Senior Life: Portage Parks Senior Hikes and PARTA perks

Following my column last month, I received a phone call from Chris Craycroft, executive director of Portage County Parks. She reminded me that our county parks system does offer a few hiking excursions which are geared for our senior neighbors. Twice a month, they offer “Senior Hikes” at local parks that are ADA accessible. These are slower-paced walks appropriate for all ages, plus a park staff member always accompanies the group.

The July 6 hike will be at Morgan Park in Shalersville (8828 State Route 44) at 6 p.m. On July 20, the hike will be at Headwaters Trails on state Route 700 at noon.

In August, the first hike will be at noon on Aug. 10 at the Portage Hike and Bike Trail on Cleveland Road in Ravenna. The second monthly hike will be on Aug. 24 at Trail Lake Park, also at noon.

With senior citizens in mind, these hikes are all on ADA-approved sites, you are walking with a group of other senior citizens, and a staff member of the Portage Parks will be with you, if you become ill or fall.

For more information about these hikes, contact the parks office at 330-297-7728 or at

Also from last month’s column came an inquiry/concern about the cost of transportation in Portage County. Well, I called PARTA to get some information about what is available for senior citizens in our county. My unprofessional interpretation of their fee schedules depends a whole lot on where you are going, where you live, and how old you are.

If you are 65 years old or older, you can ride the “Big Bus” on their fixed routes in Kent and Ravenna for 50 cents, IF you have requested a reduced fare card. The reduced fare card is available at the PARTA office on Summit Road in Kent (by the KSU football stadium). You must appear in person with an ID showing your age and county of residence. Another way to obtain this card is to go online and complete the registration form, showing your driver’s license or state ID information. Send the form on your computer to [email protected]. Without a reduced fare card, the big fixed route bus costs $1 to ride.

If you call the PARTA office to schedule a bus trip (this is called Dial a Ride), the fare is $6 per destination – $12 to one destination and then home – unless you are physically impaired or elderly, and then you may qualify for a reduced fare ($3 each way or for each destination).

If you are going to one of the social agencies in our community, call that agency first to see if they have any subsidized bus passes available that you could have.

Sound complicated? If you need to go somewhere in Portage County and you do not have your own transportation, call the PARTA office at 330-678-1287 and ask for specific information about how they can help you get to your destination and how much it will cost you. It will definitely be cheaper than an Uber.

In fact, I am told that until July 8, you can ride the big bus (fixed route) for free. If you ever wondered what it would be like to ride on one of PARTA’s buses, now would be the time to try it!

Contact Sally Kelly at 330-687-9501 or [email protected] with your senior news.

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