2792 E River Road Sheffield Village, Ohio 44054French Creek Reservation webpage
Access to Burrell Homestead is limited to guided educational activities.
Settler’s began arriving in Sheffield in 1816. Among the earliest was Captain Jabez Burrell, who had staked his claim a year earlier and returned with his family from Sheffield, Massachusetts (not so coincidentally.) Jabez built a log cabin somewhere near “Big Bottom” where the riverbed broadens just west of the French Creek Reservation along East River Road. By 1820 he had constructed one of the first brick houses in Lorain County—built with bricks he fired right there on his property. The original bricks still hold up two walls of the present-day house.
Early in the twentieth century, Harry Burrell had six children who were to be the last of his line. Eleanor, Virginia and Doris were the last to live in the house. Perhaps true to the family character, none of these women lived traditional lives. Doris worked for 30 years in New York City as a writer and editor in the fashion industry, while Eleanor and Virginia stayed closer to home and worked in Cleveland. Virginia died in 1976, Doris in 1997. Eleanor lived until 2001, after which the property was turned over to Lorain County Metro Parks.
The French Creek Reservation features 450 acres of mostly wooded landscape with high cliffs, deep ravines, and three creeks-Sugar Creek, Fish Creek, and the reservation’s namesake, the French Creek. With 4.5 miles of the most forested trails in Lorain County, you’re not likely to run out of walking room. The French Creek Nature Center offers a variety of programs and exhibits, a nature space/indoor playground and wildlife observatory, and houses the TrueNorth Cultural Arts.
Four separately marked trails connect the French Creek Nature Center on one side of the park with the Pine Tree Picnic Area on the other side. These trails take you from the water’s edge to the tops of ravines, offering spectacular views of the creeks below, from rolling, winding paths to level straight-aways ideal for cross-country skiers. You’ll find a variety of wildflowers, plants and trees, an occasional bridge, and several scenic overlooks. Along the way, you can rest at one of the benches placed near the trails or just sit and enjoy the natural beauty, songbirds, and soothing sound of the wind in the trees.
Restrooms on site.
Content from French Creek Reservation webpage