This is a duplicate of the same hike as the Walk From Obesity Hike Scheduled on 9/14. We will schedule Fall Hiking Spree hikes every Wed and Sunday in order to accommodate everyone's schedules. There will also be some overlap with other hikes as is the case with this weekend.
Dairy cows once grazed the hillsides of the area known today as Firestone Metro Park. In 1949, Metro Parks received a gift of 89 acres from the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Acquisitions of nearby parcels expanded the park to 258 acres.
In 1956, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources completed construction of a nearby dam, intended to create a reservoir for industrial water needs. As the reservoir of the adjacent Firestone Golf Course filled, the water table rose downstream, forming the large wetland and marshy meadows of Firestone Metro Park. Along with the Tuscarawas River and Tuscarawas Race, which once channeled water to the Ohio & Erie Canal, the area is home to fish, crayfish, frogs and turtles.
The meadows and forest shelter foxes, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, muskrats, rabbits, mice, voles and moles, along with many beautiful summer and fall wildflowers. More than 175 bird species have been sighted in Firestone Metro Park, including various types of wrens, thrushes, warblers, woodpeckers, herons and ducks. A number of different raptors – including bald eagles – have also been spotted.
The Willow Trail is easy trail not much of an elevation change. It is rated as a basic and easy hike by the parks.