to stick to the fall hike in the summit metropolitan parks | News

There are only a few weeks left to enjoy the fall colors in Northeast Ohio… and to participate in the Summit County Metro Parks fall hike. Everyone who completes the party is rewarded with a hiking stick, prompting listener Rick Hannon from Northfield to ask our “Oh really? »Team: where do these staffs come from?

When the party started in 1964, the sticks were much wider and made of maple. Almost six decades later, they are using poplar grown in southern Ohio.

Build a staff

Swan Hardware in Akron works with the Baker-McMillen Company in Stow, which makes the sticks.

“It has to be hardwood to be able to use it as a stick, because they use it to help with the trails – if you need to. So we couldn’t make recycled wood, ”according to Sharon White of Metro Parks’ Nature Realm.

“Our maintenance service really cuts the rope [for the top of the staff]. And then the rope is brought to Weaver Industries. They drill holes in it and put the rope in it. “

Metro Parks graphic designers design the shields – with a new design each year – and then send them to Sackmann Stamp in Akron. Finished brass shields are shipped flat, then folded and assembled at Weaver Industries.

“It’s an amazing thing that the whole community is involved in this hiking trip. So I’m always excited when I tell the story where they’re from and how so community-driven it is, ”White said.

She says they order around 5,000 staff each year.

Rick Hannon recently moved to Northfield from Idaho and enjoyed doing the Summit County Metro Parks fall hike. He wanted to know where the sticks are coming from that go to whoever completes eight tracks in the party. [Richard Alan Hannon]

To party

How to register for the party?

“We have a list of trails you can hike,” White said. “You can get them anywhere or upload them online, and you have to hike eight different trails from September 1 to November 30. And you have until March 31. To actually transform your form. You enter the date to. which you hike a trail. You can do this anytime, on your own or not. If there is a footprint on any of the programs, you can get credit for your hike and go with a group of people different and learn a bit of interpretation with our naturalists. For your first year you can get a stick and a shield. And then every year after you get an extra shield. This year the Metro Parks system is 100 years old.

By the numbers

For those who associate hiking with spring and summer, White says it’s amazing to see the fall colors in Summit Metro parks right now.

“Last Saturday we had 600 people in the Nature Kingdom. I have more people coming to tell me that there is nothing like it where they live, nowhere else in Ohio. The past year has been a savior for these people to go out and hike with their kids to get that energy out of them and enjoy nature without having their iPads. They were so grateful that they were able to go out and have this little reward. Last year 17,000 people finished. It is the oldest and largest hike in the United States. “

White continued. “You see these kids, when they get their hiking poles, and I say, ‘Don’t cut off the head of your hiking stick; you are going to fill this sucker. Anytime anyone sees my volunteer – who has all the shields – they’re just in awe of seeing all those shields going up and down from the staff. “

White says about 3,000 people have been staffed this year. There’s still time to get yours before the fall hike ends on November 30th. Stop at the Metro Parks administrative offices at 975 Treaty Line Road. in Akron, open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Or visit one of the three nature centers, which are open Wednesday through Saturday. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

  • FA Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Rd., Akron
  • Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Rd., Twinsburg
  • Summit Lake Nature Center, 411 Ira Ave., Akron

Over the next three Saturdays, the parks will also offer help attaching shields to sticks, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A small number of guests will be admitted at a time; others will be invited to wait outside. Park staff advise dressing for the weather.

  • November 13, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at FA Seiberling Nature Realm
  • November 20, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Summit Lake Nature Center
  • November 27 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at FA Seiberling Nature Realm
Copyright 2021 WKSU. To learn more, visit WKSU.