Cleveland August 14, 2017
You Must Visit These 10 Cleveland Parks That Are Overflowing With History
Cleveland is well known for its fantastic parks, which have earned the nickname of “The Emerald Necklace.” Spectacular shades of emerald, peridot, and jade paint the natural landscape, concealing a secret or two beneath the leaves and hidden natural space. What makes these Cleveland gems so historic? Their stories may surprise you.
1. Brecksville Reservation, 9000 Chippewa Creek Drive, Brecksville
As the largest of the Cleveland Metroparks, this reservation is a special landmark in its own right. But, across its vast campus, one can find monuments such as the Harriet Keeler Memorial and the Squire Rich Museum, which are open from 1p.m. to 5 p.m., June through October
2. Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation, 4524 East 49th Street, Cleveland
Throughout the state, remnants of the historic 309-mile Ohio and Erie Canal are still visible. Here, its northernmost expanse remains preserved. Explore the culturally-rich canal, then swing by the Canalway Center to experience both nature and history up close.
3. Lakefront Reservation, 6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway, Cleveland
As the home of Edgewater Beach, this reservation is one of Cleveland's favorites. Not only does the campus include the beach, but it also encompasses the historic Lorenzo Hart Cabin and the Coast Guard Station.
4. Deep Lock Quarry, 5779 Riverview Road, Peninsula
This quarry is gushing with local history, and you really have to see it to truly understand its significance. Millstones and building foundations dot the landscape of this majestic park. State Quarry provided blocks of sandstone that completed portions of the canal, and the blocks were also used in oat-processing by Ferdinand Schumacher, who is credited with introducing oatmeal to the U.S.
5. Rocky River Reservation, 24000 Valley Pkwy, North Olmsted
Rocky River Reservation is particularly special, as part of it was the first land purchased by the Cleveland Metroparks in 1919. Visit the Frostville Museum, located at 24101 Cedar Point Road, Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., or visit the 2,000-year old authentic earthworks site of Fort Hill.
6. Silver Creek, 5199 Medina Line Road, Norton
Over 1,000 acres make up this awe-inspiring park. Fence rows and a Civil War-era barn hint at this park's former life as a dairy farm. Another hidden history lies beneath the park: coal was mined from certain regions of the park, providing our predecessors with a valuable resource.
7. South Chagrin Reservation, 37374 Miles Road, Bentleyville
Pictured here is the mysterious Henry Church Rock, carved by its namesake in 1885. It is just one of the many attractions that makes this park so delightfully unusual. Look About Lodge, built in 1938, offers year-round educational programs. Another amazing site is the Burnett Historical House, which traces its origins to the late 1800's.
8. Washington Reserve, 4408 Pallister Drive, Cleveland
The U.S.S. Maine Memorial stands like a beacon near the entrance of the park, drawing in guests with its celebration of local armed forces personnel. If you're a golf buff, you'll also adore the 9-hole Washington Golf Course located just outside of Downtown Cleveland.
9. O'Neil Woods, 2550 Martin Road, Akron
Pictured here is the pre-restoration O'Neil barn, which today glows a deep scarlet beneath the lush greenery of the park. This 242-acre park was formerly a family farm owned by William O'Neil, founder of General Tire and Rubber Company.
10. Big Creek Reservation, 4101 Fulton Parkway, Cleveland
This stunning park is home to the largest remaining glacial wetland in Cuyahoga County. Kids can get in touch with their inner paleontologist at the prehistoric play pit and Mastodon dig site.
To some degree, we often forget the significance of local parks. Not only do they preserve a natural space that provides a getaway from the hustle and bustle of life, but many local parks house pristine historic sites that are hidden local landmarks. What is your favorite historic park?
For more, check out the coolest
state nature preserve near Cleveland.