3/14/2021 COVID-19 RESPONSE UPDATE:
Parks & trails remain open. Please see below for the latest information and FAQs and observe the following guidelines for safe park use:
- Think First: Stay home if you are sick or have symptoms.
- Wash Hands: Wash your hands before coming to the park, carry hand sanitizer and try to avoid high-touch areas.
- Keep Your Distance: Maintain 6 feet between yourself and others and give warning before passing on the trail. Follow trail markings for one-way travel.
- Come Prepared: Bring your own drinking water, carry out your trash and be prepared for possible restroom closures.
- Respect Closures: Some restrooms and other amenities are closed for public safety. Please bypass busy areas for quieter ones - it's a great time to check out a new park.
- Stay in Touch: The situation changes rapidly. We are implementing dynamic closures and updating this website and our social media with the latest information.
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Summit Metro Parks is continuing to implement an updated COVID-19 response plan featuring no-contact customer service for spree rewards, gift shop purchases and more. Parks and trails continue to be open for the community’s physical and mental well-being. Building closures and programming modifications currently remain in place.
Spree Rewards and Desk Calendars Mailed Free of Charge through March 31
To receive Fall Hiking Spree, Spree for All or Centennial Tour rewards, hikers should mail their completed forms to 975 Treaty Line Rd., Akron 44313 or scan and email them to email@example.com. Rewards will be mailed free of charge to the address listed on the form. Rewards remain free for Summit County residents. Out-of-county residents will be contacted regarding payment for their spree rewards ($5 per pin or shield). Beginning March 30, the park district will shift to outdoor pickup sessions. Hiking spree staffs for first-year hikers will be distributed at outdoor sessions.
Maple Leaf Gifts
A limited selection of gift shop items may be available at outdoor pickup sessions. The full inventory of nature-themed and SMP-branded items from Maple Leaf Gifts is available for shipping nationwide. Please see www.summitmetroparks.org or call 330-865-8065 for more details. Standard shipping rates apply.
Public Programming and Facilities
Summit Metro Parks continues to offer dozens of free virtual and self-guided nature education and health-based programs, as well as limited in-person opportunities each month. Public buildings and lodges remain closed, rentable lodges reopening to existing reservations beginning on April 1. Summit Metro Parks closely monitors crowds at parks and trails, and may implement rolling parking restrictions and amenity closures to promote safe distancing.
Summit Metro Parks remains fully operational, with rangers and maintenance crews continuing to keep parks clean and safe, naturalists and biologists helping to deliver virtual programming, and the majority of administrative staff continuing to telework to serve the public while complying with social distancing requirements. At this time, facilities and amenities that remain closed for public safety include:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are parks and trails open?
Yes. Parks and trails remain open for the community's physical and mental well-being.
How do I collect my hiking spree and Centennial Tour rewards? Will there be shield assistance?
Through March 31, hikers should mail their completed forms to 975 Treaty Line Rd., Akron 44313 or scan and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Rewards will be mailed free of charge to the address listed on the form. Rewards remain free for Summit County residents. Out-of-county residents will be contacted regarding payment for their spree rewards ($5 per pin or shield). Beginning March 30, the park district will shift to outdoor pickup sessions. Hiking spree staffs for first-year hikers will be distributed at outdoor sessions.
While we are unable to safely offer shield assistance this year, we have created a step-by-step video for attaching the shield to your hiking staff, available via the Fall Hiking Spree website and our YouTube channel.
How can I get a 2021 desk calendar?
Summit County residents interested in receiving up to five calendars should call 330-865-8065 or email email@example.com. Calendars will be mailed free of charge through March 31 and will then be available at outdoor pickup sessions.
How do we reach you while staff is teleworking?
At this time, our offices are closed to the public, but we continue to serve you. Please call 330-867-5511 to reach us. We are also available by email for questions regarding a lodge, shelter or camping reservation or a special use permit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When will in-person programming resume?
Limited in-person programming opportunities resumed in March. Participants age 10 and older must wear a mask and be prepared to remain with your family group, distanced from others. Please visit our Programs & Events calendar for a listing of dozens of free programs to help you stay connected to nature.
Why are your nature centers closed? When will they reopen?
Nature centers encourage people to gather together in a small area with many high-touch surfaces. Summit Metro Parks nature centers cannot meet the state’s disinfection and physical distancing guidelines for retail, consumer service and entertainment venues and therefore are not permitted to open under current rules. We do not currently have a reopening date.
What is the status of my reservation?
What does this mean for my Special Use Permit?
- All lodge reservations are canceled through at least March 31 and you may reschedule or receive a refund. A customer service representative will be in touch with you to work out those details, or you may email us at email@example.com.
- Summit Metro Parks is planning to reopen lodges beginning April 1 for those with existing reservations only. Lodges will operate at reduced capacity and with COVID-19 safety precautions in place. Please call 330-867-5511 to speak to a customer service representative about your existing reservation.
- Until further notice, Summit Metro Parks is only accepting new lodge reservations for dates May 1, 2021 and beyond. Reservations can be made by phone at 330-867-5511, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.
- Additional cancellations are possible, pending further guidance from public health authorities. Rescheduling and refunds are also available to those with reservations through March 31.
The governor has allowed weddings and wedding receptions - why is my lodge reservation still canceled?
- Special-use permits are considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with state guidelines, Summit County Public Health requirements and park district policies.
- Permit holders may be required to provide proof that Summit County Public Health has approved their plan for complying with safety and social distancing guidance.
The governor’s order involving weddings applies to facilities that can operate under all the guidelines set forth for restaurants. Summit Metro Parks lodges cannot meet restaurant guidelines and therefore are not permitted to open under current rules. The park district does not have the staff necessary to ensure these facilities can be safely opened with proper disinfection and physical distancing requirements in place.
How can the public use the parks safely?
Summit Metro Parks urges everyone to stay home if sick or exhibiting symptoms, wash their hands before coming to the parks and maintain at least six feet from other visitors. The park district also reminds visitors to avoid congregating in parking lots or at points of interest and to bypass busy parking lots. Visitors are asked to carry their own water and hand sanitizer.
Why are some trails marked for one-way travel?
To help keep visitors safe, the park district has installed one-way signs on certain trails where it is difficult to maintain six feet of distance when passing – these include trails with narrow boardwalks and trail sections.
Do I need to wear a mask at the parks?
While visitors are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas when maintaining six feet from others, we recommend bringing one in order to be prepared. Program participants age 10 and older must wear a mask and be prepared to remain with your family group, distanced from others.
What can I do to reduce my chance of exposure?
Parks are safe to visit at any time of day if proper social distancing is practiced. However, early morning hours are the least-visited and therefore the best time to minimize exposure. We encourage visitors to avoid high-traffic areas and visit less-busy parks. This is a great time to check out a new park! Some suggestions include:
Is it safe to use a picnic table, bench or grill?
While Summit Metro Parks has lifted restrictions on using these amenities, please be aware that we are unable to disinfect them.
Are your public playgrounds open?
Playgrounds and nature play areas have reopened. Please be aware that we are unable to disinfect these facilities.
Are the restrooms open?
The vast majority of our restrooms have reopened. A list of closed restrooms is available on the Park & Trail Alerts page. Restrooms are cleaned once daily to protect staff and preserve supplies and equipment. Silver Creek Metro Park bathhouse restrooms and indoor restrooms Goodyear Heights Metro Park Lodge will remain closed.
Are you hiring?
We continue to accept applications and are screening and interviewing applicants. For more information on available positions, please visit: https://www.summitmetroparks.org/employment.aspx.