Best Parks to Spend the Day in Cleveland, Ohio
If you’re looking to spend a day at a park in Cleveland you’re in luck. Cleveland Metroparks offers 18 reservations throughout the area, totaling over 24,000 acres with green spaces, hiking and biking trails, shady forests, lakeshores, and much more. Whether you’re interested in outdoor sports, want some peaceful nature time, are looking for a great picnic spot for a family outing, enjoy golfing, or just want to put down a blanket in the grass and read a book, you’ll find the perfect spot at one of our top eight picks for parks in Cleveland.
If you want to enjoy a day at the beach on Lake Erie then you’ll do no better than to head to Lakefront Reservation along Cleveland’s north coast. This reservation has many attractions including Edgewater Park with Edgewater Beach and beach house and Edgewater Marina, and Wendy Park with the Historic Coast Guard Station situated nearby. Other attractions include the East 55th Street Marina, the East 72nd Street Fishing Area, and the North Gordon Park Boat Ramp. Enjoy the lakeside views as you take a walk on the all-purpose trail or ride your bike on the Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway.
Visit Cleveland Metroparks’ largest park, Brecksville Reservation, for extensive trails through picturesque woodlands, seven gorges with unique flora, two golf courses, and the Squire Rich Home and Museum run by the Brecksville Historical Society. Stop by the Brecksville Nature Center to check out local programs or just enjoy the beautiful stone and timber-frame architecture of this historic building that first opened in 1939. Nearby trailheads give you access to hikes through the Ohio prairie with grasses that can reach over 8 feet tall, floodplains with majestic sycamore, cottonwood, and willow trees, and ancient glacial valleys forested with oak and hickory.
Garfield Park Reservation
Garfield Park Reservation is located in Garfield Heights and is home to Mill Creek Falls, the area’s largest waterfall at 48 feet tall. You’ll also find historic stonework roads and bridges that were put in place during the New Deal Era and still stand today for visitors to use. The park is made up of forests, wetlands, and ponds home to a wide range of wildlife. Attractions include Mill Creek Falls Overlook and trailhead, the Old Boating Pond Bridge which is one of the park’s main features, several picnic areas and shelters, and the Physical Fitness Trail.
North Chagrin Reservation
At the North Chagrin Reservation, you’ll find the beautiful and historic Squire’s Castle which was built in the 1890s and is now popular for weddings and other events. Other features of the park include the A. B. Williams Memorial Woods with stunning old-growth beech and maple trees, and the unique Buttermilk Falls cascading down a series of geological steps. Other attractions include peaceful ponds and flowering meadows, miles of hiking trails, a picnic pavilion, and the Manakiki Golf Course. Stop by Strawberry Pond for a day of fishing and enjoy the nearby picnic area with convenient trailheads.
Hinckley Reservation is located at the southern end of the Cleveland Metroparks system and is known for its 90-acre Hinckley Lake as well as the annual Return of the Buzzards wildfowl phenomenon. The area features woodlands and lakes as well as large sandstone formations called Whipp’s Ledges that rise 350 feet above Hinckley Lake. Popular activities in the park include hiking the lakeside and woodland trails, horse-riding on designated trails, fishing, swimming in the swimming area, and boating. Facilities include numerous picnic shelters with playgrounds and grills, boat rentals at the Hinckley Lake Boathouse and Store, and a boat launch.
South Chagrin Reservation
Located along the Chagrin River which holds a coveted Scenic River designation, South Chagrin Reservation offers a day out amidst hemlock forests, creeks and ravines, and sandstone ledges. You’ll want to check out the Henry Church, Jr. Rock, an outdoor sculpture created from a sandstone boulder by its namesake Henry Church Jr. in 1885. Another historical attraction includes the Burnett Historical House, a red-brick farmhouse from the mid to late 1800s. This park offers plenty to do with hiking trails, picnic areas, reservable shelters, and even The Polo Field where you’ll find horse and dog events happening throughout the summer.
One of the first city parks in Cleveland, Brookside Reservation is now run by Cleveland Metroparks and still offers a great city oasis for both local wildlife and people who love outdoor activities and nature. The all-purpose trail lets you stroll or bike through woods and meadows with scenic river views. You’ll find peaceful picnic areas, a cherry grove with beautiful blossoms in the springtime, as well as baseball and soccer fields. Another attraction is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo which is connected to the reservation, making this the perfect park for a family day out.
Euclid Creek Reservation
The Euclid Creek Reservation has a lot to offer, from the geologically diverse Euclid Creek Valley carved out by the creek over many years, to the Euclid Beach, and Wildwood Marina. Opportunities for activities abound with the Euclid Creek Physical Fitness Trail which has 14 fitness stations located between the Highland Picnic Area and the Welsh Woods. Launch your boat onto Lake Erie from the Wildwood Boat Launch, or picnic at one of the many shelters that offer tables and grills, fireplaces, and play areas. Check out the newly-built Euclid Beach Pier which extends 150-feet into Lake Erie.
From lakeside beaches to woodland trails to grassy picnic meadows, there are so many great options for a day at a park in Cleveland. Activities abound whether you love boating, golfing, horse riding, or more. Have you been to any of the parks we’ve recommended yet? At Volkswagen of Streetsboro we’d love to hear which park is your favorite, so drop us a line on our contact page and tell us what you love about it. Did we leave off your favorite Cleveland park? Tell us which one you would like to recommend to everyone.