Explorers Series: The West Woods’ Affelder House


Saturday, April 11, 2020
10:30 a.m.

The West Woods’ Affelder House: Hike


In respect to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s recommendation to practice social distancing for the foreseeable future, the Foundation for Geauga Parks will NOT be hosting the monthly Explorers Series hike in April. We will keep you informed of future opportunities or cancellations as they emerge.

That being said, there is no better remedy for you and your families right now when social restrictions are high than to spend time outdoors. Therefore, provided here are directions to this hike location and a trail map in the event you choose to venture out on your own.

This hike begins on the Affelder Link starting on the entrance drive near the Lewis & Ruth Affelder House. Pick up the Falls Trail, which takes you for a view of the Affelder Falls in its springtime beauty. Switch back to the Affelder Link and continue east on that trail until you meet the junction of the Pioneer Bridle Trail. You may turn back here for a 2.5-mile hike. The more adventurous may continue on the loop of the Pioneer Bridle Trail to add 2.7 miles to your outing.  

From GPD website – The West Woods:

This 902-acre park protects the historic sandstone ledges of Ansel’s Cave, Silver Creek and its watershed, extensive wetlands and mature forests. 

The natural diversity of The West Woods is not only pleasing to the eye; it provides refuge for a variety of wildlife. Wetlands, mature forests, reclaimed farm fields and Ansel’s Cave, which is composed of Sharon conglomerate sandstone ledges, provide habitat for a great number of plant and animal species. Three tributaries of Silver Creek – a high quality cold-water stream and a tributary of the Chagrin River – have been used by the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Wildlife to successfully reintroduce a “threatened” species of native brook trout.

Several potentially threatened species have been identified here, including the butternut tree, closed gentian, blunt mountain mint wildflowers, tall manna grass and the Mourning Warbler. More than 100 species of fungi have been identified here, several of which are rare in North America.

As the forest continues to mature, the undisturbed habitat becomes increasingly valuable to wildlife, including woodland songbirds like tanagers, warblers, thrushes, vireos and flycatchers; Pileated Woodpeckers; and Barred Owls and others that depend on sizable forest stands with undisturbed interiors.

Frogs, toads and a large variety of salamanders benefit from the abundance of seeps, springs, streams and both naturally occurring and man-made wetlands located within the park.