Making Nature Your Neighbor

We are all together in getting through these tumultuous times. It has become imperative to connect and experience Nature both physically and virtually. Throughout Northeast Ohio, there are gems to enjoy that are “low risk”, can help you get that breath of fresh air you deserve, and connect you to the natural world in which we live. Join us as we continue our journey to explore sites throughout our region and get our weekly West Creek Wednesday: Nature Fix! Together, we’ll explore some well-known trails and hidden gems we think you’ll be excited to learn more about.

The Hike: Snake Hill Parkland

Location: Big Creek Watershed, Parma

For this week’s installment of hidden gems throughout Northeast Ohio, we visited one of the largest, unseen parklands in Parma, Snake Hill.  Dedicated in 2009, Snake Hill features many unmarked social trails, a section of Big Creek, and a large floodplain area, all surrounded by neighboring homes and businesses.  We explored the property on a cold, spring day after a large rainstorm came through.  With tales of an old mineral spring on the property, we were ready to investigate.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the spring, but we did see the restoration work our volunteer steward, Terry Greathouse, put in place in action.  The goal for the restoration is to stop the sheeting of water from large rain events that is eroding the land.  Although, there is still work to be done, the logs brought in from other properties and the native plants transplanted from our nursery are helping alleviate some of the issues.

Overall the hike was beautiful, we saw some very mature trees, hunted for some salamanders, skipped some rocks into Big Creek, and cleaned up some trash along the way.  If you’re looking for a relaxing walk in the woods within suburbia, then look no further.  Snake Hill will give you that breathe of fresh air you need, all while avoiding crowded areas.  We highly recommend a visit.

Conservation Work

West Creek Conservancy, Parma, and the Busch family completed the preservation of 55 acres of natural greenspace at the southeast corner of the intersection of Ridge and Pleasant Valley Roads. Threatened for many years by stormwater runoff, the erosion from increased storm surges, and sedimentation from residential development upstream, over 2500 linear feet of Big Creek and one of its tributary streams are now protected.

This natural public area, long known to residents as Snake Hill, is now available for low-impact recreation. This entire parkland is now owned by the City of Parma and protected with a conservation easement held by WCC.  The area can be accessed via an unmarked hiking trail that starts at the back of Parma’s Sandy Hook Playground off Sandy Hook Drive (west of State Road).

Read more about the history of the parkland here.

Join us weekly for your Nature Fix as we tour properties throughout the region and extend the work of West Creek Conservancy onto your devices.

Snake Hill Parkland Gallery: Our Hike