Location: Ohio, Summit County.
Agency: Summit MetroParks
Primary Attractions: Varied terrain and environments. Forest, prairie, landscaped grounds, creeks, lakes, waterfalls, rock outcroppings historic canal towpath, playgrounds, ball fields, and open space
Miles of trail: 125+
Entry Fees: None for general entry. Some activities, such as swimming areas require fees.
Operating Hours: Open year-round. Most park areas closed dusk until dawn.
Camping: Two primitive, walk-in campsites available along towpath trail. Free for use, but no campfires permitted. No other camping opportunities.
Founded in 1921, Summit MetroParks was the second county park district established in Ohio. All told, there are 14 parks in the system, ranging from spaces completely within the city of Akron to rural areas of the county with large lakes, forests, and fields.
The historic Ohio and Erie Canal towpath winds 21 miles throughout the system, connecting Cuyahoga Valley National Park with the southern border of the county. Many of the parks, such as Deep Lock Quarry, Furnace Run, and Hampton Hills are adjacent to, or completely surrounded by the national park itself, and work in cooperation with the NPS to manage the lands. Many trails connect to the wider system within the valley.
Portions of the Buckeye Trail pass through some of the parks. While this area of the state is generally more populated, the parks provide respite from road walking and cars generally found along said trail in this section.
Being a larger metropolitan park system, many landscapes and environments are found under its management. You can walk through downtown Akron on the towpath, and within 15 minutes, you can be in an open prairie situated on the continental divide, or surrounded by towering hemlocks in a deep ravine.
MetroParks provides two primitive campsites for users of the towpath and Buckeye trail. These sites are free for use, and have a registration kiosk for one to sign in. Please note that campfires are not permitted, nor is vehicle use. Practice leave-no-trace here, as you should wherever you go!