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Cleveland Metroparks offers lots of ‘winter escapes’ for you to have fun

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It’s Cleveland, its winter so why not get out in the fresh air and enjoy it a bit? Cleveland Metroparks offers a host of winter activities that makes the reservations truly year round fun. Choose from sledding, ice skating, fishing, tobogganing, snowshoeing or cross country skiing as well as bird watching and hiking. Whatever your age or skill level there is something for you to do and enjoy. Get out and enjoy your favorite winter pastime or find something new to try. Whatever you choose, you will be happier and healthier as a result and it sure beats cabin fever!

Sledding, Snowboarding and Tobogganing
There are some great sledding hills to be found in the Cleveland Metroparks. Favorites include Old River Farm Picnic Area in North Chagrin Reservation in Mayfield Heights or Barrett Road Sledding Hill in Rocky River Reservation in Berea as well as most of the Cleveland Metroparks golf courses.

Looking for something more extreme? Check out the Cleveland Metropakrs Chalet Toboggan Chutes where you can reach speeds of 50 mph while traveling down safe twin refrigerated ice chutes. The Chalet is located in Mill Stream Run Reservation in Srongsville. For toboggan rates, hours and more information, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/tchutes or call 440-572-9990.

Ice Skating and Ice Fishing
Once a safe layer of ice is formed on the lake or pond, you will find Clevelanders out on the ice fishing or skating. Lace up your skates or grab your ice fishing gear and head to a local Cleveland Metroparks lake or pond. Among the local favorites are Wallace Lake in Mill Stream Run Reservation, Hinckley Lake in Hinckley Reservation and Rocky River Lagoon in Rocky River Reservation.

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
In the spring, summer and fall thousands of golfers traverse the links of many Cleveland Metroparks Golf Courses. Once a base of four inches of snow is established, the courses become winter wonderlands for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Favorite snow bird haunts are Little Met, Mastick Woods, Shawnee Hills, and Sleepy Hallow golf courses while Big Met and Seneca golf courses feature groomed trails. There is even ski and snowshoe rental in the club house at Big Met for those wishing to try the sport without having to spend money on new gear.

Come January 11 and 25, as well as February 1, 2014 from 11:00 to 3:00 p.m. there will be snowshoe rental and lessons at Squire’s Castle located off Chagrin River Road in North Chagrin Reservation in Willoughby Hills. For rates and information about other Cleveland Metroparks snowshoe programs, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/or or call 216-341-1704.

Hiking and Walking
There are miles of walking trails that are kept clear during the winter for those wishing to walk or hike. Go it on your own or join a group out for a stroll with a naturalist. For more information go to clevelandmetroparks.com for details.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is another fun winter destination where you can walk all over to see bears, reindeer, tigers, Mexican gray wolves, elephants and many other animals. When you begin to feel the chill you can hop on board a heated shuttle for a visit to the Wolf Lodge or the Cat, Primate and Aquatics Building. Want to experience the tropics? Head for the Rainforest where it is always 80º all year long. For Zoo rates, hours and directions, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo or call 216-661-6500.

All Cleveland Metroparks reservations are open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information and directions, visit clevelandmetroparks.com or call
216-635-3200.

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