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The Centennial Tour is a self-guided journey to 20 Summit Metro Parks locations throughout Summit County that celebrates 100 years of the park district. At each stop, learn about our rich history, made possible by the support of our community.

Open to All

At each designated location, visitors will find an interpretive panel with information about the area’s significance in the history of Summit Metro Parks. The panels are located next to parking areas, so the experience is accessible to all with no hiking required.
For those who completed the tour in 2021 or 2022, rewards pick-ups for the Centennial Tour are available until March 31, 2023 at any of our centers. Contact us with any questions.

Protecting Natural Resources

Sustainably managing and valuing natural resources for the health and enjoyment of our community

Cascade Valley

Cascade Valley Metro Park

A Keystone of Conservation

With the recent acquisition of the Valley View Area, Cascade Valley Metro Park now fully connects 1,700 acres of green space from Gorge Metro Park in Cuyahoga Falls through Sand Run Metro Park in Fairlawn, providing valuable habitat and unparalleled recreational opportunities. Experience stunning views of the Cuyahoga River and learn why this park is considered the “keystone” of the park district.

354 Sackett Ave., Akron, OH 44313

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Liberty Park

Collaborating to Create a Green Island

Established through a unique partnership with the City of Twinsburg, Liberty Park is the largest in the SMP system. With 3,000 acres of forest, marshland and sandstone ledges, it provides critical habitat for wildlife dependent on uninterrupted green space. Visitors share this park with many rare and endangered species, such as bats, river otters, bald eagles and even black bears!

9999 Liberty Rd., Twinsburg, OH 44087

Liberty Park
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Munroe Falls

Munroe Falls Metro Park

A Refuge for Wildlife & People

The beautiful landscape and high-quality natural resources of this park have long been enjoyed and protected. Once owned by John Renner, a private swim park stood here from the late 1930s until the park district acquired the property in 1978. Discover a unique ecosystem that recently allowed SMP biologists to reestablish spotted salamanders in the park’s vernal pools.

1088 North Ave., Tallmadge, OH 44278

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Nimisila Reservoir Metro Park

Peaceful Parkland for All to Enjoy

As one of the 13 bodies of water making up the Portage Lakes, Nimisila Reservoir was built in 1936 to support Akron’s ever-expanding industrial complex. Today Nimisila is an angler’s and birder’s paradise, home to largemouth bass, bald eagles and more. Visit to learn which birds pay this park a visit each August on their way to Central America.

6194 Christman Rd., Green, OH 44319

Nimisila Reservoir
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Springfield Bog

Springfield Bog Metro Park

Farm to Prairie

Acquired by Summit Metro Parks in 2009, this area has long been valued as an escape for Northeast Ohio residents. A railroad spur once brought city dwellers to pick the huckleberries grown in its natural bogs. Explore a prairie ecosystem and learn how the park district is supporting pollinators at this park located along the Continental Divide.

1400 Portage Line Rd., Springfield Twp., OH 44312

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Celebrating cultural heritage

Preserving our region’s history and the stories of the people who came before us

Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park

Akron’s Building Blocks

For over 100 years, these quarries were a source of sandstone prized for its fine quality. The name “Deep Lock Quarry” is a nod to Lock 28, a step along the Ohio & Erie Canal where untold tons of stone were shipped to create buildings from Akron all the way to Japan! Today you can “step” into the past by climbing the remaining quarry steps yourself.

5779 Riverview Rd., Peninsula, OH 44264

Deep Lock Quarry
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Goodyear Heights Metro Park

Goodyear Heights Metro Park

Growing Green Gardens

Situated on land donated to SMP in 1930 by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and others, Goodyear Heights Metro Park later became the site for the Goodyear Victory Gardens during World War II. Victory gardens promoted a community-based approach to growing fresh, accessible produce during meager times. Discover how this tradition lives on in the park today.

2077 Newton St., Akron, OH 44305

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Gorge Metro Park

More than a Metro Park

Gorge Metro Park has been a recreational haven for well over a century. Formerly home to several amusement parks, the area also featured trails, scenic views, dance halls, caves and one of the first roller coasters. Later, the landscape shifted with the addition of the Gorge Dam and Depression-era structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Explore this park for yourself to envision where it could go next.

1160 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223

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Towpath Trail South

Southern Towpath Trail

Building a Pathway to the Future

In 1827, Locks 2 & 3 South of the Ohio & Erie Canal were built, linking the village of Clinton and its rich natural resources to the rest of the state. As Clinton grew, it became an important center for the shipment of wheat and coal. Take a walk along the Towpath Trail and imagine mules pulling canal boats laden with passengers and goods up and down the historic canal.

2749 North St., Clinton, OH 44216

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Central Towpath Trail

Connecting Past, Present & Future of Summit Lake

This glacial lake was once used by Indigenous peoples for hunting and fishing, and the Portage Path passed along its western shore. Historically, it also supported the Firestone rubber industry and attracted crowds to its thriving amusement park. Systematic changes later resulted in a polluted ecosystem and abandoned buildings in this close-knit, but historically underserved, community. Visit the Summit Lake Nature Center to see how SMP and its partners are supporting neighborhood revitalization efforts and forging new connections to nature in this urban environment.

411 Ira Ave., Akron, OH 44301

Towpath Trail Central
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Connecting people to nature

Inspiring people to connect with nature through clean and safe parks

Nature Realm

F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm

Bringing People to Nature

School of the Woods was one of the park district’s first major efforts to educate the public about the natural world. Begun here in 1964, the program quickly blossomed to help local youth group leaders develop techniques for conducting nature study field trips. Stop by to see how our interpretive staff educates thousands of residents each year, bringing people and nature closer together one experience at a time.

1828 Smith Rd., Akron, OH 44313

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Firestone Metro Park

These Boots were Made for Hiking

Hiking boots first hit Firestone Metro Park trails in September 1964 to begin the most beloved of Summit Metro Parks traditions, the Fall Hiking Spree. The longest-running annual hiking event in the nation began under Director-Secretary Dr. Arthur Wilcox, the park district’s third leader. Come see for yourself where this time-honored activity got its start.

2400 Harrington Rd., Akron, OH 44319

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Hampton Hills

Hampton Hills Metro Park

Recreation for Everyone

A longstanding recreational haven, this park has something for everyone, from archery to mountain biking and everything in between. Challenging hiking trails offer visitors beautiful vistas, a glimpse of the historic Adam family barn and a chance to see wildlife up close. Find your favorite activity at Hampton Hills today.

2925 Akron-Peninsula Rd., Akron, OH 44313

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Silver Creek Metro Park

Connecting to Nature through Recreation

This park features several trails and a 50-acre lake, affording visitors opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, boating and fishing in natural settings where diverse plants and wildlife can be observed. For something a little different, try your hand at disc golf on the park’s newly completed course!

5171 S. Medina Line Rd., Norton, OH 44203

Silver Creek Metro Park
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Bike & Hike

Bike & Hike Trail

Rails to Trails

In 1895, you could travel by railway from Akron to Cleveland’s Public Square for 50 cents. Fast forward to the 1960s and the interurban line no longer existed. Instead, some of its abandoned corridors had become the first dedicated bike pathway in the Summit Metro Parks system. Take a spin on this “rails-trails” conversion to ride through stunning sandstone ledges and more!

331 Barlow Rd., Akron, OH 44236

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Honoring community support

Appreciating the community’s generosity and commitment to the parks

Furnace Run Metro Park

A Social Experiment in Generosity

Dorothy Brush donated 275 acres to the park district in 1929 to create the beginnings of this park. Mrs. Brush saw the value in sharing her land with the community, and today we have her early gift to thank for the decades of recreational enjoyment that have followed at Furnace Run Metro Park. Visit to discover how Mrs. Brush made the decision to donate her land.

4955 Townsend Rd., Richfield, OH 44286

Furnace Run
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O'Neil Woods

O’Neil Woods Metro Park

A Family Tradition of Giving

William O’Neil, founder of General Tire & Rubber Company, and his wife Grace leased and then later donated their 242-acre family farm to SMP in 1970. Their son, M. Gerald O’Neil, served on the Board of Park Commissioners from 1969 to 1978. Explore this park to catch glimpses of Yellow Creek and to view the family’s barn, which still stands along the trail.

2550 Martin Rd., Bath, OH 44333

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Sand Run Metro Park

A Park System is Born

The park district’s first piece of donated land is marked by a boulder that sits at the intersection of Merriman Road and Portage Path. At less than one acre, this property was called “Courtney Park” in honor of farmer Joseph Courtney who donated it in 1925 during the City of Akron’s centennial celebration. Visit today to discover the nearly 1,000-acre park that grew from that first donation.

1300 Sand Run Pkwy, Akron, OH 44313

Sand Run
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Wood Hollow

Wood Hollow Metro Park

Giving Back to the Community

Imagine owning land that could fetch a significant price if sold on the market, but instead choosing to donate it for preservation and the enjoyment of others. That’s the true story of this park, which was established by a generous anonymous donation of 150 acres of land in 2009. Come learn how that opened the door for visitors like you to contribute to important scientific research at parks like Wood Hollow.

2121 Barlow Rd., Hudson, OH 44236

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Freedom Trail

Collaborating for Community Improvement

Named for the Freedom Secondary line of the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad from Freedom Township in Portage County, this multipurpose trail is an example of what happens when communities work together for the benefit of their residents. Take a ride today to appreciate how support from local towns and access by METRO RTA made this trail possible.

1765 Northeast Ave., Tallmadge, OH 44278

Freedom Trail
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