Focusing on hikes close to the metropolitan area, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cleveland, by Diane Stresing, provides the information needed to choose the perfect day hike, along with maps, directions, driving times, and a wealth of trail details.
Residents and visitors-in-the-know appreciate the many outdoor recreational opportunities this "All American City" has to offer. With new hikes and updated text and maps, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cleveland points hikers to the best outdoor trails and rambles within easy reach of the city.
Choose from hikes such as Fork Hill Earthworks, which features Native American ceremonial grounds, and the remains of a prehistoric "monster." A former golf course now offers scenic hiking paths at Orchard Hills, and bird-watchers will enjoy a trip to Towner's Woods or Bath Nature Preserve. Every trail offers a unique glimpse of the region, from city sidewalks to rustic footpaths.
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DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND HIGHLIGHTS
- DISTANCE & CONFIGURATION: 3.2-mile loop
- DIFFICULTY: Easy
- SCENERY: Landmark buildings (both old and new), our Great Lake, public art, and peregrine falcons
- EXPOSURE: Mostly exposed
- TRAFFIC: Heavy
- TRAIL SURFACE: Asphalt
- HIKING TIME: 1.5+ hours
- DRIVING DISTANCE: 9 miles from I-77/I-480 exchange
- ACCESS: 24/7; most shops, museums, and attractions open daily.
- WHEELCHAIR TRAVERSABLE: Yes, except cemetery and historical ships
- MAPS: USGS Cleveland North and Cleveland South; street maps posted at each Regional Transit Authority stop
- FACILITIES: Public restrooms and water at Tower City and Galleria (East Ninth Street and Lakeside Avenue)
- CONTACT: Purchase tickets for the observation deck (open April–December, Saturday–Sunday) at the information desk at Terminal Tower or online at towercity cleveland.com/info/skylight (choose “Observation Deck” on the left-hand menu). To learn more about the peregrine falcons at the tower, see falconcam-cmnh.org or inquire at the information desk. See “Nearby Activities” on page 44 for additional contact information.
Here’s a hike that’s uniquely Clevelandand it starts out at a historical landmark and shopping mall. Whether you have out-of-town guests who want to see the north coast, or you haven’t been downtown for a while, this mini-tour will put you in a Cleveland state of mind, with stops at stately Public Square, the anything-but-square Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and other highlights, including the Terminal Tower observation deck, offering panoramic views of the city. In addition to Cleveland’s man-made skyline, you may also spot some of the peregrine falcons that nest on ledges of the building’s exterior.
From Tower City’s lower lot, go inside Tower City Center, up the escalator, and wander north through the fabulous shopping center. When the Van Sweringen brothers planned the 52-story tower in the 1920s, they worked to sway both public opinion and political decisions to have it constructed to their desired specifications. Built to be the main tower in the Cleveland Union (railroad) Terminal, it was the tallest building outside of New York City from its opening in 1930 until 1967. Today, the tower cum mall-and-office space has far outlived the railroad line for which it was planned (though the Rapid Transit station is still active), yet the building remains a signature flourish on Cleveland’s skyline.
Exit Tower City Center onto Euclid Avenue and find yourself on Public Square. The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, built in 1894, sits to your right, on the eastern side of Ontario Street. The monument to the almost 10,000 Cleveland-area soldiers who served in the Civil War is open inside; you can walk right into it, if you like.
Continue north across Public Square to the Old Stone Church. Established here on the corner of Ontario Street and Rockwell Avenue in 1834, the church has been rebuilt a couple of times since. The building you see today dates to 1855. If your timing is good (don’t interrupt a wedding!), you can go in to appreciate its ornate interior. Follow Ontario north, across St. Clair Avenue, to the Cuyahoga County Courthouse. As you approach, crane your neck to take in six stately sculptures atop the building’s facade. Various artists created the marble figures in 1911; each statue honors an individual for his contributions to English law. Sculpted by Herbert Adams, Simon de Montfort (1208– 1265), for example, created a parliament with two houses, which became the precursor of the House of Commons. Below, bronze busts of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, both by Karl Bitters, grace opposite sides of the main entrance steps.
With a nod to Misters Hamilton and Jefferson, turn left in front of the courthouse and follow Lakeside Avenue southwest about a block; then turn right onto West Third Street. From the top of the hill, you’ll catch a glimpse of Lake Erie. Follow West Third downhill, passing the Port of Cleveland on your left, and wind around the 31-acre site of Cleveland Browns Stadium. This may be a good place to get some landscaping ideas: The grounds-keepers focus on the field (which is heated to extend the growing season of the grass), so the rest of the area features hardy, attractive, low-maintenance plants.
Follow West Third east as it bends right, heading south onto Erieside Avenuethe 171-foot-tall stadium now stands to your right. Several sculptures, including one honoring Cleveland’s firefighters, dot this part of the walk. Turn left onto North Marginal Road, walking east past the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Be sure to peer behind the Science Center to marvel at the 618-foot-long William G. Mather steamship, a piece of history in striking visual contrast to the futuristic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, designed by architect I. M. Pei. Here you’ll also notice signs advertising tours on the Goodtime III. When visiting Cleveland, the Mather, Goodtime, and nearby USS COD submarine offer a comprehensive education in the city’s unbreakable connection to the Great Lakes. Tours on any of the three are enjoyable, but the hands-down best choice for hikers is a walk-and-crawl-through tour of the USS COD. (See “Nearby Activities” on page 44.) Continue your walk from here by turning right, going south on East Ninth Street. Cross over busy OH 2, also known as the Shoreway, and begin to head uphill.
Soon you’ll see the always-good-for-a-conversation-starter Free Stamp sculpture at Willard Park, on the north side of Lakeside Avenue. And just south of Lakeside, you’ll find the Galleria. The beautiful mall, modeled to honor Cleveland’s history of interior arcades, lost many retail occupants after the prestigious Tower City Center opened its mall, but the food court inside the Galleria remains popular with downtown workers and visitors.
Ahead and on your left, at the corner of East Ninth and Superior Avenue, is the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist. Originally constructed from 1848 to 1852, the current church is part of a complete rebuilding that took place from 1946 to 1948.
From the church, continue south about 0.5 mile (crossing Vincent, Chester, Euclid, and Prospect Avenues) to reach Bolivar Road. Progressive Field (known for years as Jacobs Field), home of the Cleveland Indians, is on your right. To see some of the interesting sculptures designed for the new ballpark in 1994, take a brief detour and follow Eagle Avenue west. Several of the sculptures function as fashionable benches: Who’s on First, Meet Me Here, and the abstract Sports Stacks. (Between you and me, I see a baseball bat in there, but you’ll see what you want to see.) Once you’ve peered inside the gates of Progressive Field, return to East Ninth and turn right, heading south again.
On the eastern side of East Ninth (on your left) is old Erie Street Cemetery. Created in 1826, when Erie Street was constructed, it was the city’s first official cemetery. Many bodies buried at church cemeteries were relocated here when the cemetery opened. And there lies Chief Thunderwater, the most likely inspiration for the city’s baseball tribe. Thunderwater appeared in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and was known as the “official” Cleveland Indian. Today, Thunderwater shares the grounds with Cleveland’s earliest permanent settlers, Lorenzo and Rebekah Carter, and other folks notable in the city’s history.
As you leave the cemetery, take East Ninth to Carnegie Avenue and head west past the front of Progressive Field, where you’ll face the oft-photographed entrance to Hope Memorial Bridge, which opened in 1932 as the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. Impressive stone carvings on each entrance represent the progression of transportation. The figures hold various icons: a covered wagon, stagecoach, car, and several trucks. Water transportation isn’t represented by the figures, but the bridge itself reminds usit was built 93 feet above water level to allow for shipping clearance.
With your feet now on Broadway Avenue, turn right (northwest) to West Huron Road, and return to the parking garage at Tower City Center.
It’s OK to act like a tourist here, even if Cleveland is your hometown. Grab your camera and go see the USS COD, for starters. Open May–September, the World War II submarine tour is only for the agile. Visitors enter and exit through original hatches and climb ladders over equipment inside. For information, call 216-566-8770 or visit usscod.org. Less constraining is the Steamship William G. Mather, the 1925 flagship of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, which is now operated May–October by the Great Lakes Science Center as a floating maritime museum; call 216-694-2000 or visit greatscience.com for information. You can cruise the Cuyahoga River aboard the Goodtime III, enjoying fabulous views of Cleveland’s industrial flats and the area’s many different bridges. So (ahem) for a Goodtime, call 216-861-5110 or visit goodtimeiii.com. For a hike offering a different view of the skyline, visit Edgewater Park, part of the expanding Lakefront Reservation (see page 53).
This walk abuts Cleveland’s celebrated theater district and historic Gateway neighborhood. More information, including a schedule of walking tours focusing on the area’s history, can be found at clevelandgatewaydistrict.com or by calling 216-771-1994.
GPS TRAILHEAD COORDINATES
N41o 29.811' W81o 41.635'
From I-77 N, take Exit 163 (E Ninth Street). From East Ninth Street, merge onto East 14th Street; in 0.2 mile turn right onto US 422/Orange Avenue and follow signs to Public Square/Stadium. In 0.7 mile turn left onto West Huron Road. In 0.3 mile turn right onto West Sixth Street to park at the Tower City Center parking garage.
Table of Contents
Overview Nap Key i
60 Hikes by Category xiv
Cuyahoga County 12
1 Acacia Reservation 14
2 Bedford Reservation: Bridal Veil Falls & Tinkers Creek Gorge 17
3 Bedford Reservation: Viaduct Park 21
4 Brecksville Reservation 24
5 Cleveland Metroparks Zoo 29
6 Cleveland West Side Wanderings 34
7 Downtown Cleveland Highlights 39
8 Garfield Park Reservation & Mill Creek Falls 45
9 Lake Erie Nature & Science Center & Huntington Reservation 49
10 Lakefront Reservation: Edgewater Park 53
11 Lake View Cemetery & Little Italy 57
12 The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes 62
13 North Chagrin Reservation: Squire's Castle 67
14 Rocky River Reservation: Fort Hill Loop Trail 72
15 South Chagrin Reservation: Squaw Rock 76
Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula Counties 80
16 Ashtabula: The Underground Railroad & Covered Bridges 82
17 Beartown Lakes Reservation 87
18 Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park 91
19 Hach-Otis State Nature Preserve 96
20 Lake Erie Bluffs 101
21 Mason's Landing Park 105
22 Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve 108
23 Orchard Hills Park 112
24 The West Woods 117
Summit (south), Stark, and Portage Counties 122
25 Canal Fulton: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath & Olde Muskingum Trails 124
26 Dix Park 128
27 Headwaters Trail 132
28 Herrick Fen State Nature Preserve 136
29 Hiram College: James H. Barrow Field Station 141
30 Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park 145
31 Portage Lakes State Park 151
32 Quail Hollow State Park 156
33 Riveredge Trail & City of Kent 161
34 Seneca Ponds 167
35 Sippo Lake Park 171
36 Sunny Lake Park 174
37 Tinkers Creek State Nature Preserve 178
38 Tom S. Cooperrider-Kent Bog State Nature Preserve 182
39 Towner's Woods 186
40 Walborn Reservoir 190
41 West Branch State Park 194
42 Wingfoot Lake State Park 198
Summit (north), Lorain, and Medina Counties 202
43 Bath Community Activity Center & Bath Nature Preserve 204
44 Cascade Valley Park: Oxbow & Overlook Trails 208
45 Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Beaver Marsh Boardwalk & Indigo Lake 212
46 Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Blue Hen Falls Trail to Buttermilk Falls 217
47 Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Haskell Run, Ledges, & Pine Grove Trails 221
48 Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Plateau Trail 226
49 Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Salt Run Trail 231
50 Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Stanford & Brandywine Gorge Trails 235
51 F. A. Seiberling Nature Realm 239
52 Gorge Metro Park: Gorge, Glens, & Highbridge Trails 243
53 Hinckley Reservation: Whipp's Ledges 248
54 Hudson Springs Park 252
55 Indian Hollow Reservation 256
56 Liberty Park: Twinsburg Ledges 260
57 Munroe Falls Metro Park 264
58 Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath & Quarry Trails & Peninsula History 267
59 Rising Valley Park 272
60 Spencer Lake Wildlife Area 276
Appendix A Outdoor Shops 280
Appendix B Places to Buy Maps 281
Appendix C Hiking Clubs and Events 282
Appendix D Other Resources 283
Appendix E Bibliography 284
About the Author 291
What People are Saying About This
"60 Hikes Within 60 Miles Cleveland is a valuable resource guide and an inspiration to move beyond your well-worn local paths." — The Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 2011
"Whether you are looking to get fit or just relax while enjoying the outdoors, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cleveland has something for everyone." Fox 8 Cleveland, June 2011
"Whether you have lived in NE Ohio your whole life or are in town visiting, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles Cleveland is an excellent guide for finding the prefect hike for you." AkronOhioMoms.com, July 2011