Veterans Park on Hopkins Road, you will notice a large fenced area in the woods adjacent to the parking lot. This 10 x 20-meter structure is a deer exclosure, one of seven that are monitored by Lake Metroparks throughout the county. This area was selected after so many of the mature trees were taken down by the devastating winds of Hurricane Sandy.
If you are looking for a white-tailed
deer inside the exclosure, you won’t see one. The space is designed to keep deer out to monitor the plants inside versus the plants on the outside. this will provide an index of what the impact of browse is by the white-tailed deer on that plant community.
The deer exclosure will have an important interpretive value to the public as, literally, they will see the
structure from the parking lot and learn from it what impact it has on protecting the plant life within.
A small deer herd only makes a small
but too many deer consume the
seeds of a forest’s future
time, these impacts create a visible
browse line in the forest.
Tom Adair, Parks Services Director, in an interview on
the "Around Town" program on Mentor TV,
said with the elimination of plant life, we will see a related loss or decrease in the diversity of insect life,
bird life and mammal life as it relates to Veterans Park.
"Lake Metroparks has monitored the growth of white trillium in this area over the past 10 to 15 years and
we have records that showed us that there were over 1,000 white trillium on a small plot,
10' x 10' area,"
said Adair. "That site within the past two to three years has yielded no more than a dozen white trillium."
Click here to watch the video.
Plants inside the fenced area at Veterans Park are now protected from deer. Over time, this will show us
how a healthy forest in Northeast Ohio can recover.