Cleveland's Metroparks system spans more than 23,000 acres throughout the city's greater urban region, commonly referred to as the "Emerald Necklace" for its network of 18 connecting park reservations that encircle the city's town center. The park district's reservations offer a wide variety of visitor amenities, including nature preserves, fishing rivers and lakes, and visitor amenities such as golf courses, restaurants, and nature center museums.
Acacia Reservation is a lovely 155-acre passive park and green space in the Cleveland suburb of Lyndhurst, connected to the nearby Euclid Creek Reservation by the western branch of Euclid Creek. The park is home to a 1.7-mile paved loop trail which is open to walkers and cyclists, along with a wide variety of green spaces for relaxation and play. Visitors can enjoy a regular schedule of public natural programming offered for visitors of all ages, including a Birds of Acacia guided birding nature walk program and an Acacia for the Young at Heart series for older park visitors. The Acacia Clubhouse is available to the public for private special event rental, hosting up to 300 guests. Food and beverage service for rentals is available from Dino's Catering.
Cedar Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124, Phone: 216-635-3200
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Bedford Reservation protects a lovely National Natural Landmark gorge carved by Tinker's Creek, the largest tributary waterway of the Cuyahoga River. The reservation stretches more than 2,200 acres and showcases lovely waterfalls and waterway vistas, as well as forest habitats protecting mature trees and seasonal wildflowers. The Shawnee Hills Golf Course, contained within the reservation, is home to an 18-hole public course, a driving range, and a FootGolf course. Visitors can drive the Gorge Parkway and observe spectacular autumn foliage vistas from its scenic overlooks. Opportunities abound for mountain biking, horseback riding, nature photography, and wildlife watching, with a wide variety of trailheads and picnic areas available to the public for day use.
18753 Egbert Rd, Bedford, OH 44146, Phone: 216-635-3200
3.Big Creek Reservation
Big Creek Reservation is delightful reservation located within the Cleveland suburbs of Middleburg Heights, Parma, Parma Heights, Brooklyn, and Strongsville, traversed by the Big Creek Parkway, which serves as an alternative to many of Cleveland's standard commuter routes. The park's features include the 2.4-mile Lake to Lake Trail, which is ADA-accessible and spans 175 acres of headwater wetlands between Lakes Isaac and Abram, the largest wetland area in Cuyahoga County. Lake Abram Marsh preserves the largest glacial wetland remains in Cuyahoga County, approximately 80 acres. Visitors can also fish for sunfish, channel catfish, and largemouth bass at the reservation's Beyer's Pond or sled down the Engle Road and Memphis Sledding Hills during the winter months when snowy conditions permit. Day-use picnic areas are available, along with several picnic shelters that offer horseshoe pits, barbecue grills, and playing fields.
4101 Fulton Pkwy, Cleveland, OH 44144, Phone: 216-635-3200
4.Bradley Woods Reservation
Bradley Woods Reservation preserves Cleveland Metroparks' only swamp forest area, located within the suburb of Westlake along 795 acres. The woodland park sits atop a massive Berea sandstone quarry area, which formerly produced sandstone for building stones throughout the 20th century. Today, visitors can enjoy wildlife observation and relaxation at Bunns Lake, a manmade reservoir dedicated in 1986 to provide a habitat for native waterfowl. Richly forested areas are laden with red maple, yellow birch, sour gum, pin oak, and tulip trees, while two miles of hiking trails provide scenic panoramas of the lake area. An open grassy area provides a spot for pickup sporting games and picnics, while a monarch butterfly waystation offers a nesting site for threatened species. Visitors can reserve the Codrington Shelterhouse picnic area, which offers electric hookups, barbecue grills, and public restrooms.
4538 Bradley Rd, Westlake, OH 44145, Phone: 216-635-3200
Brecksville Reservation is Ohio's largest public park facility, stretching 3,026 acres throughout the flat floodplain region of the beautiful Chippewa Creek. The park, which is the largest of Cleveland's 18 Metroparks, is cut by seven gorges showcasing a wide variety of native vegetation habitats, including areas protecting rare and endangered plants. The Buckeye Trail traverses the reservation, along with the Brecksville Physical Fitness Trail, which offers 18 independent-use outdoor fitness stations. Natural features include the Chippewa Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook and the Deer Lick Cave, while developed attractions include the 27-hole Seneca Golf Course. The park is also home to the Squire Rich Home and Museum, which is overseen by the Brecksville Historical Society.
9000 Chippewa Creek Dr, Brecksville, OH 44141
Brookside Reservation is one of the newest additions to the Cleveland Metroparks system, acquired by the city in 1993, though its history dates back to its purchase in 1894 for the development of a neighborhood park and recreation center. The park remains a major recreation hub today, spanning more than 132 acres and offering attractions such as baseball, soccer, and football fields. Diverse urban wildlife calls the park home, some of which is visible from the Brookside Overlook, which provides a bird's-eye view of the Big Creek and Cuyahoga River areas. Day-use picnic sites are also offered, along with barbecue grills, children's play equipment, and sand volleyball courts. The park also offers a connection to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo via the All-Purpose Trail, which is open to walkers and cyclists.
3900 John Nagy Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44144, Phone: 216-664-3308
7.Euclid Creek Reservation
Euclid Creek Reservation is best known as the former site of the famed Euclid Beach Amusement Park, which operated between 1895 and 1969 and was modeled after New York City's Coney Island. Though many of the park's amusement rides have long disappeared, it retains relics such as a shuffleboard area and remnants of the Flying Turns roller coaster. The park's southern area, divided by its namesake Euclid Creek, is located on the site of the ghost town of Bluestone, which popped up in the late 19th century as a result of quarrying activity. In 2013, the park was expanded to include areas formerly contained within Euclid Beach, Villa Angela, and Wildwood Parks. It now offers a 650-foot public beachfront area along the Lake Erie shoreline, which is home a scenic observation pier and shaded day-use picnic areas. Angling opportunities are offered at Wildwood Park's boat launch, while biking opportunities are available at the 17-mile Cleveland Lakefront Bike Trail, which provides access to nearby Edgewater Park.
850 Euclid Creek Parkway, Cleveland, OH 44121, Phone: 216-382-5660
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8.Garfield Park Reservation
Garfield Park Reservation is a charming public reservation in Cleveland's Garfield Heights neighborhood, originally opened in 1895 as Newburg Park after the city's purchase of three farmsteads near the city's southern limits. Today, it is home to a diverse array of urban wildlife, along with a number of structures that have been preserved from park development in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. Since 1986, the park has been overseen as part of Cleveland Metroparks. Visitors can observe Cuyahoga County's tallest waterfall at the Mill Creek Falls Overlook or view historic mason work at the Old Boating Pond Bridge. Ample green space is provided at the Yard at Mill Creek Falls, which offers scenic lower vista views. Other attractions include the Garfield Park Physical Fitness Trail, day-use picnic areas, and a nature center facility offering educational programming throughout the year.
11350 Broadway Ave, Garfield Heights, OH 44125, Phone: 216-206-1000
Hinckley Reservation is a lovely Cleveland Metroparks reservation in Medina County, anchored around the 90-acre lake of the same name. The park is best known as the site of the annual Return of the Buzzards, a migratory bird observation period that takes place each year in mid-March. Visitors can observe the unique carvings of Worden's Ledges, crafted by Noble Stuart in the 1940s, or view the impressive Whipp's Ledges, which stretch 350 feet above the lake's shoreline and were formed over 250 million years ago. Fishing, swimming, and boating opportunities are offered at Hinckley Lake, while public access trails are offered in the Rising Valley Park area, which was transferred to the supervision of Cleveland Metroparks from Hinckley Township. Other attractions include a public pool and recreation area, scenic overlooks, and the Buzzard's Landing concession area.
Hinckley, OH 44233, Phone: 330-278-2160
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Huntington Reservation is a delightful 103-acre park along Lake Erie, originally acquired by the Cleveland Metroparks system in 1925. The park, which is located within Bay Village, is home to the programming for the Metroparks-affiliated BAYarts center and the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. Visitors can swim, stroll, and fish at the park's Huntington Beach throughout the summer months or observe the preserved Lake Shore Electric Railway Trestle, an historic interurban railway track that connected Cleveland and Detroit between 1893 and 1938. Three miles of nature trails meander through forest, creek, and meadow habitats, while day-use picnic areas provide scenic vistas high above the beachfront. Visitors can also make use of the park's ball fields or grab food from the Hut at Huntington Beach, which sells Honey Hut ice cream and a variety of American-style fare.
28728 Wolf Picnic Area Dr, Bay Village, OH 44140, Phone: 216-635-3200
Lakefront Reservation is Cleveland's premiere downtown waterfront park, offering a wide variety of amenities and facilities letting visitors take advantage of the city's beautiful downtown skyline. Visitors can observe the city's skyline from dramatic views at the park's preserved historic Coast Guard station or soak up the sun's rays at Edgewater Beach during the summer months. A 200-foot ADA-accessible fishing pier is available for visitor use, along with the Edgewater Nature Shop, which offers beachfront rental equipment. Sand volleyball courts and day-use picnic areas are offered at Wendy Park, while the historic Lorenzo Hart Cabin is preserved at Heritage Park. Dining options include the Edgewater Beach House, Merwin's Wharf, and the e55 On The Lake restaurant and bar at the East 55th Street Marina.
Cleveland, OH 44110, Phone: 216-635-3200
12.Mill Stream Run Reservation
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Mill Stream Run Reservation is a lovely public reservation that spans throughout the Cleveland suburbs of Berea, North Royalton, Strongsville, and Middleburg Heights, preserving an area that has been inhabited by humans for at least 8,000 years. During the 19th century, area communities such as Slab Hollow, Albion, and Sanderson's Corners utilized the park's Rocky River for water power and supply. Today, the park preserves native wildlife such as ferns and wildflower species and offers excellent trout fishing conditions at the Rocky River's East Branch and the 1.8-acre manmade Ranger Lake. Birds and bats can be spotted at the park's Strongsville Wildlife Area. A wide variety of visitor amenities and attractions are offered at the park, including the seasonal Wallace Lake Beach, the treetop Go Ape! zipline course, and The Chalet, which is home to Ohio's tallest ice toboggan chutes.
Strongsville, OH 44136, Phone: 216-635-3200
13.North Chagrin Reservation
North Chagrin Reservation is a family-friendly reservation area that has been a popular outdoor recreation area in the Cleveland region since the 1920s. The park, which is located within the Cleveland suburbs of Gates Mills, Willoughby Hills, and Mayfield Village, is home to beautiful woodland and wetland natural areas and attractions, including the National Landmark A.B. Williams Memorial Woods and the spectacular Buttermilk Falls. The park's 1890s Squire Castle is a popular site for weddings and photography, while its Manakiki Golf Course offers rental space at its lovely clubhouse. Other attractions include the Foster's Run all-purpose trail and Strawberry Pond, which offers two fishing and observation platforms.
14.Ohio Erie Canal Reservation
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Ohio Erie Canal Reservation follows along a portion of the historic Ohio and Erie Canal, which stretches 309 miles and was constructed in the 1820s to connect the cities of Akron, Cleveland, and Portsmouth with each other and with canal systems in Pennsylvania. The park is located at the site of the canal's northern terminus at the Cuyahoga River, stretching along 4.4 miles of its waterfront and offering lovely public amenities and wildlife management areas. Natural wetland and forest habitats have been reclaimed along the Cuyahoga riverfront, with visitor amenities offered such as a nature center and a National Heritage corridor. Visitors can hike the park's 7.2-mile all-purpose trail and enjoy great fishing opportunities along riverfront areas. The CanalWay Center also offers a wide variety of family-friendly activities, including a bird viewing room and canal boat play area.
4524 E 49th St, Cleveland, OH 44125, Phone: 216-206-1000
15.Rocky River Reservation
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Rocky River Reservation stretches along the banks of the river of the same name, located within the Cleveland metro area and the suburbs of Brook Park, Fairview Park, Lakewood, Berea, North Olmsted, and Olmsted Township. The river is a top destination for steelhead anglers, noted as one of the United States' top 50 fishing areas. Visitors can spot native wildlife such as white-tailed deer and migratory bird species or learn about the region's ecosystems at the Rocky River Nature Center. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding rentals are offered at 41° North Coastal Kayak Adventures, while excellent golfing experiences are offered at three golf courses throughout the reservation. Dining options include the Eagle's Nest at Mastick Woods, the Fairway Grille, and the Grille and Terrace at Big Met.
Valley Pkwy, North Olmsted, OH 44070, Phone: 440-734-6660
16.South Chagrin Reservation
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South Chagrin Reservation is an expansive reservation in Cleveland's Moreland Hills, Bentleyville, and Solon suburbs, located along the banks of the Chagrin River, a designated National Scenic River. The park is home to the historic Look About Lodge, a 1938 log cabin constructed by the Cleveland Natural Science Club, which offers year-round educational programming for park visitors of all ages. Rugged nature trails cross through the park's sandstone ledges, ravines, coldwater creek beds, and hemlock forest areas. Visitors can observe the henry Church Rock sandstone boulder sculpture carving, created in 1885, or fish and picnic around the banks of the beautiful Shadow Lake. Polo Field also hosts a variety of dog and horse shows and events throughout the summer months.
37374 Miles Rd, Bentleyville, OH 44022, Phone: 440-247-7075
Washington Reservation is a 59-acre reservation in Cleveland's Newburgh Heights area, owned and overseen by Cleveland Metroparks. The park is home to the Washington Park Environmental Studies Academy, which is used by Cleveland Municipal School District. Major attractions include the USS Maine and American Legion Memorial, which showcases a relic of the battleship and honors the contributions of American armed forces. The full-service nine-hole Washington Golf Course offers a First Tee of Cleveland Golf Learning Center and a 30-station driving range, while the Arborview shelter is home to day-use picnic tables, barbecue grills, and a playing field. A 1.1-mile all-purpose trail links the park to the nearby Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation.
4408 Pallister Dr, Cleveland, OH 44105
18.West Creek Reservation
West Creek Reservation is a sprawling 326-acre reservation within the Cleveland suburbs of Parma and Seven Hills, offering lovely forested ravine and gorge terrain and grassy open spaces for recreation and relaxation. The reservation spans the floodplain of the West Creek watershed area, which was home to quarries and mining settlements during the 19th and 20th centuries. Park visitors can observe native nesting birds such as red-tailed hawks and screech owls, as well as migratory bird species such as Lincoln's sparrows, indigo buntings, American redstarts, and great-crested flycatchers. The park's Overlook Bridge serves as a terminus for its all-purpose trail, while its Watershed Stewardship Center offers exhibits on the area's streams and stormwater management. Other amenities include day-use picnic sites, a children's playground, and barbecue grills.
2277 W Ridgewood Dr, Parma, OH 44134, Phone: 440-887-1968
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Gordon Park is located within Cleveland's East Side district on 122 acres adjacent to Lake Erie, overseen as part of the Cleveland Public Parks District. The park was originally opened to the public in 1893, named for Cleveland industrialist and philanthropist William J. Gordon, whose estate was formerly housed on the park's lands. Since 1978, the park's lakeshore areas have been incorporated into the Cleveland Lakefront State Park district, which also encompasses five other nearby beachfront recreational areas. Visitors can utilize the park's six-lane boat launch, which offers public dock space between April and November. Other park amenities include day-use picnic areas with barbecue grills and public restroom facilities.
20.The Cleveland Mall
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The Cleveland Mall is a long and expansive public park in Cleveland's downtown district, originally conceived by city planners Daniel Burnham, Arnold Brunner, and John Carrère as part of the city's 1903 Group Plan. The park space was intended to connect the city's major government and civic buildings, including the 1910 Metzenbaum Courthouse, the 1916 Cleveland City Hall, the 1912 Cuyahoga County Courthouse, and the 1925 Cleveland Public Library. Today, the mall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered a prime example of the city's 20th-century City Beautiful civic movement. The mall's three sections are home to attractions such as the Veterans' Memorial Plaza, the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, and the War Memorial Fountain.
Rockefeller Park is a Cleveland city park named in honor of famed oil entrepreneur John D. Rockefeller, Sr., maintained as part of the Cleveland Public Parks District. The park, which is located adjacent to Wade Park, is the largest public park within Cleveland's city limits and begins a chain of parklands that connects the city's heights district and lakefront area. Two areas within the park are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the park's Cultural Gardens, which honor the city's diverse ethnic groups. The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, constructed in 1905, occupies four acres at the park's northeastern end, while the seven-mile Doan Brook runs through the park's center.
750 E 88th St, Cleveland, OH 44108, Phone: 216-664-2512
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Public Square is downtown Cleveland's central plaza area, occupying two blocks throughout the city's downtown region. The 10-acre plaza, which is modeled after similar squares in 18th-century New England, was originally designed as part of the city's original 1796 town plat and became the first street area in the world to be lit with modern electric streetlights in 1879, adorned with lamps designed by Charles F. Brush. Since 1975, the square has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is home to three of Cleveland's tallest buildings: 200 Public Square, the Terminal Tower, and the Key Tower. Other landmarks include the Higbee's department store building, immortalized in the 1983 feature film A Christmas Story, which has been recently reopened as the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland. Since 2016, the square has been redeveloped with pedestrian-friendly green spaces and transit lanes.
Willard Park is a charming public park facility in downtown Cleveland, located adjacent to the Cleveland City Hall along the northwestern corner of Lakeside Avenue and East 9th Street. The park is best known for its iconic Free Stamp sculpture, crafted by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, which is commonly referred to as the "world's largest rubber stamp." The stamp measures 28 feet by 26 feet by 49 feet and was originally commissioned in 1982 for display at the city's BP Tower. Its "Free" inscription refers to the emancipation of African American slaves after the American Civil War, serving as a reference to the city's adjacent Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. In 1991, the stamp was moved and rededicated as the centerpiece of Willard Park.
Cleveland, OH 44114, Phone: 216-664-2485
23 Best Cleveland Parks
- Acacia Reservation, Photo: sema_srinouljan/stock.adobe.com
- Bedford Reservation, Photo: Kenneth Sponsler/stock.adobe.com
- Big Creek Reservation, Photo: SL/stock.adobe.com
- Bradley Woods Reservation, Photo: enginakyurt/stock.adobe.com
- Brecksville Reservation, Photo: tirachard/stock.adobe.com
- Brookside Reservation, Photo: alkiona_25/stock.adobe.com
- Euclid Creek Reservation, Photo: enginakyurt/stock.adobe.com
- Garfield Park Reservation, Photo: alexkich/stock.adobe.com
- Hinckley Reservation, Photo: Michael/stock.adobe.com
- Huntington Reservation, Photo: Bronwyn Photo/stock.adobe.com
- Lakefront Reservation, Photo: Callum/stock.adobe.com
- Mill Stream Run Reservation, Photo: Michael Shake/stock.adobe.com
- North Chagrin Reservation, Photo: Michele/stock.adobe.com
- Ohio Erie Canal Reservation, Photo: Kenneth Sponsler/stock.adobe.com
- Rocky River Reservation, Photo: Michael Shake/stock.adobe.com
- South Chagrin Reservation, Photo: Michael Shake/stock.adobe.com
- Washington Reservation, Photo: Rattasak/stock.adobe.com
- West Creek Reservation, Photo: Gudellaphoto/stock.adobe.com
- Gordon Park, Photo: Jonathan Schöps/stock.adobe.com
- The Cleveland Mall, Photo: Kenneth Sponsler/stock.adobe.com
- Rockefeller Park, Photo: denys_kuvaiev/stock.adobe.com
- Public Square, Photo: Kenneth Sponsler/stock.adobe.com
- Willard Park, Photo: weedezign/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Michael Shake/stock.adobe.com