People looking for a new place to ride sleds will have to wait one more year for the Eastlake MetroPark to be complete on the east side of Mosquito Lake.
Excavation and construction of the parking lot off of state Route 46 just north of the Lake Vista retirement community were completed last summer, but it took longer than hoped to get started on the sledding hill, said Zach Svette, project manager for the Trumbull County MetroParks; and Don Wittman, Cortland safety-service director.
The city and MetroParks are partners in the project along with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which is providing the land.
The start of a hill was created with the leftover dirt from the parking lot, but the remainder of the dirt, as well as the clearing of additional trees, grading and sloping, will occur this year so that sledding will be available next winter, Wittman said.
The ODNR requested that no one use the park now for safety reasons, so protective fencing has been installed to keep people out.
Other sled-riding hills are available, such as the one on Young’s Run disc golf course at Clarence Darrow MetroPark on Educational Highway in Champion, but the hill at Eastlake MetroPark will be the first one created specifically for sledding, Svette said.
The hill at Eastlake will be 50 to 70 feet high and have a run of 100 feet or more.
Eventually, the area also is expected to have an eight-acre area for festival grounds, for picnics and “passive recreation” such as backyard games. The entire area being provided by ODNR is 144 acres.
The sledding hill also will provide a natural amphitheater with an audience being able to use the hill as seating while watching a performance at the bottom of the hill, Svette said.