When talking about Cleveland’s parks and natural spaces, the Metroparks get top billing. And rightfully so, with so many reservations waiting to be discovered. But another local area, often not talked about in the shadow of the Metroparks, holds its own prestige.
Sitting on Route 6 about 45 minutes west of the city is Old Woman Creek. A national estuarine research reserve, the park holds importance to biologists and ecologists. But it also gives all nature-lovers a place to learn about and enjoy the unique ecosystem. Trails go through woods and over swampland and lead to a viewing deck overlooking the creek.
Looking out over the creek, visitors may spot a number of creatures. Great blue herons and egrets coast above the water’s surface or stab the water for fish. Turtles bask in the sun. Some visitors are lucky and see the creek’s star attraction, the nesting bald eagles.
A visitor’s center discusses the importance of estuaries and how they contribute to the health of the region and the lake.
At a second site down the road, the creek spills out into the lake. On a small beach, people see the two waters mingle and swirl. The beach isn’t big enough to lay out a towel, but for a few minutes, visitors can enjoy the lakeside.