One of the goals here at the Geauga News is to connect our readers to the local resources that are right in front of you. One of those fantastic resources are all of the local parks located here in our own back yard. From local community parks found in each of our townships, to the Geauga Park District, to Punderson State Park, this county is full of great places to visit while you enjoy all nature has to offer. Geauga County even has a 75 acre wet / dry fun park known as Pioneer Waterland.
The Geauga Park District was established in 1961 and has grown steadily since then. It has been the mission of the park district to ensure that the most delicate ecosystems and the best park sites in the area remain protected from development. It also provides county residents the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in a safe and wholesome atmosphere.
The Geauga Park District manages approximately 9,500 acres in 20 different parks, preserves, and future parks. Currently the park district operates Bass Lake Preserve, Beartown Lakes Reservations, Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Park, Big Creek Park, Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve, Chickagami Park, Eldon Russell Park, Frohring Meadows, Headwater Park, The Maple Highlands Trail, Mountain Run Station, Observatory Park, Orchard Hills Park, Sunnybrook Preserve, Swine Creek Reservation, The Rookery, The West Woods, The West Woods – Affelder House, Walter C. Best Wildlife Preserve and Whitlam Woods.
Each of the parks offer an array of different activities including, biking, boating, fishing, horseback riding, picnic pavilions and shelters, playground areas, geocaching, sled riding and cross-country skiing. They even offer special featured programs each month and most of them are free to the public.
Throughout its history, the Geauga Park District has remained committed to preserving the natural beauty in this area. With the combined efforts of many local residents and conservationists, the park district is committed to preserving these natural treasures for many generations to come.
Hopefully summer will be here before we know it, so why not start thinking about summer passes to Pioneer Waterland. It’s a 75 acre park with lots of fun for all ages. The park features a Water Funland, Kidsland, Sportsland Fun Area, plus a featured Grand Prix Go-Kart Supertrack.
Punderson State Park is a 1,000 acre park located in Newbury Township. The park was transferred to the Division of Parks and Recreation for the development as a state park in 1951. Punderson Lake, totaling 150 acres, is one of the largest existing glacial lakes, and its depth of 85 – 90 feet in some areas makes it one of the deepest lakes in our area.
Punderson State Park offers many activities to be enjoyed no matter what the season is. Winter recreation includes sledding at a lighted sled hill, trails specific for snowmobiling and cross county skiing, winter hiking, and ice fishing. After a long day of being out in the cold, you can warm up by the fire in the winter sports chalet and enjoy a hot cup of coffee or cocoa.
Summer activities include over 14 miles of walking / hiking trails, fishing, boating swimming, picnicking, camping, geocaching, archery range and disc golf. There are also playgrounds, volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts, as well as shuffleboard and horseshoes available at the lodge. The lodge is open year round and the English Style Tudor Mansion consists of 31 guestrooms along with 26 two bedroom cottages. Punderson State Park also features a 18-hole Championship Golf Course open from April – October.
When you visit any one of the local county parks, you really get to see and enjoy each season in its entirety. Whether it’s the beauty of summer, or the vibrant fall colors, or even the ice that glistens like crystal on the trees during wintertime, we encourage you to go out and do something for the environment…experience it!