Medina County is copying Summit County's successful fall hiking program as Medina, Summit and Stark counties launch their seasonal hiking sprees.
On Saturday, the Medina County Park District is kicking off Trekking Through Autumn, a new parks hiking program.
It is closely patterned after the highly successful Fall Hiking Spree, now in its 44th year, operated by Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, said Tom James, director of the Medina park district.
The Medina park system had a program in which people could hike with a park naturalist and earn rewards, but park officials had numerous requests for an in dependent hiking program like Summit County's, he said.
Participants must hike 12 of the 15 designated trails between Saturday and Nov. 30.
Those completing the 12 trails and getting their forms signed by park personnel will earn a small backpack. In subsequent years, first-time hikers will get backpacks and repeat hikers will get pins that can be attached to the backpacks.
The forest-green backpacks and pins are free for Medina County residents. The fee for out-of-county residents is $10 for backpacks and $2 for pins.
Completed forms must be turned in at the Wolf Creek Environmental Center, 6100 Ridge Road (state Route 94), Sharon Township. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The trails in this year's Trekking Through Autumn are:
Blue Trail (2 miles) or Wetlands-Pine Woods-Hardwood Forest Loop (1.3 miles), both at the Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary/Wolf Creek Environmental Center, Sharon Township.
Meadow Trail (1.2 miles), Allardale Park, Remsen Road, Granger Township.
Chippewa North Trail (2 miles), Buckeye Woods Park, Wedgewood Road (state Route 162), Lafayette Township.
Chippewa Inlet Trail (halfway and back, 1.75 miles), Chippewa Road, Lafayette Township.
Chippewa Rail Trail (halfway and back, 2.4 miles), Chippewa Road, Lafayette Township.
Wetland Trail (0.25 mile), Green Leaf Park, Medina Line Road, Sharon Township.
Lake Trail (1.2 miles), Hubbard Valley Park, Hubbard Valley Road, Guilford Township.
Lake and River trails (2.3 miles), Lake Medina, state Route 18, Medina Township and city of Medina.
Lester Rail Trail (halfway and back, 3 miles), Lester Road, York Township.
Nature Trail (0.75 mile), Letha House Park, Spencer Lake Road, Chatham Township.
Red Trail (1.2 miles), Plum Creek Park, Plum Creek Parkway, Brunswick Hills Township.
Red Trail (1 mile), Princess Ledges Nature Preserve, Spruce Avenue, Brunswick Hills Township.
Pond and Nature trails (1.25 miles), River Styx Park, River Styx Road, Guilford Township.
Yellow Trail (1 mile), Schleman Nature Preserve, next to Buckeye Woods, Lafayette Township.
Pets are not permitted on the grounds of the Wolf Creek Environmental Center.
All awards must be claimed by March 31.
For information, call 330-722-9364 or check http://www.medinacountyparks.com.
Summit County's Fall Hiking Spree also officially gets under way Saturday. It runs through Nov. 30. Hikers must complete eight of the 13 designated trails:
Bike & Hike Trail, from Brust Park on state Route 91 in Munroe Falls to the east, 2 miles, easy.
Schumacher Trail, Cascade Valley, Cuyahoga Street, Akron, 1.2 miles, moderate.
Quarry Trail, Deep Lock Quarry, Riverview Road, Peninsula, 1.2 miles, moderate.
Walking course, Firestone, Warner Road, Akron, 0.9 mile, easy.
Rock Creek Trail, Furnace Run, Townsend Road, Richfield Township, 1.2 miles, easy.
Parcours, Goodyear Heights, Newton Street, Akron, 1.8 miles, strenuous.
Glens Trail, Gorge, Front Street, Cuyahoga Falls, 1.8 miles, strenuous.
Spring Hollow Trail, Hampton Hills, Akron-Peninsula Road, Akron, 1.6 miles, strenuous.
Indian Spring Trail, Munroe Falls, South River Road, Munroe Falls, 2.2 miles, moderate.
Seneca Trail, Nature Realm, Smith Road, Akron, 1.3 miles, moderate.
Towpath Trail, from Clinton trailhead on North Street to the south, 2 miles, easy.
Mingo Trail, Sand Run, Sand Run Parkway, Akron, 3.3 miles, strenuous.
Chippewa Trail, Silver Creek, Hametown Road, Norton, 2 miles, easy.
Forms are available at the Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Road, Akron, and park district offices, 975 Treaty Line Road, Akron. They are also available at all Acme stores and online.
First-time hikers get a hiking staff; veteran hikers get a shield to attach to the hiking staff. The rewards are free for Summit County residents. The fee for others is $10 for first-time hikers and $5 for veteran hikers.
For information, call 330-865-8065 or 330-867-5511. You can also check out http://www.summitmetroparks.com.
In Stark County, hikers can earn a hiking staff or a frog charm by completing the Healthy Hikes program.
Participants must hike eight of the 12 designated trails before Nov. 30. The program started Aug. 18.
The trails are:
Canton Parks Trail, from Ninth Street Southwest to West Tuscarawas St., Canton, 0.75 mile one way.
Shoreline loop, Walborn Reservoir, Price Street Northeast, Marlboro Township, 1.2-mile loop.
Sippo Lake Trail, from Exploration Gateway to park administrative offices, Sippo Lake, Perry Township, 0.95 mile one way.
Towpath Trail. Four legs: From Warmington Road Southwest in Perry Township to Navarre, 0.9 mile one way; from Canal Fulton Canalway Center to Lock 4 Park in Lawrence Township, 1 mile one way; from Lake Avenue to Massillon Recreation Center, 0.9 mile one way; and Craig Pittman Park in Navarre to Riverland Road in Bethlehem Township, 2 miles one way.
Olde Muskingum Trail, state Route 93 in Canal Fulton to Butterbridge Road, 2.25 miles one way.
Hoover Park Trail, Maple Street, North Canton, 2.2-mile loop.
Bluebird Trail, Petros Lake Park, Perry Road, Perry Township, half-mile loop.
Woodland Trail, Faircrest Park, Faircrest Street, Canton Township, 0.4-mile loop.
Nimishillen Trail, Frank Esmont Park, Canton Township, 0.6-mile loop.
The rewards are free for Stark County residents. Fee for out-of-county residents is $5. Completed forms can be turned in at park offices, 5300 Tyner St. N.W., Perry Township, or the Exploration Gateway, 5712 12th St. N.W., Perry Township.
For information, call 330-477-3552 or check out http://www.starkparks.com.