West Creek Reservation is one of the newer additions to Cleveland Metroparks Emerald Necklace, but it has long been long entrenched as a place of refuge and respite for wildlife and locals. This 326-acre parcel was acquired in 2006 and the Watershed Stewardship Center opened June 21, 2013. The park sits high above Cleveland’s Lake Erie drainage, at some 950 feet in elevation.
A leisurely walk along the all-purpose trail near the Watershed Stewardship Center is a hot-spot for red-trailed hawks and turkey vultures looking to take advantage of the conveniently placed television tower guy wires to hunt for a bit o’ lunch in the meadow below. TV Tower at West Creek Reservation
The deep gorges of West Creek provide a rich sliver of much needed greenspace in this urban expanse and these daunting geologic features have served to help safeguard the area from further development.
Globally, a resurgence of green-seeking trail advocacy groups and volunteers have been building new pathways that take hikers to the wildest locations. Even in urban areas like Cleveland, new trails represent the dedication of people tied to the lands they love. Recreationalists who traverse them also help to protect them by increasing their value within their communities. Lately, our trails crews have been busily crafting a new, yet vintage-inspired network of trail signs at West Creek Reservation. From the quick Lookout Ridge Loop Trail that can be easily accessed across from Keystone Shelter to the narrow meanderings of Skinners Run that cuts south to north from Dentzler Trailhead…there is something for everyone. Check out our new wayfinding trail signage….blazes coming soon! Our trails boast both impressive steel and quaint wooden bridges that span West Creek and offer a peak at the native wildlife and wildflowers that bring a surprise pop of color and animation to the woodlands, just when you think that “Nobunny” is home! Can you find nine new bridge signs at West Creek Reservation and guess their historic meanings? Oh Deer! How many can you spot in the woods above? Grab your best pals and stop by the Watershed Stewardship Center to snag a new Visitor Map for West Creek Reservation. Also check out the Emerald Necklace Newsletter for many hikes across the parks that will get you outside in every season and offer new ways to view these varied landscapes that have been shaped and reshaped by the forces of ancient glaciers and by mankind alike. Happy Trails!