Cleveland Metroparks’North Chagrin Reservation
Credit: Cleveland Metroparks
Chagrin River Road
Willoughby Hills, Ohio 44094Website
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Since the 1920s, North Chagrin Reservation has been a special blend of outdoor recreation areas and wildlife sanctuaries. Adding to the reservation’s charm is Squire’s Castle. At the turn of the 20th century, English-born Feargus B. Squire built the castle to serve as the gatehouse of his country estate. While plans for the remainder of the estate never materialized, what is left of Squire’s Castle still stands today.
Located in Mayfield Village, Willoughby Hills and Gates Mills, the reservation includes a nature center and nature education building, as well as a number of trails and picnic areas. Sanctuary Marsh and Sunset Pond are both popular areas to observe waterfowl.
In 1983, The Nature Conservancy received a 3-acre gift of land that provides an access point to the southern end of the park. Throughout the Chagrin River watershed, the Conservancy has helped to protect more than 500 acres of public land.
Why It Matters:
The extensive beech-maple forest along Chagrin River provides watershed and floodplain protection to the surrounding suburban community. This same forest also supports an array of wildlife, from neotropical migratory birds resting and nesting in its treetops to the frogs and salamanders that find refuge in the forest floor’s seasonal ponds.
Natural Treasures Landmark
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Fun Things to Do and See:
While on the hunt for the landmark, enjoy the abundant adventures this Ohio treasure has to offer. The thrill of nature can be experienced at any level!
- Stimulate your senses and head over to the North Chagrin Nature Center to check out the Forest Nightlife exhibit. One-way glass and an audio system bring the nocturnal wildlife experience indoors.
- Pack a lunch and bask in the serenity of the shag bark hickory grove at the Forest Picnic Area.
- Take a tour of favored landmark Squire’s Castle. If you like a good ghost story, gather your courage – the castle is rumored to be haunted by one of its former residents.
- Enjoy a wonderful native woodland wildflower garden.
- Adventure along the 1.6-mile Hickory Fox trail that winds along a deep ravine before turning into the forest. Absorb the beauty of the great vine tangles of fox grapes and groves of shag bark hickory along the way.
- Check out the Castle Valley Trail, one of the reservation's most beautiful. The moderate 2.25-mile hike has only one big hill.
- Gear up for an invigorating 4-mile hike along the Buttermilk Falls Parkway Trail. Observe the water flows roaming throughout the ravine and over the crusty shale outcroppings.