Lake Metroparks has picked up an additional 23.5 acres and about one thousand feet of stream-front property that affords additional angling availability along the lower Grand River.
The key is availability rather than access; an important distinction since the land is question does not have the ingredients necessary to offer parking, trails and other amenities.
Instead, the land is situated in Painesville City, immediately up from the High Street/Richmond Street – State Route 535 Bridge, and adjacent to the private Windjammer Court housing development. Much of its is across the Grand River from Lake Metroparks’ popular 15-acre Grand River Landing Park and small boat launch in Fairport Harbor Village.
As such, accessing the site will require an angler to park in a wide right-of-way north of the bridge only and then walk across the structure and down a steep embankment. Parking south of the bridge is a no-go, and very likely will result in one’s vehicle being ticketed.
However, more than few anglers now find the effort worthwhile as the first portion is at stream level and offers easy casting into the Grand River. A high, curved bank is found just upstream from this low-lying flat; though this condition does not prevent anglers from trying anyway – and is often productive for steelhead and other species as long as the angler also has a long-handled net to reach any caught fish.
However, angling was a minor reason for Lake Metroparks to enter into a 20-year management agreement with Painesville City for the property.
It is situated in the Grand River’s flood plain and as such experiences frequent inundation and seasonal ice flows. As such, the property cannot ever be developed and is of little commercial or residential use other than being natural flood plain land deserving of protection.
Paul Palagyi – Lake Metroparks’ Executive Director – said his agency normally does not enter into a management agreement or buys lands that fails to include the potential of offering amenity-equipment public access.
This new chunk of real estate is an exception to the rule, though.
“It gives us the opportunity to protect valuable flood plain land and to provide some measure of public availability,” Palagyi said.”Really, if we were to try and put in trails and such they’d only be washed away again with the next high water event.”
Palagyi said the land came into Painesville City’s hands via the Lake County Land Bank but that the municipality is really not suited to be a steward of such property.
The site’s dimensions will be designated with Lake Metroparks’ typically employed vertical property boundary marker strips. No large signage is intended.
“It will be accessible; only we won’t have any parking,” Palagyi said. “You’ll just have a bit of a walk.”