A Centennial Tour Adventure
Lindsay Smith, Brand Manager
Summit County resident Chuck Haby and his family are no strangers to Summit Metro Parks. Haby has completed more than 50 Fall Hiking Sprees — a tradition that started with his parents, who were among the original hikers of the series that began in 1964. It was at the 2021 Fall Hiking Spree kick-off event that he learned about the park district’s Centennial Tour — a self-guided challenge for visitors to make 20 stops to earn a free commemorative leather tag in honor of the park district’s 100th anniversary. Haby connected with an old friend, Kate Kunze, and the two hatched a plan that would take them 178 miles over seven hours.
“On Labor Day, Kate and I had the day off and originally planned to get some hikes done. We decided the Centennial Tour would be an adventure. Plus, we wanted to add the commemorative leather tag to our (hiking) staffs. So, our challenge was to visit each of the parks and see if we could do it all in one day. It made for a great road trip, taking in not only the different parks but the journey between — taking all back roads as much as possible,” said Haby.
The friends started in Clinton and worked their way north on the west side of the county, then came down the east side and finished at Nimisila Reservoir Metro Park in Green. When asked if she’d recommend the Centennial Tour to others, Kunze said: “Definitely!”
“The (Metro Parks) are gorgeous! There’s one huge boulder at Furnace Run Metro Park with deeply engraved letters that captivated me. On a return visit I ran my fingers over the grooves and paused to consider the many years that passed since the words were added,” she shared.
Haby added: “We got to learn about each of the parks and their origins, take in some beautiful scenery and just enjoyed the nice day we had. It did take all day, but it was worth it.”
One day, one motorcycle, two friends and 20 Summit Metro Parks locations makes for a jam-packed adventure! Did you know there’s still time to complete the Centennial Tour? And, it doesn’t have to be done in one day. Finish your 20 stops by May 31, 2022 and collect your reward! Details are available on the centennial website.