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Metroparks Offer Serene Escape

South Euclid is your average American city. Businesses, houses and shops are condensed into grid-like formations along concrete roads. It’s filled with traffic jams, loud noises, and, well… people. There seems to be no escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Or is there? 

It’s hard to believe that imbedded in all the buildings and streets lies a vast amount of desolate and peaceful wildlife. Until recently I was unaware of this. But a few weeks ago, my roommate and I decided to explore a walking path behind our apartment that leads down to Euclid Creek. I’ve known about the creek but never had the inclination to venture past the cement path lining its border. It is where one can really experience the full potential of the Cleveland Metroparks here in South Euclid.

After a little fence hoping, my roommate and I climbed down a rock face towards the creek. Picnic areas, pavilions and playgrounds periodically popped up along its coast, although, the real excitement lay even further. 

We stone stepped our way across the creek, suffering only one slippery setback on the algae-coved rocks, and came to an unmarked path on the other side. At this point there were no signs of human life insight. It surprised me that I was able to take a 10-minute walk from my apartment, where my ears were assaulted with the sounds of cars and people, and find myself submersed in the white noise of wind blowing through trees and flowing creek water.

We continued to hike up the path searching for other areas to explore. When I say “path,” I use the word loosely. This winding, narrow dirt clearing was far from a typical path. Sometimes it would completely stop and we would find ourselves standing at the bottom of a steep, rocky hill. Once pulling ourselves to the top, the path would continue for a little longer until it decided to throw another obstacle in the way for us to overcome. 

There were times we would reach a pinnacle in the path where a slight step to the left would result in a freefall before being devoured by the creek’s rocky teeth. But standing on these peaks gave way to incredibly vast, scenic views. The tops of trees hovered like green clouds underneath. There I realized that the higher you are in the world, the smaller you feel in relation to it.

In order to beat the setting sun, we eventually turned around and headed back, leaving a vast, unexplored territory behind. But I will definitely be back. I think it is a shame to not take advantage of the Cleveland Metroparks if you live in this area. It is the perfect place to get away, exercise and explore; especially if you’ve grown sick of the sight of concrete and the smell of car exhaust. If you enjoy taking walks and exploring, remember that Mother Nature has her enclave right down the street.