An Everyday Akron neighbor recently reached out to me for park recommendations to enjoy on nice days. More specifically, they were looking for date ideas that are wheelchair friendly. I listed some ideas off the top of my head and did a little more digging. After I sent them the list, I figured the rest of the Akron community might benefit from it, whether they use a wheelchair, push kids in strollers, want a flat surface for running, or just want to leisurely enjoy the outdoors.
These suggestions are in Summit Metro Parks—a favorite park system of the Everyday Akron community. If you visit their website to Find a Park or Trail, you can filter the trail type by those that are accessible. You can also filter by trail difficulty, activities, and amenities.
Looking for accessible parks and trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park? Visit the other blog post.
Overlook Trail – Cascade Valley
This ADA accessible trail leads to one of the most gorgeous views of fall leaves, along with the Cuyahoga River and oxbow that sit 125 feet below the Overlook Deck. The trail is pet-friendly too, so bring your furry friends!
Where to park: Overlook Area, 354 Sackett Ave., Akron 44313
Learn more: Summit Metro Parks – Cascade Valley
F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
The trails at the Nature Realm are not listed as being accessible, however the pathways to the Visitors Center and in the Rock & Herb Garden are accessible. These pathways are paved, concrete block, or brick.
The garden is full of flowers, plants, and pollinators during the warmer months. Seneca Pond and Deck are great any time of year. And, if you have some bird seed, you can hand-feed the birds in the section of trail between the pond and campfire area. (They sell small packets of bird seed in the Visitors Center when the building is open.)
Note: The Nature Realm Visitors Center is closed as of March 2021 due to COVID-19 precautions
Where to park: 1828 Smith Rd., Akron 44313
Learn more: Summit Metro Parks – Nature Realm
Old Portage Area – Sand Run
This one-mile round trip part of the trail is accessible and pet-friendly. Sand Run is an Akronite favorite. Even if you’re just cruising down Sand Run Parkway in a car, this park is beautiful year-round.
Where to park: 1300 Sand Run Pkwy., Akron 44313
Learn more: Summit Metro Parks – Sand Run
Twinsburg Ledges Area – Liberty Park
As soon as the Nature Center reopens, be sure to pop in—it’s stunning! The Maple Loop Trail is accessible and paved. You’ll most likely see and hear many birds and bugs and other wildlife as you go through the beech-maple forest.
Note: The Liberty Park Nature Center is closed as of March 2021 due to COVID-19 precautions
Where to park: 9999 Liberty Rd., Twinsburg 44087
Learn more: Summit Metro Parks – Liberty Park
Tallmadge Meadows Area – Munroe Falls
The flat Meadow Loop Trail is a little over a third of a mile long. With a variety of plants and trees, you’re sure to encounter some incredible wildlife.
Where to park: 1088 North Ave., Tallmadge 44278
Learn more: Summit Metro Parks – Munroe Falls
Alder Trail – Goodyear Heights
The first half-mile round trip of Alder Trail is accessible. Start at the Pioneer Area parking lot and head to Alder Pond to enjoy the view. This is another spot that is pretty any time of the year.
Where to park: 550 Frazier Ave., Akron 44305
Learn more: Summit Metro Parks – Goodyear Heights
Have more ideas? Leave a comment below or tweet @everydayakron.
Note: With the ongoing pandemic, as well as Ohio weather, please check related websites for park and trail alerts.
All photos by Rachel Whinnery