#5 Indian Point Park (Doggin' Cleveland's #35 of 50): Even though Doggin' Cleveland says this park doesn't have much canine hiking, Barley and I had a great time. There were fun historical artifacts to look at, gorgeous overlooks, and a fantastic river for splashing (if another dog wasn't already off-leash and playing frisbee there). There were also lots of stairs to ensure a good workout. The only drawback was that I wasn't sure Julie the Juke was going to make it up the hill to the parking lot--I've since learned that there's an alternate route to getting there, though, so it's not a real issue.
#4 Chapin Forest Reservation (Doggin' Cleveland's #20): Our book wasn't lying when it said the Lucky Stone Loop trail had an awesome overlook of Cleveland. We also got a couple lucky quartz stones to send to my nephew pup, Maddux, who was starting heart worm treatments that day. The trails were peaceful and there were really neat ledges (without being scary). I can't wait to go back here when the leaves start changing colors.
|We could see for 16 miles!|
|Weird sculpture garden|
|A great dog with a Great Lake|
#2 North Chagrin Reservation (Doggin' Cleveland's #4): There's a castle. Need I say more? If so, the trails are also great. Although there were lots of people in and around the castle, the trails were almost deserted (but not in a scary way). There were enough hills that I felt like we were getting a workout (and Bar's tongue was hanging by the end to confirm my thoughts), but not so many that my muscles hated me the next day.
Drum roll, please . . .
#1 Holden Arboretum (Doggin' Cleveland's #3): We also found this one on our own. Even though it's the only place where you have to pay to get in, it's our very favorite--and where we went today! (Plus, if you get a membership, you save money in the long run and you kind of forget that you have to pay to get in.)
I found the arboretum when they had a gnome & garden display last summer (I wish it was still there!) and I made my siblings (and later Barley) go visit the gnomes with me.
|My sister and me with the candy gnome!|
|Barley with my favorite gnome (the blueberry thief!)|
Since I got my membership, we've visited the arboretum in every season and it's equally wonderful in all of them. There are also at least 20 miles of trails, and dogs are allowed on all of them!
Since there are so many miles of trails, we've never done the same hike twice--although we do have some favorite places to visit and try to incorporate them into most of our hikes.
|Barley with the carving in the Rhododendron Garden|
|Poor scared pup|
Honorable Mentions: We've been to so many cool places this summer, that it was hard to narrow it down to just 5. Cuyahoga Valley National Park--Boston Store (Doggin' Cleveland's #24) was close to making the list.
Another place we really love, which isn't in Doggin' Cleveland, is the Geneva State Park in our own backyard. We haven't spent a lot of time there this summer because of all of the tourists who invade Geneva-on-the-Lake in the summer, but we've been to this park more than any other place. In the off-season, we go several times a week. Even though this isn't quite as cool as traipsing through the woods in the other parks, it's still really pretty and when there aren't other people around, Bar can splash in the lake. It's also really close to home and a great change of pace from the neighborhood when I need to unwind after work (or feel like I got away but have too much grading to do to go to the other fun places we've found).
|You never know what you'll find on the beach!|