The crunching of leaves beneath your feet. The chill of a cool, crisp air. Perfect weather for a hike.
Fall is the best time to get out and experience Summit County's trails. The trails are quiet, the ideal place to get away from the stress of everyday life. And the trails are changing every day.
"The weather, it's a little cool, trees are turning into vivid colors, and it's just a lovely time to take a hike," said Nancy Grof, a member of the Akron Metro Parks Hiking Club who has hiked more than 15,000 miles in her lifetime.
There are lots of different hikes locally. Here are my picks for the top five hikes in the Akron area based on fall foliage, panoramic views, uniqueness and seclusion.
5. Deer Run Trail – O'Neil Woods Metro Park, this 1.8-mile trail runs near the old O'Neil Family Farm which now serves as a bat sanctuary. The trail offers views of the Yellow Creek and beautiful woodlands. The trail is best accessed from the O'Neil Woods parking lot off of Martin Road.
4. Adam's Run Trail – Hampton Hills Metro Park, perhaps the most intense of the Summit County Metro Park trails, this 3.2-mile hike travels through ravines and traverses numerous footbridges all the while showcasing some of the best fall scenery the area has to offer. The trail is best accessed from the Hampton Hills parking lot off of Akron-Peninsula Road.
3. Schumacher Trail – Cascade Valley/North Metro Park, this hilly 1.2-mile trail is a personal favorite due to its steep change in elevation that could be confused for parts of the Appalachian Trail. However, after a rain, it can be difficult to hike. The trail is best accessed from the Schumacher Valley parking lot of Cuyahoga Street.
2. Salt Run Trail – Cuyahoga Valley National Park, this trail is best accessed from the Pine Hollow Trailhead off of Quick Road. in Peninsula. This 3.6-mile looping trail has low foot traffic. The trail begins at the edge of Kendall Lake and traverses the edge of a ravine which loops back to the lake.
1. Plateau Trail – Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the trail is best accessed from the Oak Hill Trail Head, off of Everett Road. This 4.9-mile trail offers the most secluded hike available in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park along with some of the most spectacular fall foliage in the entire area. This trail weaves back and forth along a ravine and meanders past three separate ponds. It also features a unique corridor of pine trees that give the look and feel of a natural hallway.