Cleveland Metropolitan Park
Rings the entire Cuyahoga County & Cleveland Suburbs
Submitted by: Cathy Bibbs-Cornell
It is a huge multi-purpose park with all amenities imaginable!
It completely circles the entire city and county and all of the Cleveland suburbs, from the Lake Erie shore east of Cleveland to the Lake Erie shore west of Cleveland, in roughly a big "U" shape.
The park's size is 20,000 acres, with 60 miles of paved all-purpose trials, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, 5 physical fitness trials with 18 exercise stations, 82 miles of bridle paths, 6 nature centers, a zoo, several archaeological and historical sites (including the Ohio-Erie canal), free programs and activities guided by naturalists, six golf courses - from a sporting par three to challenging championship layouts (Tiger Woods has been here!), permanent picnic pavilions with fireplaces, hundreds of picnic tables and barbecue grills, many scenic falls, baseball fields, horse stables, fishing areas, sledding, ice skating, swimming (pool and lakes).........I could go on and on. There is way too much to mention here.
What Makes Cleveland Metropolitan Park a Great Place?
The park is a valley with several different rivers running through it in different areas. You descend down the hills to the park in your car and are immediately in a quiet, serene woods area with a grassy vista, huge trees and a babbling river. Everyone, young and old, in the entire Cleveland and county area uses this park! There is a well-maintained road that runs the entire length of the park. There are many parking lots and picnic areas to stop at. Many of the roads/hills that descend into the park also have bike paths adjacent to them. So you can walk down/bike ride/roller blade into the park or drive down. You can actually see the park from many areas. A lot of the park's boundaries are sheer cliffs where the river has cut away the soil. Many of the vistas from the tops of the cliffs are beautiful. The jogging/bike path is beautifully maintained. There is a dashed centerline to keep oncoming path traffic on the right side. It is cleared frequently with huge tractor-mounted blowers or snowplows in the winter. It is all appropriately smooth enough for roller blading or strollers.
Everyone that comes here to visit is amazed by this park. The park is unisex, visited by all sexes, all ages. There are hundreds of picnic tables and benches everywhere. There are dozens of covered pavilions with picnic tables and fireplaces and barbecue grills. The park is accessible from practically every community that it is adjacent to. The park is meticulously maintained. Crews make the rounds daily to empty trash cans and pick up litter. There are always random incidences of crime, but it is rare. There is an entire fleet of metropark police who patrol the whole park regularly, just like our city streets. They are continually visible. In warmer weather, there are mounted metropark police who patrol. The park is so big that vehicles have plenty of places to park. There are numerous parking areas of all sizes everywhere. In dry weather, you are allowed to park anywhere on the grass and drive right up to the woods, unless specifically marked "soft ground no parking"
People in all the suburbs use the park. Much of the park is utilized, but also much of it is still in it's natural state, which adds to the attractiveness. You can tramp around in the wild woods and get totally lost if you want! There are even more remote waterfowl preserves. All ages and sexes use the park.
The park is one big happy family. People go there with their children, and singles go there to congregate. Couples go there to *ahem* and clubs or family events meet at the different party areas that you can reserve. There are games in the sports fields, organized races and walks, yet you can get solitude all by yourself on the parks many hiking trails. It is peaceful and never crowded, owing to its size. Everyone loves the metroparks! It is strange when I go to another major city, as there is no place to go to see nature or get away from it all! People who visit this area always want to drive through the park to see what it is like. I am amazed that it was not on your website already!
History & Background
Cleveland Metroparks will conserve significant natural resources and enhance people's lives by providing safe, high-quality outdoor education, recreation, and zoological opportunities. Further, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is committed to improving the future for wildlife.
Cleveland Metroparks, 4101 Fulton Parkway, Cleveland, OH 44144; (216) 351-6300