Cleveland April 09, 2017
7 Under-Appreciated State Parks Near Cleveland You’re Sure To Love
Ohio’s state parks are among the very best in the country. Whether you’re looking to get lost in the depths of an ancient-growth forest or wander the shores of a beautiful Lake Erie beach, the Cleveland area is home to a wide variety of amazing state parks suited to every kind of outdoorsman.
1. Tinkers Creek State Park (10303 Aurora Hudson Rd,
Tinkers Creek is made up of hundreds of acres of stunningly peaceful swamps and other wetlands. The diversity of plant life in this fascinating marsh ecosystem is truly stunning, and the animals that frequent the area are otherwise rare in northeast Ohio.
2. Headlands Beach State Park (9601 Headlands Rd, Mentor)
The mile-long sandy strip of beach that makes up Headlands Beach State Park is not only the longest natural sand beach in Ohio, but the best way to experience all that the North Coast has to offer.
3. Nelson-Kennedy Ledges (State Route 282, Nelson Township)
One of northeast Ohio's greatest geological marvels, the mammoth and peculiar rock formations that make up the Nelson-Kennedy Ledges are like stepping onto an alien world. From towering stone spires to sheer cliff faces, the landscape of this park is truly one of a kind.
4. Punderson State Park (11755 Kinsman Rd, Newbury)
Nestled within nearly 750 acres of preserved woodlands on the banks of a beautiful natural lake, Punderson State Park boasts something no other state park in Ohio can claim: a historic European-style resort manor. After a day exploring the gorgeous grounds, you'll never want to check out.
5. West Branch State Park (5570 Esworthy Rd, Ravenna)
One of the most biologically diverse stretches of woodland in northeast Ohio, you can expect to find plant and animal life at West Branch that you'll never see at any other park. From a thick beech-maple forest to bogs full of vibrant plant life, there is no shortage of fascinating discoveries to be made in the wilderness of West Branch.
6. Mosquito Lake State Park (1439 State Route 305, Cortland)
One of Ohio's biggest lakes, the lovely Mosquito Lake isn't anywhere near as annoying as its name suggests. Sprawling woodlands and tranquil marshes supplement this incredible lake, and there are over 2,000 acres to explore in this unforgettable park.
7. Portage Lakes State Park (5031 Manchester Rd, Akron)
This stellar waterfront park encompasses over 400 acres of the beautiful Akron area. The small lakes dotting the park are ideal for swimming, small craft boating, fishing, and other water activities, and the nearby wetlands are a great place to watch for exotic shorebirds.
Did your favorite state park near Cleveland not make the cut? Tell us about what makes it special in the comments below.