Cleveland December 19, 2017
The Spectacular Winter Waterfront Hike Every Clevelander Must Take
Winter transforms the landscape here in Cleveland each winter, but it also transforms our adjacent waterscape. As we move deeper into the coldest months, Lake Erie and its coast will look very different. Snow and splendid ice sculptures shaped by Mother Nature herself will change our charming shore into a winter wonderland, and every Clevelander must take in this incredible majesty at least once. The splendor of our shore at wintertime is unrivaled, especially along this lovely trail in Lakefront Reservation:
Welcome to Lakefront Reservation!
Lakefront Reservation consists of several parks, including Edgewater Park and Upper Edgewater Park. Both parks offer incredible views of the shoreline, and on the horizon you may spot the Cleveland skyline.
This reservation is perhaps the most beautiful in the entirety of the Cleveland Metroparks.
However, it has a particular splendor in the winter...
...and it only grows in beauty as we approach our coldest days of the year.
As far as sightseeing goes, the park has much to offer in every season.
Beyond its scenic views, some incredible attractions call this reservation home. You may spot the East 55th Street Marina, Merwins Wharf Restaurant, and a beach or two.
One trail allows you to experience the best of Lakefront Reservation all year long.
The Edgewater Park Loops can be accesses from the upper or lower sections of the park. It spans a total of 2.3 miles, taking an estimated 40 minutes to traverse. For an interactive map, click
As you walk along the shoreline, the powerful motions of Lake Erie will drown out the sound of the hectic city that lies nearby.
You may, however, hear a bit of bird song or hear the flapping of eager wings.
You will encounter birds well into the winter months in Cleveland. This is because some birds do not leave in the winter, and some actually even migrate here. Unfortunately. seagulls call Cleveland home all year long, so you probably will encounter a few of them along your journey.
Incredible ice sculpture gardens tended by Mother Nature herself will take your breath away.
The lake, you will find, is particularly serene in the winter. So, too, are its enchanting ice gardens.
And, every so often, you will be treated to some views that are truly out of this world.
In December of 2010, conditions were just right for the Cleveland Harbor West Pier Lighthouse to become absolutely encased in ice. The power of Lake Erie creates stunning ice sculptures up and down our coast, though they are typically made by branches and other natural debris.
If you venture off the trail in Upper Edgewater Park, you will spot an iconic Cleveland landmark.
Since the Cleveland script statues were installed, they have been beloved by their community. The Metroparks staff do a great job of making it especially magical in the wintertime.
Plan a trip this season to experience the majesty of our frozen shoreline.
This week may be warming up again, but as the snow returns, you will be amazed how the lakefront landscape transforms. Until you have walked this trail and experienced the raw beauty of the lake in winter, you just don't know what you are missing.
If you think the fun stops as the snow begins to melt, you are mistaken.
Watching the ice along the shoreline break apart is an incredible experience. So too, of course, is the transition into spring. The shoreline is simply incredible as it blooms with verdant new life.
Whenever you get a chance to visit this season, just be sure to check the weather in advance and always bundle up.
Just in case, check the weather report and make sure an aggressive storm isn't rolling in. You won't want to walk 20 minutes away from your car before you realize that a strong gale is beginning to blow over Lake Erie.
You are going to love this winter wonderland.
It seems that we take our park system for granted sometimes, for we often forget that they are open for hiking in the winter. The truth is that winter is one of the loveliest times to spend time in all of our parks, but no matter where you go, the landscape pales in comparison to our alluring coast.
Not ready for winter? Check out this
list of pointers to prepare you for Cleveland’s iciest winter months.