For many people, trails are the Metroparks. More people say they visit their favorite park to take advantage of the trails for than any other reason, surpassing picnicking and every other use in surveys for at least the past decade.
That’s why 2009 is the Year of the Trail in the Metroparks.
Trails are the routes to the beautiful scenery preserved in the parks. They take you there and back. Walking a trail is a great way to mingle with people – or to get away for a while. Walking or running on a trail makes exercise feel, well, like a stroll in the park. And it’s good for your physical and emotional well-being.
Year of the Trail will involve a wide variety of activities designed to make it easier than ever to hit the trails and make the most of a Metroparks experience.
From a 0.3 mile trail around a woodland pond at Secor to the 15-mile hiking trail at Oak Openings, trails are a common ingredient in every Metropark. Trails vary in length and are marked with a color “blaze” system. Most trails loop back to where they began and some have short and long loops to choose from.
The starting point for a trail is called a trailhead. Often in the Metroparks, a trailhead will lead walkers to multiple trail options. At Pearson Metropark, located at SR 2 in Oregon, the trailhead is Packer-Hammersmith Center.
Walking trails include:
• Black Swamp Trail (orange): 1.3 miles, short loop, 0.8 miles;
• Wood Thrush Trail (blue), 1.3 miles;
• Exercise trail: 2.9 miles.
• All Purpose Trail: 3.0 mile loop.
Rules of the road: All Metroparks trails are open daily 7 a.m. to dark. Helmets and other safety gear is strongly recommended for cyclists and in-line skaters. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on all trails. Metroparks rangers patrol the trails and respond to any emergency.
Walkers, joggers, cyclists and skaters share the trails. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, use the following courtesies.
• Use the right lane;
• Pass on the left only;
• Sound when passing;
• Stop and look for traffic at all road intersections;
• Reduce speed when approaching others;
• Do not block the trail.