Toward the middle of May, Tom and I had to go to Akron for the day. We had several hours free in the afternoon so we decided to visit Bath Nature Preserve. We had never been there before and it looked like it had some good walking trails. Also, it had the advantage of being on the same side of Akron as the place where we were meeting some friends for supper. If you have driven through Akron lately, you know you don’t want to fight your way through the city during rush hour.
Bath Nature Preserve is 410 acres of beautiful land that was formerly a part of the Raymond Firestone estate. It was purchased by Bath Township thanks to a bond levy in 1996 and opened to the public in 2001. Bath Nature Preserve contains diverse habitats with open fields of grassland, old growth forests,
wetlands, a tamarack bog, five ponds, and two creeks. The bog is being restored with a boardwalk so people can see the wetland as it was originally.
Tom and I walked the North Fork Trail, which is a three-mile out and back trail. We parked at the Round Top parking lot, which is also the high point of the park. Beginning with open grassland, we walked by two ponds and an old orchard, and ended up going by the tamarack bog and over a couple of bridges. We saw several swans nesting on one of the ponds. When we got to the tunnel under Cleveland Massillon Rd we turned around. There were lots of people out walking, enjoying a gorgeous day and the wonderful scenery.
The North Fork Trail is also a Solar System Walk. There are signs that give a scale representation of the planets in the solar system as well as the sun. It was fun to walk along and see how (relatively) close or far away the signs were to the sun. Tom and I walked all the way to Pluto, which was the sign farthest away from the sun, 1.3 miles on the trail.
Bath Nature Preserve also has a three-mile bridle trail. There is an observation platform at one of the ponds and catch-and-release fishing allowed in the park. The University of Akron conducts academic classes and research on the property.
We enjoyed exploring the Bath Nature Preserve very much. The trail was paved, which made it ideal on a day when the ground was wet and could have been very muddy. It was also nice to see so many people in the community enjoying the park. Tom and I will definitely return here to walk again.