It only takes a 25-minute drive out of Cleveland to immerse yourself in the natural splendor of Furnace Run Metro Park. Amongst the tall oaks and maples, the peaceful presence of nature will ease your soul -- or at least allow you take a deep breath and relax amongst the streams, ponds and flora. Spanning 890 acres, the park was originally donated to the state of Ohio in 1929 by Charles Francis Brush Jr. and later increased by the sale of a portion of land owned by the park’s first director, H.S. Wagner.
Wagner has another lasting contribution to the park; in the 1930s he began planting daffodils along a short, scenic stretch of trail. Today, the 0.6-mile Daffodil Trail blooms to life every spring with 40,000 flowers, transforming the landscape into a pasture of marvelous beauty. Be sure to visit in mid-April to catch peak colors, as several varieties of daffodil adorn the land in all their glory.
What Makes It Great
Flowers -- natural and transplanted -- are one of the hallmarks of Furnace Run Metro Park. Thanks to a fine balance of streams and sunlight, the wildflowers decorate nearly every corner of the park. The Old Mill Trail adds to the natural grandeur by passing through Beech-Maple stands. This was a favorite trail of original donor Charles Francis Brush Jr. and his family has left a marker that says, “To all those who love as he loved the far sky and smiling land".
The third trail in the park is Rock Creek, a 1.2 mile path that gently wanders through the forest and passes by a few streams. The theme here is mellow fun, so adrenaline junkies will have to get their kicks elsewhere. That’s just fine for the native population of birds -- Furnace Run Metro Park is a popular destination for birders to spot several avian species including owls, warblers, herons and waterfowl.
Brushwood Lake is a good place to indulge in a lazy day of fishing. When summer sunlight reflects off the water and the songs of birds echo in the air, you’ll feel a million miles away from the busy din of the big city. In the winter, ice skating, sledding (there’s a perfect little hill) and cross-country skiing are all part of the fun. While the colorful palette of leaves and flowers go dormant in the coldest months, the wooded landscape retains a sense of midwestern charm.
Who is Going to Love It
When you are ready to refresh, relax and enjoy, Furnace Run is waiting. Note that there is also a public pavilion that can be reserved for events and parties.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Furnance Run Metro Park is part of the Summit Metro Parks. Parking for the Daffodil Trailhead can be found at 3100 Brush Rd., Richfield, 44286, while the Brushwood Lake area can be accessed at 4955 Townsend Rd., Richfield, 44286. The park is free to visit and is open 6 am to 11 pm daily. You can get more information, including maps, at the Furnace Run Metro Park website.