The dog-friendly Brecksville Reservation features ten named trails that wind and meander across tall grass prairies, across creeks and streams, through dense forest and to the Deer Lick Cave deep in the woods. The reservation is part of the Cleveland Metro Parks system, and is in fact the system's largest, and it holds much to explore for doggo and human alike!
Once the home of the Harriet L Keeler Woodland Trail back in the 1930s, that small trail has been overrun by larger and lengthier trails that crisscross each other. Harriet Keeler was a naturalist of some fame, and the nature trail was built to honor her work. It's now an important connector between two other trails leading from the memorial area bearing her name. The main trailhead lies at the memorial, and smaller, social trails have their beginnings at intersections with the larger trails.
Seven huge gorges define the terrain at Brecksville, forming paths for streams and waterfalls and adventure-filled climbs over furnormous boulders. All of the trails are of packed dirt, with the exception of the half-mile Tallgrass Prairie Loop, which is partly asphalt. The Prairie Loop features milkweed and other plants that attract monarch butterflies, bees and gypsy moths. Interpretive signs tell the story of the visitors in the grasses. A separate Fitness Trail features 18 stations where walkers can practice their fitness skills, and the 16-mile section of the Buckeye Trail that passes through the reservation is where you and your pooch will find a large waterfall shortly after leaving the trail's start at Chippewa Creek Drive near the All-Purpose Trail.
Six picnic areas that are spread throughout provide pawrfect spots where you and your fur-baby can have a sit and lunch before moving on to the next great furventure. Trailheads and picnic areas offer parking, restrooms, and drinking water. Do bring clean up bags though, as non are provided.
Views from the trails include Chippewa Creek, the seven gorges and the barktiful, breathtaking wildflowers of spring, summer and fall. Several trails are open in winter and groomed for cross-country skiing, and hiking continues to be a pupular activity as well. The Nature Center offers brochures and maps, as well as information about what you and your furry bestie will see. The Wildflower Trail trailhead rises just behind it.
Whether you and your pooch are looking for easy or strenuous hiking and climbing, a swim in a creek or waterfall pool, or a picnic in view of a puptastic prairie, Brecksville is a place you'll want to come to again and again.