Cleveland May 23, 2017
9 Amazing Cleveland Hikes Under 3 Miles You’ll Absolutely Love
The rich Ohio landscape offers many views that are unique to our state. Breathtaking sunsets overlook meandering streams that cut and carve our wooded landscape, waterfalls cascade over glacially-constructed rock walls, and our trees are speckled with a variety of foliage that is unrivaled in diversity and color. But did you know that you can easily explore such places in the Greater Cleveland Area?
Truth is, the area in and around Cleveland is full of ecological wonders, and many can be reached via fairly short hiking trails that can be traversed in mere hours. Here are nine hiking trails in Cleveland you have to check out:
1. Wake Robin Trail Boardwalk (5185 Corduroy Road, Mentor Marsh)
As one of the largest natural wetlands in the Cleveland area, Mentor Marsh has an impressionable quantity of reed grass. From the this scenic boardwalk, its movement seems to create a sea of lush greenery that one cannot help but admire with awe.
2. Ledge Trail (4361 Spruce Avenue, Princess Ledges Nature Preserve)
Just a stone’s throw from the bustling streets of Brunswick are imposing sandstone walls. These cliffs once formed the ancient shoreline of Lake Erie, but today are graced with warblers and wildflowers.
3. Cattail Trail (11620 Ravenna Road, Walter C. Best Wildlife Preserve)
Though Cattail Trail is a mere mile long, one could easily spend hours transfixed by the views of the 30-acre Best Lake. The scenic location makes the perfect habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl, so this is an ideal location to finally try your hand at nature photography.
4. Whipps Ledges (Hinckley Lake Loop Trail, Hinckley Reservation)
As part of the Cleveland Metroparks, the entire campus of Hinckley Reservation is expectedly overflowing with spectacular scenery. It features a picturesque lake that is perfect for kayaking, bird-watching locations including the scenic Buzzard's Landing, and imposing stone walls that were shaped by glaciers during the Pleistocene ice age.
5. Strawberry Pond Trail (3037 Som Center Road, North Chagrin Reservation)
Located in the heart of the Buttermilk Falls Nature Preserve is a stunning wooded path whose crown jewel is a glimmering lake. Once upon a time, this hidden lake was used as an ice skating site. Today, it serves to bring families closer to aquatic life via fishing platforms that extend over this picturesque pond. Just a stone’s throw away are the sites of Squire’s Castle and Buttermilk Falls, both of which make this location feel like a fairytale.
6. Lake to Lake Trail (4101 Fulton Parkway, Big Creek Reservation)
Along this 2.4 mile path, visitors are treated to a view of aquatic plant life that stretches across 175 acres of glacial wetlands. A boardwalk stretches over part of the marsh, offering visitors a chance to gaze at the habitat that offers a critical home to both migratory and native birds.
7. Buckeye Trail (9000 Chippewa Creek Drive, Brecksville Reservation)
Three miles of this celebrated scenic hike in the Cleveland Metroparks runs parallel to Chippewa Creek. Along this mildly strenuous hike, be sure to stop for water breaks at Deer Lick Cave, Deer Lick Cave Falls, and My Mountain Overlook.
8. Fort Hill Loop Trail (2400 Valley Parkway, Rocky River Reservation)
This path traverses 1.3 miles of the Rocky River Reservation. Though the hike is fairly strenuous due to narrow, uneven trails, adventurous hikers are rewarded to a view of of the Rocky River from an elevated point at the top of Fort Hill. The site also features 155 steps leading to earthen walls believed to be created by the Early Woodland Indians 2,000 years ago.
9. Wetland and Pine Forest Loop (6100 Ridge Road, Wolf Creek Environmental Center)
This wildlife sanctuary consists of 103 secluded acres. A golden prairie, rich, blue wetlands, and vivid butterfly gardens are among the habitats represented in this sprawling landscape. In this stunning location, a boardwalk stretches out over the wetland to bring spectators closer to the waterfowl. However, as it is a wildlife sanctuary, pets are prohibited in this park.
Though Cleveland is widely known for its extensive urban jungle of architecture, its verdant forests and undulating hills make it an ecological gem that nature lovers can easily explore. What is your favorite Cleveland hiking trail? Share your photos and experiences with us!