Take a Hike Tours
The weekly Take a Hike tours show off Cleveland's vibrant history and bustling neighborhoods
By Annie Zaleski
When people say "Take a hike!" it's generally a command to go away. The Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation's weekly, seasonal Take a Hike Tours, however, encourage people to do just the opposite. In fact, these walks—which the organization notes are "more like taking a leisurely stroll"—are a fantastic way to learn more about the city.
The 90-minute tours cover five different areas: the Gateway District, Warehouse District, Civic Center, Playhouse Square and Canal Basin Park in the Flats. Each walk focuses on a different aspect of city legacy, both past and present. Actors dressed up as notable figures—DJ Alan Freed on the Playhouse Square tour, for example, or legendary Browns coach Paul Brown on the Civic Center route—also pop up along the way to add insight.
These walks are free (although donations are accepted) and no reservations are required unless you have a group of 20 or more people. Look for a tour guide wearing a bright yellow shirt—you'll know you're in the right place.
Here are some specifics about each walk:
The Gateway District
Where/when to meet: Every Saturday at 10 a.m., inside on the Euclid Ave. side of the Arcade (401 Euclid Avenue).
What it covers: Gorgeous architecture, history of its commercial outlets, and how the area evolved into a sports destination.
Where/when to meet: Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in front of Constantino’s Market (1278 West 9th St.).
What it covers: The neighborhood's origins as the Garment District and center of hardware industry, as well as how the city's preservations efforts have transformed (and continue to transform) this vibrant area.
Where/when to meet: Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at the Old Stone Church (91 Public Square).
What it covers: Besides covering icons such as the Old Stone Church, the Free Stamp and Veterans Memorial Plaza, the walk also passes by such landmarks as Public Auditorium and the Global Center for Health Innovation.
Where/when to meet: Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the State Theatre Lobby (1519 Euclid Ave.).
What it covers: Euclid Ave.'s majestic, gorgeous past—including its hotels, department stores and social clubs—and how and why it's a bustling theater district.
Canal Basin Park in the Flats
Where/when to meet: Sundays at 10 a.m. at the Flat Iron Cafe (1114 Center St.).
What it covers: How Moses Cleaveland founded the city, as well as its industrial features—intricate bridges and the B&O Rail Station—and how things such as the Towpath Trail extension are adding to the outdoor landscape.
Plus, on select dates, walkers will encounter an actor portraying former Mayor Carl Stokes, who helped spearhead the Clean Water Act passed in the wake of the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire. Note: This is part of a community celebration, Stokes: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future, honoring the 1967 election of Stokes and the distinguished career of his brother, the late Congressman Louis Stokes.