A Hike to Holden Arboretum’s Carver’s Pond by Elsa Johnson

A Hike to Holden Arboretum’s Carver’s Pond

Elsa Johnson


When the Cleveland Museum of Natural History holds its annual symposium there are GREAT  opportunities to go on hikes that visit some of northeast Ohio’s very special places.  The hike to Carver’s Pond is one of these.  I’ve been on this hike several times, and it is always rewarding. The pond is a Holden Arboretum holding, but lies outside the arboretum proper and can be visited only with special permission and a guide (ours was led by Holden’s own Roger Gettig). 

So the first part of our trip involved first getting to the place where the hike began, near an enclosure where Holden is testing the pest or pathogen resistance of various trees and shrubs.  Then one wanders through a large unmown field (full of bee-full goldenrod this time of year) where Holden has planted more trees to observe over time (White Pine, Dawn Redwood). Then you tromp a long way through an oak/beech forest,  overlooking a creek that is in some places a hundred feet below…

And then you are there.


What makes Carver’s Pond fascinating is that it lies in a submerged valley that itself lies thirty feet above the creek below.  The natural outlet at the west end of the pond has been blocked by a beaver dam, creating a water impoundment of about 5 acres, studded with water lilies and dead trees (in which heron used to nest but no longer do) . There is no one around except some ducks and herons. It is very, very quiet. 


The way out is faster but steeper: no sloth possible. My butt muscles are tired. It was a good hike.