June 27, 2016

Partly sunny

Mothers in nature: Cold weather sets record for annual hike

About 20 hikers examine wildflowers Sunday in Allardale Park during a Mother's Day hike. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

With bone-chilling temperatures in the 40s, Sunday’s annual Mother’s Day wildflower hike at Allardale Park in Granger Township was one for the record books.

“It’s a record temperature for a Mother’s Day hike,” said Dan Bertsch, chief naturalist for the Medina County Park District.

Bertsch has been leading the hike for a dozen years.

About 20 hikers showed up — from first-timers to veterans — to view the multitude of woodland flowers in the park.

“This is what would have been here when the Native Americans were here,” he said during the hourlong tour.

One of the veteran hikers was Marie Buser, 82, a Hinckley Township resident who has been hiking all her life. She walks with the Cleveland Hiking Club,and leads local hikes in Hinckley as well.

She said she enjoys hiking on all different sorts of terrain.

Buser wore a denim jacket covered with cloth badges from parks she’s visited.

“I’m a walking billboard,” she said, with a laugh.

Toward the end of the hike, Bertsch pointed to the new building at the top of the sledding hill at Allardale Park.

Judy Trepkowski, a Medina County Park District volunteer, displays mitrewort, a flower that resembles a Bishop's cap, during a Mother's Day hike Sunday in Allardale Park. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

The 4,800-square-foot Lodge at Allardale will include a fireplace, small kitchen, restrooms and a meeting room. The facility, with a capacity of 100, will host park events and be available to rent for outside events as well.

Bertsch said the lodge will have its grand opening June 9 at noon.

Sunday’s hike was part of the “Natural Discoveries” hiking series, one of 26 Sunday hikes planned this year.

The next hike will be “Snakes Alive!” at 3 p.m. June 9 at the Wolf Creek Environmental Center, 6100 Ridge Road, Sharon Township. Participants will learn what kinds of snakes live in the park and whether there are any venomous snakes in Medina County, as well as how snakes find and capture their prey.

Hikers can earn a badge by completing a minimum of five hikes in a year. Participants can also earn a free hiking staff upon completing any 20 hikes. They can also be purchased for $10 after completing 10 hikes.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.