The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 13, 2014

Scenic Rivers Pilgrimage puts spotlight on natural areas of Ashtabula County

JEFFERSON — State Scenic Rivers and protected natural areas in Ashtabula County will be honored on April 26.

The Scenic Rivers Pilgrimage event will feature presentations about the county’s Scenic Rivers and natural areas; hikes along the rivers, opportunities to learn about birding, wildflowers and landscape photography; nature-related activities for children; an Alex Bevan concert; and the film, “Call of the Scenic River.” The pilgrimage will be headquartered at The Lodge and Conference Center.

The county intends to make the Pilgrimage an annual event.

 Jim Bissell, botanist at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, said Ashtabula County has many great spots for wildflowers, and that blossoms and variety typically peak in late April.

The Pilgrimage will start out at The Lodge and Conference Center at Geneva-on-the-Lake, where short presentations about the county’s natural areas and Scenic Rivers will be given from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Featured presenter is Bill Deininger, a Cuyahoga County birder and videographer, who will share a program of Lake Erie shorebirds.

A light breakfast is included in the morning session for a fee of $20.

Guided hikes will be offered on properties owned by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on all three Scenic Rivers — The Grand, Ashtabula and Conneaut Creek. The Ashtabula Park Commission will offer hikes along the Ashtabula River in Indian Trails Park, the Nature Conservancy a hike in Morgan Swamp and Metroparks will open up one of their “best kept secrets” along Conneaut Creek for a hike. Cost per hike is $5 per adult, payable to the guide, or included in the day pass.

For those who enjoy photography, a bridges and landscapes workshop will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. This workshop will begin at the Hubbard House and car pool to several covered bridge locations along the Ashtabula River, including the longest covered bridge in the United States. The cost of the workshop is included in the day pass or is $20 for the workshop only.

Parents who don’t want to take their children to the morning sessions or on the hikes can register them for a kite building/flying workshop at The Lodge, a nature walk at Geneva State Park and afternoon nature art/beach walk activities at Walnut Beach and The Hubbard House in Ashtabula.

The evening events will be held at the Geneva Community Center. Alex Bevan, a Lake County folk singer, will present his Grand River lullaby concert at 6:30 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., there will be a screening of the documentary, “Call of the Scenic River,” which features Ashtabula County’s Scenic Rivers.

Cost of a day pass for the entire event is $35 in advance, $50 the day of the event, per adult. Cost for children’s activities which includes supplies for the art projects, but no meals, is $15 per session in advance, $20 the day of the event.

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