With Lake Erie in its front yard and a National Park in its backyard, visitors to Cleveland can easily escape the hustle and bustle of city life. From watersports to hiking and biking, opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors can be found in the 33,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the 23,000 acres of the Cleveland Metroparks and along the shore of the shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes.
With 88 acres on the shore of Lake Erie and three trails totaling 2.5 miles of footpaths, the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve is a sight to see. The area features a diverse mix of habitats including grasslands, forest, meadows, mudflats, shrublands and wetlands. Audubon Ohio designated the park as an Important Bird Area given its 280 species of birds. The preserve is open seven days a week and is free.
The 11th most visited national park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron. This expansive park combines cultural, historical, recreational and natural activities in one setting. Experience deep forests, rolling hills and open farmlands with different ways to explore the area, including the Towpath Trail.
An historic urban park that was a portion of John D. Rockefeller's estate, Forest Hill Park is located in both East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. The nearly 250-acre park includes 4 baseball diamonds, 8 tennis courts and walking trails that have retained the natural green space as intended by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who deeded the park to the two cities in 1936. A bit of trvia: Forest Hill Park is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Located in Hinckley Township in Medina County, the Cleveland Metroparks reservation is dominated by the 90-acre Hinckley Lake, enjoyed by fishermen and paddle sport enthusiasts. Whether you want to hike Whipp’s Ledges or paddle Hinckley Lake, there are a variety of activities here for everyone to enjoy.
Opened in 1931, this 3,500 acre outdoor museum is the perfect setting for a peaceful escape. The Murch Canopy Walk and the Kalberer Emergent Tower take guests on an immersive exploration of the forest and tree canopy while the five trails and four gardens within the Arboretum give visitors an up close and personal experience with nature.
This 31-acre lakefront park, the crown jewel of the City of Lakewood’s park system, is located at the intersection of Belle and Lake Avenues. It’s the perfect place to take in a sunset on the Solstice Steps, channel your inner Tony Hawk at the Lakewood Skatepark, or exert some energy on one of 4 tennis courts or 3 sand volleyball courts.
Mill Creek Falls, Cuyahoga County’s tallest waterfall, stands 48 feet tall and is tucked away the City of Cleveland. The height and power of its flowing cascades helped Cleveland become a prosperous city during the Industrial Revolution. The small overlook at The Yard offers an amazing view of Mill Creek Falls.