Outdoor Activities in Cleveland, OH
You can’t spend time in Cleveland without visiting one of northern Ohio’s greatest gems. Cuyahoga National Park preserves over 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River from Cleveland to Akron. There’s almost no limit to what you can do while you’re here. Take a hike or a bike ride, explore caves, canoe, kayak, fish, go horseback riding or watch the birds. The huge park is packed with visitor centers, so make sure to start your trip off by visiting one and pick up a map – it’s easy to get lost out there! Not in the mood for a big hike? Park in one of the lots and explore the nearby land. Every inch of this place is beautiful.
Spend some time on the water front at Edgewater Marina. Park your car and walk on the paved walkway down to the beach. Take a dip, or just sit and enjoy the sun. Walk around the marina and watch the boats go in and out. If you’re hungry, there’s a great restaurant on-site. If you’re watching your wallet, pack a picnic lunch and bring a blanket. It’s a great place for a stroll or a bike ride, but gets really packed on the weekends. Use the restroom before you leave home – the ones here aren’t usually up to par.
Get an up-close look at Cleveland from a man who loves it. Karl Johnson will take you on one of several tours, each designed to fit your style. The Segway tours are a blast, and you can either book a short instructional session before a self-guided tour or take your guide along. If you prefer a vehicle, Johnson will ride in your own car or bus and act as your own personal guide. Probably one of the most popular tours is the walking tour, where you can choose one of two neighborhoods. Johnson doesn’t focus on architecture as much as many other tour companies, instead teaching you about local history and current affairs, as well as giving you fun personal stories to go with many of the stops. If you prefer more walking and less talking he can do that, or he’ll work in less stops with longer narratives.
Take an afternoon to spend some time in the sun and on the water – and learn something new while you’re at it. This historic landmark is a World War II submarine docked on a Cleveland shore. Climb aboard and learn what it was like to be a part of that time in our country’s history. You can’t help but love walking the deck of this preserved ship. Be warned – you have to do some climbing to get in and out of the sub. The only entrances and exits are the original hatches, and you use these and ladders to navigate the exhibit, so leave the high heels at home!
If you love nature, you’ll love North Chagrin Reservation. There are tons of walking trails, both long and short, and the river is a great place to sit and pass time. There are two lakes at the park that are both always full of geese, so if you’re not a fan, avoid those areas. The best thing about the place is Squire’s Castle. It’s not really a castle at all, but a servant’s house for a mansion that was never built. The stone structure resembles a castle, and is open to the public if you want to wander its rooms.