With more than 21,000 acres, the Cleveland Metroparks’ 16 reservations provide a gorgeous backdrop for the many recreational activities enjoyed here throughout the year. Whether you’re looking to hit the golf course, hike or ride the trails, swim, fish or just experience an oasis of beautiful wildlife minutes from downtown Cleveland, the Cleveland Metroparks are the perfect place for year-round recreation.
It all began in 1917 when a young, self-taught engineer put into motion his plan for an outer chain of parks with connecting boulevards, that would soon be known as the “Emerald Necklace.” William Stinchcomb’s genius was to anticipate the future need for open space at a time when Cuyahoga County outside of Cleveland was still largely rural. From a few scattered donations of land in the Rocky River Valley, the Park District grew to embrace some of the most scenic areas of Greater Cleveland.
Today the network of reservations nearly form a circle around Cleveland and include hundreds of miles of walking, bike and horse trails, parks, picnic areas, five nature centers, seven golf courses and plenty of fishing spots. The Cleveland Metroparks also manages the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest, a favorite amongst locals and tourists.
Visit www.clevelandmetroparks.com for more information about special events and programming, picnic areas, recreational activities and more.
– Submitted by C.A.
Saturday I made my first trip to Whipp’s Ledges in the Cleveland Metroparks. It was 70 degrees, an abnormally warm November afternoon, when my friends and I headed out to the Hinckley Reservation (just about a 40-minute drive from downtown Cleveland) where the buzzards return each year. The area is named after the land’s former owner, Robert Whipp, a successful sheep and “cattle baron” who came to America from England in the 1800s to make his fortune.
While I am really glad we made the trip and everything was beautiful, an abundance of fallen leaves obfuscated the trail and made our descent a bit slick. By no means am I either a coordinated individual or an outdoorsy person, so I think I’d like to trek back to the park in the spring when the tree roots and loose stones one which I will inevitably trip and sprain something are a bit more visible to me.
In addition to 350 feet high Whipp’s Ledges, the reservation includes Hinckley Lake. The diverse landscape and offerings of the reservation makes it a good spot to ice skate, sled, kayak, hike, fish, bird, cycle or rock climb (with advance permission from park officers).
We fully intended to head to nearby Worden’s Ledges after our brief climb, but the youngest member of our trio had participated in his elementary school’s charitable “turkey trot” earlier that day and was completely hiked out. I’m pretty eager to go back and check it out because Worden is known for its sandstone relief carvings and sculptures made in the 1940s by Noble Stuart. –Submitted by SF