When you are gifted with a warm weekend day in the waning months of winter, you take advantage of it. Nothing gets your mind off potholes like a walk in the woods. A little sunshine goes a long way. Looking out the window this morning, I know an outdoor jaunt is needed to help shake off my winter cobwebs. Funny enough, I’m craving Swensons too.
Some might opt for a couple loops around Hardesty Park, then b-line it across the street for a Galley Boy and California at Swensons’ Wallhaven location. That ain’t gonna cut it for me though! I’m off for a lengthier hike at Gorge Metro Park, which just happens to be right around the corner from the North Akron Swensons location.
I love Gorge Metro Park. This place has got it all: Water, erosion, woodlands and trails. Those trails happen to be accessible to folks of any hiking level. The Gorge Trail itself has sections that folks with wheelchairs, walkers and canes can readily access during warmer times when the ice and snow has melted.
Today I’ve opted for the High Bridge Trail, located on the other side of the Cuyahoga River from the Glens and Gorge trails. I notice a little snow as I make my way to the trailhead. Fortunately, there’s only a light dusting that doesn’t cover much at all. The mud isn’t bad either so I’m pretty confident I may get out of this excursion with dry feet. Based on the prints I see in the path, plenty of folks are out and about, enjoying the sunshine, breeze and mesmerizing sound of the Mighty Cuyahoga churning downriver.
Described as a moderately challenging hike on the Metro Parks website, I’d say the only tough part you may encounter is wet stairs and other wooden walkways. Remember to walk like a penguin and you’ll be golden!
Post hike, I’ve built up a healthy appetite for some not-so-healthy grub. A quick ride down Front St. and turn on to E. Cuyahoga Falls Ave. and I’ve arrived at my next destination, Swensons! If you’re in a rush you can always call your preferred location and have your order made ready to pick up. Today I’m opting for the full experience.
A young carhop darts over to my truck and takes my order. About 10 minutes later, she returns with the hot, fragrant food. I engorge my Salad Boy and chocolate-peanut butter shake in what seems like seconds. The Salad Boy is Swensons’ version of a veggie burger. Homer Simpson would eat it. You would too. It’s a mighty fine burger.
After catching my breath and loosening my belt, I start up the old truck and head for points west. I should probably take another hike to help digestion kick in, but my couch is beckoning.
Once Upon a Time, Dave Daly lived in the woods for six months and walked from Georgia to Maine.