Working in circulation at the Bainbridge library has many benefits, one being the exposure I have to all the materials coming through.

Gail Ruester enjoys a hike with her dog at Herrick Fen Nature Preserve.

So when I saw 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles by Diane Stresing, it captured my attention.  Flipping through the pages I saw, “If you are within 60 miles of Cleveland, there is a hike for you!”

On a warm and sunny day, I selected a hike from this book. My husband Bob and I love to walk with our dog Penny, so we loaded her in the car and headed south to Streetsboro. Herrick Fen State Nature Preserve is located off Seasons Road. The sign announcing the park was very small and I was sure my husband had made a wrong turn when he headed down a dirt path and over railroad tracks. We found ourselves face to face with piles of brush and a family home. But we continued on and the small parking area to the right confirmed we were in the correct place. The path started out as overgrown grass with padded-down ruts on either side. It then alternated between boardwalks and muddy trails (it rained four inches the night before). The bugs, frogs, and birds were prolific, and here and there were partially-obstructed views of Kettle Lake. At times it was difficult to navigate the narrow path overgrown with vegetation, and tree roots poking through the ground required concentration on where we stepped, instead of being able to enjoy any scenery. We only met one person on the trail; it was a very secluded and out-of-the-way hike.

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles is a well laid-out book.The first few pages include charts which break down the hikes by county, and from there you can look for what your parameters are, such as difficulty or length of hike.  The chapters themselves give vivid descriptions of the parks/preserves.

After arriving home, I re-read the chapter on Herrick Fen Nature Preserve, which told me “pets and bicycles prohibited.”   Oops!  The next hike I choose, I will make sure Penny is welcome!

Gail Ruester is a circulation clerk at the Bainbridge Branch. She is currently reading Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.
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