“I’ve got to get outdoors!” My comment to myself after church last Sunday (March 11th) when I walked out to feel that long awaited warmth of the sun in a cloudless sky. After a quick stop at home, I took off to find my sister. No way would we walk in the shade of the wooded Geauga Parks today. We wanted to hike in the full strength of the sun with hopes of convincing Mother Nature to suspend the rest of winter. She suggested Frohring Meadows in Bainbridge on Savage Road, a spot neither of us had visited. Apparently, we weren’t the only hopeful hikers that day! As we stepped out of the car, we found ourselves amid dads, moms, kids, runners, walkers, baby strollers and dogs! Yes, dogs! Frohring Meadows became the most dog-friendly park in the district in 2011 when it opened its inaugural dog park, where dogs and their owners can enjoy some time off leash.
This 298-acre park features a 100-acre prairie and trails through the woodlands; plenty of space to contain the above-mentioned outdoor lovers without feeling too close for comfort. There are two main trails. The fully-accessible Dragonfly Trail is a .7 mile oval-shaped paved walkway, ideal for wheelchairs, strollers, smooth running, and those who want a closer view of the wet prairie. You may see a few plovers and sandpipers and as the weather warms, you’re sure to encounter a nice dragonfly population. The Bluestem Trail offers a longer easy hike through both meadow and woodland. Bluestem grass, as well as a variety of other grasses and wildflowers, decorate the open area providing a colorful display of beauty from spring through summer. As you continue the 2.8 mile hike, you’ll find yourself engulfed by maple trees along with, beech, black cherry, tulip, red oak, and hickory. And what is spring without an annual attempt to catch a slimy, wriggly salamander! Spring pools abound inside the woods where you will be able to discover a number of amphibians, like the spotted salamander, which return each spring to lay their eggs.
A clean restroom and a picnic area which seats up to 50 is also on the premises making this a perfect spot for a family reunion, graduation party, or summer barbecue.
No doubt I will return to Frohring Meadows soon, probably mid to late April, for a leisurely run and to find those handsome spotted salamanders!
For more information and directions, visit this link – FROHRING MEADOWS . You may also contact the Geauga Park district at (440) 286-9516.