Relax on a beach. Surf on the waves. Conquer paddle boarding. Hit the links on the golf course. All of this…in Cleveland?! We’re not surprised by your astonishment. But, this is for real, people.
The Cleveland Metroparks include a ring of 18 parks in and around Cleveland. Known locally as the “Emerald Necklace,” the collection specialized in slices of wilderness, as opposed to neat squares of manicured grass.
Sure, you can hike, bike and jog to your hearts content in the Cleveland Metroparks. But it’s the unexpected extras, from sprawling lakefront beaches to lush golf courses that truly set this collection of parks apart.
The Metroparks began buying property about 100 years ago when many of the area’s most scenic properties were still available and largely undeveloped. And, today, the Cleveland Metroparks have done an incredible job of maintaining these free public parks.
Just west of downtown, check out Edgewater Park, with its large beach and view of Cleveland’s skyline. Farther west, Rocky River Reservation draws many fishermen and cyclists, as well as regal great blue herons. During the summer, visitors can rent single and tandem kayaks and paddle boards by the hour.
To the east, Euclid Creek Reservation includes wooded hiking trails and a paved path that follows a creek dotted with small waterfalls.
All but one of the Metroparks, Hinckley Reservation, is located in Cuyahoga County. Hinckley includes a 90-acre lake, a springtime return of the buzzards festival, and Whipp’s and Worden’s ledges – dramatic, ancient rock formations.
The Metroparks offer a bevy of year-round activities for visitors of all sorts. And, they’re just minutes from downtown. Even Clevelanders, notorious self-flagellators that we are, are often overheard confiding: “We’re so lucky to have the Metroparks here in Cleveland!” See why.