The closest I came to an off day during my July trip to Ohio was a rainy Monday. I used the rainy day to advantage, getting a haircut, stocking up on drinks, filling the tank, and exploring parks between showers. I’ve written about Wingfoot Lake State Park, and my mile of walking looking at the Goodyear blimp moored across the water. That same day I visited another nearby state park, Quail Hollow.

Wingfoot Lake, as I wrote, owes its status as a state park to the generosity of a large corporation. Quail Hollow is a gift of a family. The 700 acres of land, the rock and herb gardens, and the manor were passed down through the Stewart family, chairman of the Akron, Canton, and Youngstown Railroad. In 1975 the Stewarts sold their home and land to the State of Ohio for half its market value, and Quail Hollow joined the state park system.

The park features a nature center in the manor buildings, but unfortunately it was closed when I arrived. My car was alone in the parking lot, and no one seemed to be around. The trails were open, however, and I began to explore. The rock garden was undergoing restoration, but the floral and herb gardens were open. I enjoy the decoration Nature performs, but Man can do a heck of a job too. The gardens were amazing, and a tribute to the volunteers at the local gardening clubs who come in to keep them in shape.

Between the rain and the mosquitoes I kept my walk to under a mile. I enjoyed myself at a park I wish I’d spent more time at. My haircut could have waited; had I arrived earlier in the day the nature center would have been open, and I’d have a better idea of the best hike that afternoon. I have to add Quail Hollow to my “get back to” list.