Happy Thursday all!
Hope your week (sans polar vortex) is going great. I wanted to share a fun outdoor winter activity with you all today.
Ryan and I went snowshoeing in the Cleveland Metroparks this past weekend. My Dad and Ruth joined (we got it as a Christmas gift for them). It was so much fun, and proof that there are indeed things to do outside, in winter, in Cleveland.
The weather was perfect- a light snow was falling, and there was very little wind. It was in the mid-twenties and once we were walking we quickly warmed up. We even had some sunshine later on in our walk.
We started out at Chestnut Shelter in North Chagrin. The Cleveland Metroparks team had a nice fire going and greeted us as we arrived. Both of our guides (Matt and Zach) were so incredibly friendly and knowledgeable.
The photo below shows Chestnut Shelter in North Chagrin. You can see the snowshoes lined up out front.
^ Group shot as we began to head out. The softly falling snow made everyone and everything very photogenic 😄. Also our guide was an excellent group photographer 🙂.
We hiked through the woods which was beautiful. It was very quiet and peaceful and felt great to breathe in the cold fresh air. We even crossed a babbling brook! Talk about picturesque. We only saw a sole runner on our whole trek. As we walked, the guides pointed out different species of trees and critters, and told us about the Metroparks conservation efforts.
One of our guides, Matt. ^
We also got a brief history of snowshoes which was actually very interesting (especially if you’re into American history at all).
We eventually snowshoed to Squire’s Castle, a local Cleveland landmark. I hadn’t been here in at least 15 years, and I have to say, it looked so beautiful covered in snow.
^Squire’s Castle covered in snow (and enhanced via a Snapseed filter). The unfiltered version is below. What a beautiful sight!
The inside of the castle (which has been abandoned for decades) was beautiful and a bit eerie. The snow drifts inside the thick brick and stone walls reminded me of something you might see in a forgotten corner of an ancient European city.
After walking around the castle a little bit, we started our hike back.
When we arrived back to the lodge, we had s’mores and hot chocolate and chatted with our guides. It was a wonderful way to spend a wintry afternoon.
The Metroparks offers tons of programs throughout the year, and I couldn’t recommend this snowshoeing hike enough. You can view all of their programs by visiting their website which I will link below.
Take a look – they have activities the whole family can enjoy! Do you have any suggestions for winter activities? Let me know!