The Portage Park District will offer a special series of guided hikes at undeveloped parklands normally closed to the public.  These are properties that have been acquired with grants and donations to conserve important natural areas for wildlife habitat and water quality protection. They are not yet open to the public due to a lack of adequate funding to develop and manage them.

All hikes will begin at 2:00 p.m. and are expected to last approximately 2 hours. Please call or email the Park District for more information and to get directions at 330-297-7728 or

•  April 13, 2:00 Chagrin Headwaters Preserve (parking at CANTEX 11444 Chamberlain Rd, Mantua Twp).: 95 acres of woods, wetlands, fields and the Aurora Branch of the Chagrin River; Mantua Township on Chamberlain Rd.

•  April 27, 2:00 Morgan Preserve (parking lot on Nicodemus Road approx. 1/3 mile east of SR 44, Shalersville): 504 acres of high quality woods, fields, stream and wetlands.

• May 4, 2:00 Franklin Bog Preserve 6918 SR 43, Franklin Twp.: 58 acres of woods, kettlehole lake and sphagnum bog; Franklin Township.

These hikes will count in the 2014 Wild Hikes Challenge commemorating the “Year of the Salamander.”   To participate in the Wild Hikes Challenge, participants must walk eight of the designated trails before December 1 to earn a locally made hiking stick and 2014 brass tag. Forms can be downloaded from