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Metro Parks Wood Hollow Park to open late this year in Hudson

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: January 9, 2013 12:00 AM

Hudson -- Metro Parks Serving Summit County has plans to open its first park in the city this year.

Wood Hollow is a 225-acre park named for the hollow trees on the property, according to Nathan Eppink, chief of marketing and communication.

The initial 122-acres on the north side of Barlow Road and on both sides of Stow Road was anonymously donated in 2010 to Metro Parks, Eppink said. Another 21 acres near state Route 303 was donated and will become a conservation area.

The park district built a 1.2-mile trail in 2011 on the wooded property and then purchased an additional 103 acres of land west of the donated land to create a 225-acre park, he said.

The land is at least half wetlands with five stream habitats with old agricultural fields, which will be restored to meadows, according to the concept plan.

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The additional property to the west is open and won't require any tree removal to create a trail head with a parking lot, open-air shelter and restrooms and information kiosk. The existing trail will be 1.5 miles long when extended to the trail head, Eppink said. Once a contract is awarded for the design of the trailhead, construction can begin this year.

Besides Wood Hollow, Metro Parks owns TenBroeck, a 137-acre conservation area in Hudson and Streetsboro between Hudson-Aurora Road and the Ohio Turnpike. Metro Parks hasn't developed a concept plan for the property yet, Eppink said.

Metro Parks also manages the 293 acres owned by the city on the former Youth Development Center property, most of it north of Hines Hill Road.

Metro Parks has named the park at the former YDC property "Maple Grove," which was suggested by the city, according to Eppink.

The property is wooded and shrubby with some wetlands. Metro Parks does not have a concept plan for Maple Grove, but development would be limited to a small parking lot and a hiking trail, most likely in a few years, Eppink said.

Metro Parks completed the Towpath Trail in 2012 and is focusing on Liberty Park in Twinsburg and parks such as Wood Hollow, according to Eppink.

The trails provide new hiking opportunities for residents and could be added to the Fall Hiking Spree, an annual hiking activity offered by Metro Parks, he said.

In addition to the new parks, Metro Park has a trail head for the Bike and Hike Trail on Barlow Road on the east side of Hudson.

Metro Parks, established in 1921, manages more than 11,100 acres of land, including 14 developed parks, several conservation areas and more than 125 miles of trails along with 22.4 miles on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. More than 5 million visitors per year visit these properties.

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