Fall in Northeast Ohio brings a wonderful change of scenery, including cooler days, crisp nights and an array of colorful foliage. It also brings the last stretch of mild weather before winter, making it a great time to get out and about with your little ones in tow. Whether you’re seeking a heart-pumping workout or a leisurely stroll, area parks offer many stroller-friendly options.
Remember to practice social distancing and adhere to current state guidelines when enjoying nature. For updated requirements, visit individual park system websites, included below, or go to coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Finding the Right Trail
Before you go exploring, look up trails with surfaces that are paved, gravel or crushed limestone — each will provide a smooth, stroller-friendly surface. Also be sure to check amenities, including restrooms, parking and picnic shelters or playgrounds if you’d like to extend your outing.
There are dozens of great trails in the region. Check the list below for a few favorites:
All Purpose Trail, Hinckley Reservation
Circle the 90-acre Hinckley Lake on this 3.3-mile paved trail that features scenic overlooks and plenty of hills to elevate your workout.
Geauga Park District
Old Ironsides Run, Holbrook Hollows
Take a stroll on this fairly flat, gravel-surfaced trail; after your 1.5-mile walk, let the kiddos burn off energy at the nearby nature-themed playground.
Eagle View Loop Trail, Lake Erie Bluffs
At Lake Erie Bluffs, gravel trails offer scenic overlooks and access to a natural beach along Lake Erie. The Eagle View Loop is a 0.6-mile trail that offers views of a variety of wildlife — look for bald eagles that are regularly seen at the park.
Lorain County Metro Parks
Hike/Bike Trail, Black River Reservation
The roughly 6.5-mile paved trail follows the Black River through its meanderings from Elyria to Lorain, winding its way past waterfalls, two playgrounds and picnic shelters.
Medina County Park District
Chippewa Inlet Trail, Buckeye Woods Park
Wind your way around a 75-acre wetland on this combination paved and aggregate trail that connects to Buckeye Woods Park — which offers playgrounds and picnic shelters.
Portage Park District
Spanning the distance from Mantua to Garrettsville, this 8.5-mile limestone trail passes by farmland, forests, ravines and wetlands, including nature preserves.
Petros Lake Loop Trail, Petros Lake Park
This 1.2-mile limestone trail loops around the 13-acre Petros Lake. A variety of birds, butterflies and wildflowers call the park home.
Summit Metro Parks
Alder Trail, Goodyear Heights Metro Park
At 1.4 miles long, Alder Trail leads through the woods to Alder Pond, where an accessible boardwalk traverses a cattail marsh.
Get the Gear
While you probably have the bare necessities to keep your baby or toddler entertained and safe on a long stroller excursion, you may want to consider some extras for added convenience:
Skip Hop offers an array of clip-on stroller toys that babies and toddlers will love. Features vary depending on the toy, but can include sound, mirrors, crinkly or textured fabrics, rattles, teethers and more.
Babyganics Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizing Wipes
Keep baby’s hands — and toys, stroller trays, etc. — clean while on the go with these gentle wipes that kill 99.9 percent of germs without alcohol, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances or dyes. Available in bulk, individually wrapped or as a foam sanitizer.
Bemece Rain Cover
This universal cover fits most stroller models and offers protection from rain, wind, cold and dust. Its large, see-through window offers baby great views and provides easy in-and-out access for mom and dad. The cover also features a waterproof zipper, velcro straps to keep it in place, and air holes for easy breathing.
Available on amazon.com
Fitbit Trackers and Smartwatches
Track your steps and so much more with Fitbit’s easy technology. Depending on the model, the activity trackers and smartwatches can monitor exercise, heart rate, sleep, nutrition and more. You also can connect with friends, join groups and participate in challenges that keep you moving toward your goals.
Itzy Ritzy Stroller Caddy
Staying organized while on the go has never been easier or more stylish. Adjustable straps fit nearly any size of stroller handle. The front of the caddy features a zippered pocket that is perfect for storing a phone or keys, while the inside includes two built-in pockets for holding bottles, snacks and diaper change essentials.
Delta Children partnered with Walmart for an exclusive line of quality-backed, affordable baby products called Little Folks by Delta Children. One product in the lineup, the Rubix Reversible Handle Stroller, can be used as a travel system with any compatible infant car seat, as a parent-facing stroller or as a forward-facing stroller. Without disturbing your child, the reversible handle flips, allowing your little one to face you for interaction or face forward to discover the world. Additional features like a compact fold, full coverage UPF 50+ canopy for sun protection, and removable child tray with cup holder help make everyday adventures effortless.
For more information, go to walmart.com
Look for a giveaway this month on the Northeast Ohio Parent Facebook page!