People come to Hinckley Township from all over the Midwest for the annual springtime return of the buzzards, but you might want to add Hinckley to your list of summertime daytrips this year.
Golf courses, horse farms and gently rolling hills dot the drive along state Route 303 west from Richfield to Hinckley Township. If you take Route 94 north from Wadsworth, you’ll pass through Sharon Center and Remsen Corners on your way.
Veterans Memorial Park is on the corner of Center and Ridge roads at the hub of the township. It’s small, but you can’t miss its multiple flags honoring every branch of the military and multiple monuments honoring local veterans.
Just across the street is Cottage Farms, a small country store specializing in locally made goods. You’ll find Alpaca yarns, hats and scarves, felted bags, nature photographs, jewelry, wool scraps for rug making and fresh cut flowers from nearby artisans and growers. Plenty of buzzard tee shirts and stuffed animals are available here, too.
Owner Shari May makes her organic “Cottage Farms Soaps”—more than 16 creative varieties—right in the back of the store. (She was making pink clay ladies’ spa soap and a special batch of soap for horses on the day we visited.)
With names like “Better Left Alone” PMS soap, which contains a blend of essential oils to alleviate tension and irritability, and “Sow Your Oats,” a mild exfoliating soap with apricot and wheat germ oils, you’re sure to find something that suits you.
On Saturday mornings through October, May’s store is also the site of a local farmers’ market. This year, she’s growing specialty white and blue pumpkins and decorative gourds to sell in the fall.
The neighboring Hinckley’s Coffee and Donuts is open until noon on weekdays and Saturdays, and until 1 p.m. on Sundays.
If you’re looking for a bite to eat later in the day, Foster’s Tavern offers fine food, homemade pizza and spirits. Foster’s also has a deli and beverage store if you want something to go.
Across the street, Jim Rollins, who puts together hunting trips to Canada and throughout the U.S., operates Hinckley Outfitters. His log cabin store offers live bait, archery equipment, guns and ammunition. It also serves as his taxidermy studio.
For some great outdoor activities, travel east on 303, turn right onto Hinckley Hills Road (state Route 606), then left onto Bellus Road. The Buzzard Cove is a 36-hole fantasy mini-golf course with a driving range, nine-hole flag golf game and barn-sized indoor game room.
Just next door, Hinckley Reservation (part of the Cleveland Metroparks), is a beautiful backdrop for all kinds of summer fun. Anchored by the 90-acre Hinckley Lake, for boating and fishing, you can also enjoy an old-fashioned swimming hole and wading area called Spillway Pool, below the dam. A small concession stand, sandy beach areas, a footbridge and plenty of shaded spots for picnicking add to its charm.
Launch your own boat or canoe at Hinckley Lake Boathouse or rent a rowboat, motor boat, canoe, kayak, paddleboat or “Hinckley Queen” pontoon.
If you prefer pool swimming, the park also operates a lovely heated outdoor pool with sand volleyball courts on Ledge Road between Kellogg and State roads.
With so much to do, it’s no wonder the buzzards always come back here.