How Can You Hike More Each Week? Keep Your Local Hiking Guide At Hand

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Diane Stresing, author of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Cleveland (Menasha Ridge Press)

CLEVELAND — We asked Diane Stresing, author of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Cleveland, how she works regular hiking into her busy, day-to-day schedule. Her solution is simple: she keeps her local hiking guide within arms reach, even when she’s motoring about between kids’ activities, shopping excursions and family events.


Guest post by Diane Stresing, author of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Cleveland (Menasha Ridge Press). Cover image of staircase on Gorge Trail in Gorge Metropark in Summit County, Ohio, one of the short hikes Diane will work in between errands. Photo cred: D. Stresing.


“Fall is a great time to hike,” said no parent, ever. Or at least, said no parent of a child who plays travel ball.

When you’re trying to figure out how to get one kid to a field in Strongsville and get back in time to pick up another in Hudson, who has time to hike?

With a little luck (and the right book) you just might. Make sure you keep your local hiking guide handy, because here’s a bit of advice on how to work a hike into even the busiest of schedules:

Grab Some Fresh Air When You’re Out Shopping

When my daughter played a tournament in Strongsville last summer, I made a pit stop on my way home at Brookside Reservation, one of the Cleveland Metroparks’ newer properties. Living in Portage County, I rarely get west of the Cuyahoga River.

Similarly, when I finds it necessary to visit a nearby mall, my children know there will be a stop along the way – usually at Gorge or Munroe Falls Metropark in Summit County, other times at a city park in Stow or Cuyahoga Falls.

I don’t like to shop, so I try to plan my errands to include some outdoor time. My family doesn’t always appreciate it.

When’s the Best Time to Hike in Cleveland?

The calendar does not determine “good” and “bad” hiking months. One Thanksgiving, on our way home from visiting family in Lake County, we stopped at Bedford Reservation and walked to Bridal Veil Falls. Another time we detoured a bit to wander around Squaw Rock in South Chagrin Reservation.

I recommend keeping a pair of hiking boots (or muddy sneakers) in the car for when you find yourself near a park or trail and have a “pocket of time” to explore it.

No matter what the weather is like, I try to be prepared to hike. When my dad taught me how to drive – never mind how many years ago! – he told me, I should always be ready to walk just in case I had car trouble. The habit stuck, and I’ve found I love to break up a long car ride with a little hike.

Road Trip? Make it a Vacation

“Over the summer, on our way home from visiting my family in Columbus, we hit a couple of trails Goodyear Heights and Firestone Metroparks. We had a great time. Adding a park visit to an otherwise mundane road trip makes it feel like a vacation.”


Whether or not you live in Cleveland, we can take Diane’s advice to heart and take simple steps to work more outdoor time into our daily lives. A useful tool in putting these tips into practice is to keep your trusty, local hiking guide within arm’s reach at all times.

Check out all the guides Menasha Ridge Press & Wilderness Press have put together. I bet you’ll find one near you.

Tanya Twerdowsky

I am a Jersey girl living in Alabama who loves to run far and eat lots.

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