The Cleveland Metroparks is an extensive system of 18 reservations (also known as nature reserves) totaling over 24,000 acres spread throughout Northeast Ohio. This guide will focus on the locations in Cleveland & the west side.
We are a big fan of the outdoors. In these crazy times, being out in nature brings me so much of solitude. I hope this resource serves as an easy to navigate guide to finding the information you are looking for when it comes to the Cleveland Metroparks in our area because it can sure be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with it all.
Lakefront Reservation is actually two different locations. One being home to Edgewater & the other on the east side. I will be focusing on the Edgewater location. This reservation is minutes from downtown. The main feature here is the lake & the many different access points. Edgewater Beach is a popular destination in the summer. There is also a fishing pier (which was closed the last time we were there), boat launch, & a newly renovated beach house among a plethora of walking trails. You’ll find the Cleveland sign photo op at the upper Edgewater area with breathtaking views of the city skyline. At the lower area is access to the dog beach & Perkins Beach which is a not-so-secret anymore favorite for sea glass combing. Lakefront Reservation is also home to Wendy Park where you can access the Coast Guard Station & a fun hill that offers amazing views of Cleveland.
More info can be found here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/lakefront-reservation
Brookside Reservation is well known for the cherry blossom grove in the spring. I’ve been to the cherry blossoms in DC at full bloom & Brookside is honestly a contender. Way less crowded & more easily accessible. When it’s not cherry blossom season, there are walking trails & fun fact: the reservation connects to the zoo! There is also a very pretty overlook that provides a scenic view of the historic Baseball Fields of Brookside Reservation.
More info can be found here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/brookside-reservation
WEST CREEK RESERVATION
West Creek Reservation is tucked between Seven Hills & Parma. This location features a valley of rocky gorges, forest-draped hillsides, floodplains, & babbling brooks. The most exciting aspect of West Creek is the discovery of new urban watershed stewardship techniques. The developed and restored natural areas of the reservation are a living laboratory supplying data and demonstrating real-world solutions for stormwater and pollution control. If you follow the Lookout Ridge Loop Trail, you’ll find the Cleveland skyline at a unique distance unlike any other. The hike is definitely worth it!
More info can be found here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/west-creek-reservation
BIG CREEK RESERVATION
Big Creek Reservation is spread throughout Brooklyn, Parma, Parma Heights, Middleburg Heights, & Strongsville. The highlight of this reservation is the Lake to Lake trail. There are fun wooden bridges that run across the wetlands underneath. Have the kids bring their bikes or scooters, this is a great location for wheels! The Eastland Road Trailhead access is home to a prehistoric play pit that provides lots of fun for the little ones.
More info can be found here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/big-creek-reservation
MILL STREAM RUN RESERVATION
Mill Stream Run Reservation is located in Berea, Middleburg Heights, North Royalton, & Strongsville. While it’s mostly known for the toboggan chutes in the winter, there is so much to explore here. From the Strongsville Wildlife Area to mountain bike trails, this is a place that you can find something new each time you visit.
More info can be found here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/mill-stream-run-reservation
ROCKY RIVER RESERVATION
Rocky River Reservation is located in Berea, Brook Park, Cleveland, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Olmsted Township, AND Rocky River! Much of the character of this location focuses on Rocky River. There are massive shale cliffs to observe & plenty of spots to river walk, kayak, or even tube in. Most popular of this reservation is the Fort Hill stairs. In November 2016, a completely new staircase was put in. Make the 155 steps up to incredible views of the river & cliffs. There are plenty of trails to hike here. Pre-covid, the nature center is a free location with animals & other fun interactive things to do with the kiddos. Keep this in mind when they eventually reopen.
More info can be found here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/rocky-river-reservation
Huntington Reservation is located in Bay Village. While mostly recognized for the beach, there is actually many areas to walk & explore on the south side of the reservation. At the beach; however, is a kayak launch & they are currently working on renovating the water tower & concession area when in season. The views of Cleveland are incredible here. Huntington Reservation is also home to two Cleveland Metroparks affiliates: Lake Erie Nature & Science Center (which is free) & BayArts that offers a plethora of art based classes for adults & children.
More info can be found here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/huntington-reservation
BRADLEY WOODS RESERVATION
Bradley Woods Reservation is a swamp forest in North Olmsted & Westlake (the only one in the entire Metroparks system!) You’ll find hiking trails, walking paths, Bunns Lake where you can fish, & a monarch butterfly waystation here. It’s located on a massive formation of Berea sandstone which can be seen all throughout the park.
More info can be found here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/bradley-woods-reservation
For more information on all 18 reservations, visit: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks