The leaves are falling but there’s still time to see the last of the array of fall colors around Northeast Ohio. If you’re looking to get out this weekend, many area parks offer stroller-friendly options for families. Check out our list below. Bring a small bag so your little ones can collect leaves of all shapes, sizes and colors.
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.
Make a Craft
Do a leaf rubbing.
Place fresh leaves (dry ones can be too brittle) on a flat, hard surface (tip: use press and seal plastic wrap to hold the leaves and paper in place), cover with paper, turn a crayon on its side and rub it across until leaf images appear.
Play a color matching game.
Place pieces of colored construction paper — red, orange, yellow, green and/or brown — on the floor or table. Help your child sort the leaves into color piles. Count the leaves and ask questions such as, “which pile has more or less?”
Sort by Shape
Show your child that trees have differently shaped leaves. Print out free coloring sheets like birch, elm, maple and oak leaf images from smokymountains.com, and sort your collection.
Make leaf prints.
Cover your table with a plastic table cloth or scrap paper. Dip leaves in craft paint or use a foam brush to paint one side, then stamp the leaves onto paper.
Create leaf critters.
How about a lion or hedgehog? Easypeasyandfun.com offers a free printable lion image you can cut, color and glue colorful leaves around to create the mane. Or glue beech, elm, birch or similar leaves onto paper and use a black marker to draw on hedgehog faces and paws.