Explorers Series: Russell Uplands Presented by The Foundation for Geauga Parks

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Join other Explorers at Russell Uplands Preserve on Saturday, December 7th at 10:30 a.m. for a 1.6-mile hike on the Lake Trace and Hickory Trace trails. John Janoch will walk with the group and present photos and stories of property use in the early 20th century. John’s maternal grandparents and great–grandparents, the Stoner and Nichols families, owned the property for more than 50 years in succession.

This Geauga gem was protected in 2013 through a collaboration between Russell Township Park Board and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

From Geauga Park District website: In October 2018, Geauga Park District approved the 15-year lease of 317 acres from Russell Township Park District that included the 122.9 acres within Russell Uplands Preserve. Three trails total 2 miles.

This property lies between the upper main branch and the main branch of the Chagrin River, is mostly wooded, and is predominantly deciduous, although there are groves of pines and spruce in the northern portion along Route 87. The property is a diverse mix of floodplain-terraced wetlands, mature upland forest and numerous streams. Dominant trees in the floodplain-terraced wetlands are sycamore, black walnut, red ash and elm. The stream floodplain areas also contain a wide variety of shrubs, sedges, grasses and wildflowers. The upland forest is primarily mature beech, maple and red oak, including many large red oaks three to four feet in diameter at breast height.

Russell Uplands Preserve contains 16,000 linear feet of high quality headwater streams and approximately two acres of Ohio EPA Category 3 (high quality) riparian wetlands.  At least ten intermittent streams flow through the ravines near Russell Road and continue generally west across the property to the upper main branch of the Chagrin River. The northernmost creeks flow into Griswold Creek, a tributary of the main branch of the Chagrin River, and the two southernmost creeks flow directly into the main branch of the Chagrin River, a state scenic river. The property also contains a one-acre pond and an adjacent open meadow.

The group will meet in the parking area. Well-behaved pets, spouses and friends are always welcome!

Location & Directions

Russell Uplands Preserve
15200 Russell Rd, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022.

For a trail map, click here

For directions, click on the map.

Upcoming Explorations

Join us each month for the Explorers Series as we explore a different park in Geauga County by boot, bike, paddle, or skis. Each experience provides a fun way to get outdoors, meet new people, and learn more about the natural, historic, and cultural beauty of our county.

All activities begin at 10:30 a.m. and finish up by noon, unless stated otherwise. 

  • January         –  No Hike
  • February 1    –  The Rookery – hike or snowshoe with a naturalist
  • March 7         –  Beartown Lakes Reservation – hike
  • April 11          –  Affelder House – hike

About the Foundation

The Foundation for Geauga Parks is an independent, non-profit organization created to raise money to fund community engagement with nature through education, preservation, conservation and appreciation of the unique natural character of Geauga County. We are the Foundation for all parks in Geauga County.

2019 Foundation Trustees:

  • Jeff Hyde – President
  • Adam Henry – Vice President
  • Claudia Toth – Secretary 
  • Jonathon Green – Treasurer
  • Keith Corkwell
  • Casey Forbes
  • Carl Langer
  • Sue Lundstrom
  • Heidi O’Neill
  • Mary Beth O’Neill
  • Jennifer Salo
  • Richard Frenchie – Emeritus Trustee
  • Gretchen Faro – Director
  • Paige Orvis – Associate Director

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