Hampton Hills Metro Park

Hampton Hills Metro Park is one of the larger parks in the Akron system at 665 acres. Many of the features of the Hampton Hills Metro Park were formed during the ice age via glacial movement. One such feature is the Adam Run Valley which was home to more than one Native American tribes prior to European settlement in the early 1800’s. The trails are surrounded oak, elm, sycamore and black walnut trees which are the homes of many varieties of birds and other wildlife.

Hampton Hills is well known for spring wildflower viewing. Other featured flora includes several types of ferns and mushrooms. Also, a strange plant called scouring rush lives near the banks of the stream. There is also a man-made flora feature—a grove of white pine, which was planted by a girl scout troop in the 1960’s.

Located in the “Top O’ the World Area” of Hampton Hills Metro Park is the old Adam’s family homestead. The farm fields now lay fallow and have become the home for meadow plants like milkwort, ironweed, Queen Anne’s lace, goldenrod and aster. The area is also home to many butterflies who live among the native plants.

Many birds will hang around the trees and shrubs hunting for insects, including Bluebirds and woodcocks. One may also see wild turkeys. Red-tailed hawks will be seen circling the meadows keeping an eye out for the voles and mice that live in the meadow.

The park includes two of the more challenging hiking trails in the Metro Parks. Both of which have seasonal streams crossing them, making the trails hard to use without getting wet feet!

Lastly, the park maintains a public archery range. The targets are maintained by the park, all other equipment must be brought in by patrons.

Oak Burr State Park

Found in the valley of Sunday Creek, the Burr Oak area was habited by Native Americans and later European settlers who found plentiful game and other resources needed for survival.

In the 1800s coal was found and mined for years. Santoy was a near-by mining town with a sorted history of gunfights and a coal company payroll robbery—truly bringing the “Old West” feel to Ohio.

In 1950 Burr Oak Lake was man created when the Tom Jenkins Dam was built. Two years after its construction the Burr Oak area was created as a state park.

The park features miles of tree-lined ridges while hollows comprise the foothills giving the perfect Appalachian feel. The woodlands are home to all kinds of wildlife such as white-tailed deer, box turtles, ruffed grouse and wild turkey. The lakeshore is inhabited by the majestic bald eagles, blue herons and other beautiful waterfowl.

The forest is populated by many hardwoods, mostly oaks and hickories. In autumn Burr Oak is well-known as a foliage viewing destination and the varied hardwood puts all of nature’s fall colors on full display. Spring, however, is just as expressive in its coloration at Burr Oak with when wildflowers like violets, Dutchman’s breeches, trillium, bloodroot and hepatica show off their colors while in full bloom.