Cleveland Metroparks Guide - The Cleveland Moms

The Cleveland Metroparks is an extensive system of 18 reservations (also known as nature reserves) totaling over 24,000 acres spread throughout Northeast Ohio.
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. Locations are organized by west, east, & south side.





Lakefront Reservation is actually two different locations. One being home to Edgewater & the other on the east side. 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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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. More info can be found here:


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:


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:




The east side location is also minutes from downtown. The main feature here is the of course the lake which on this side are popular fishing spots. E 55th Marina & E 72nd fishing areas are a hot spot for fishing enthusiasts. Gordon Park has a boat + paddling launch. More info can be found here:


Acacia Reservation, a 155-acre green space oasis, is located in the City of Lyndhurst. The west branch of Euclid Creek flows northwest through Acacia Reservation to join the main creek branch in Euclid Creek Reservation. A 1.7-mile paved loop trail is located in the Reservation. More info can be found here:


This reservation features a deep gorge — declared a National Natural Landmark — carved out by Tinker’s Creek, with picturesque vistas and waterfalls. Mature trees and abundant wildflowers are found within its deep forests. It offers trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, as well as picnic areas and Shawnee Hills Golf Course. At over 2,200 acres, Bedford Reservation gives the appearance of a continuous forest of large trees as it was not logged due to its rugged terrain. Tinker’s Creek, the largest tributary of the Cuyahoga River. A scenic overlook along Gorge Parkway offers a spectacular vista, particularly in the fall. More info can be found here:


Follow Euclid Creek Valley along 2.5 miles of interesting geology along this verdant corridor, from Quarry Picnic Area to Highland Picnic Area. Historic points of interest include former Bluestone quarries, CCC camp, and Euclid Beach Park. As the creek flows northward to Lake Erie, so does the reservation. Part of Euclid Creek Reservation includes Wildwood Marina, Villa Angela Park and Beach, and Euclid Beach. More info can be found here:


Located in Garfield Heights, Garfield Park Reservation has become a treasured urban oasis that has withstood the test of time.  The park features a surprising array of wildlife diversity and recreational opportunities.  Serving as a popular location for family gatherings and exercise enthusiasts with its unique landscapes and vistas, guests can be surprised with each visit offering something new to discover. More info can be found here:


Since the 1920s, North Chagrin Reservation has been a special combination of outdoor recreation areas and wildlife sanctuaries. North Chagrin trails and picnic areas feature woodlands and wetlands as important characteristics of this large reservation. Located in Mayfield Village, Willoughby Hills and Gates Mills, the reservation includes a nature center and nature education building. Sanctuary Marsh and Sunset Pond are both popular areas to observe waterfowl, and Squire’s Castle is an interesting historical site. The reservation is also home to Manakiki Golf Course, located off SOM Center and Eddy roads in Willoughby Hills. More info can be found here:


Rugged trails lead you through hemlock forests, sandstone ledges, coldwater creeks and ravines. The Chagrin River, designated as a Scenic River, borders the eastern edge of the reservation. Sites rich in history include Look About Lodge, Henry Church, Jr. Rock, Quarry Rock, the Polo Field, and the old Boy Scout Camp. More info can be found here:




From the oak-hickory forests on the ridge tops to the cottonwoods, willows and sycamores of Chippewa Creek’s flat floodplain, Brecksville Reservation is a study of contrasts. The reservation is deeply cut by seven distinct gorges which have a wide variety of soil and sunlight conditions, fostering the growth of rare, unusual and endangered plants. Chippewa Creek, in the northern section of the reservation, flows through a remarkable gorge that was left behind by the glaciers that once covered this area. The reservation has an excellent and extensive system of trails, including a section of the Buckeye Trail. Squire Rich Home & Museum, managed by the Brecksville Historical Society, is located on Brecksville Road. Sleepy Hollow Golf Course and Seneca Golf Course are also a part of the reservation. More info can be found here:


At the southern end of Cleveland Metroparks is Hinckley Reservation, the site of the nationally-known annual Return of the Buzzards. From hiking at Whipp’s Ledges to kayaking on Hinckley Lake, there are a variety of activities here for everyone. More info can be found here:


The Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation stretches through the villages of Cuyahoga Heights and Valley View and other surrounding communities. The reservation follows a portion of its namesake, the historic 309-mile Ohio and Erie Canal. Together with the Cuyahoga River, the northernmost remaining 4.4 miles of watered canal provides wildlife management areas, fishing opportunities and scenic beauty. Picnicking, hiking trails, a 7.2-mile All Purpose Trail, and unique natural and cultural heritage of this valley are also featured in this reservation. More info can be found here:


Located in Newburgh Heights the 59-acre Washington Reservation is Cleveland Metroparks 15th reservation. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy an Audubon Certified nine-hole golf course, a First Tee of Cleveland Golf Learning Center, and a 30-station driving range. History buffs will enjoy the U.S.S. Maine Memorial near the entrance of the park. More info can be found here:


For more information on all 18 reservations, visit:

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