The 10 most visited places of the Cleveland Metroparks, named “Best in the Nation”

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Eighteen reserves, over 24,000 acres of land, eight lakeside parks and five nature centers are just part of the Cleveland Metroparks, recognized with the “Award for Excellence in Parks and Wildlife Management. Recreation ”2021 by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.

With a record 19.7 million visitors last year, Cleveland Metroparks is a popular location for hiking, wildlife viewing, snow sports, horseback riding, kayaking, golf and more. But with so much choice, where to start? Check the list below for the 10 most visited Metroparks bookings in 2020.

(Data provided by Cleveland Metroparks for recreational tours only, including those who park their vehicles or arrive on foot, bicycle, inline skates, etc. Data does not include vehicles passing through parks.)

1. Rocky River Preserve – 3.3 million visitors

Fall foliage is near its peak color in the Cleveland Metroparks Emerald Necklace, including here at the Rocky River Preserve. David Petkiewicz, cleveland.comDavid Petkiewicz, cleveland.com

Rocky River Preserve is located in Berea, Brook Park, Cleveland, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Olmsted Township and Rocky River. Along the Rocky River, it includes a nature center, marina, stables and three golf courses. Visitors can enjoy kayak rentals, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing and more.

2. Mill Stream Run Reservation – 2.2 million visitors

Mother and son on water slide slide

Will Reed screams as he and his mother, Erin Reed, descend the 700-foot-long toboggan slide in the recreation area of ​​the Mill Stream Run reserve chalet inside the Cleveland Metroparks in Strongsville on November 29, 2019. Erin Reed, from Fort Collins, Colorado, was visiting her hometown of Strongsville for Thanksgiving. Reed said she grew up going down these falls. “It’s scarier now,” Reed said. This is the first time that her son has hit the falls. (Lisa DeJong, the ordinary merchant)Lisa DeJong / The Plain Dealer

Mill Stream Run Reservation is located in Berea, Middleburg Heights, North Royalton and Strongsville. Home to Baldwin and Wallace Lakes, the reserve is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy viewing wildlife, ferns, wildflowers and other plants. But perhaps the biggest attraction is the Chalet, where the tallest and fastest ice slides operate in winter. During the warmer months, check out Go Ape! adventure course with five zip lines and 42 obstacles.

3. Edgewater Park – 2 million visitors

Guide to the beaches of Lake Erie

Edgewater Park, just west of downtown Cleveland.

Edgewater Park is more than one of the best beaches in Cleveland for soaking up the sun and lakefront views of the city skyline. Visitors have the opportunity to picnic with the family under the Upper Edgewater shelters, grab a bite to eat at the Pier Grille and Bait Shop, have a drink at Edgewater Beach House, and rent umbrellas, chairs and cabanas at the Nature Store .

4. Brecksville Reserve – 1.6 million visitors

United States weakens protections for species;  Ohio keeps them unchanged

A bald eagle guards its family’s nest on the Brecksville Preserve. Advocates say the protections have helped bring this species back and remove it from the national and federal list of protected species. Joshua Gunter / The Plain Dealer.THE SINGLE DEALER

Brecksville Reservation, the largest of the 18 Cleveland Metroparks reserves, runs along seven gorges, one of which makes Chippewa Creek. It’s not all gorges, however, and offers a variety of trails, the Squire Rich House and Museum, and two golf courses.

5. North Chagrin Reserve – 1.3 million visitors

fall colors in northeastern ohio

Not much went well in 2020, but the fall colors in northeast Ohio certainly didn’t disappoint. David Petkiewicz, cleveland.comDavid Petkiewicz, cleveland.com

North Chagrin Reserve is located in Mayfield Village, Willoughby Hills and Gates Mills. Visitors can watch waterfowl at the Sanctuary Marsh and Sunset Pond. Learn about history at Squire Castle, play a few holes at Manakiki Golf Course, or enjoy the trails at the North Chagrin Nature Center trailhead.

6. E. 55, E. 72 and Nature Reserve – 1 million visitors

Marina East 55th

East 55th Marina along the Lakefront in Cleveland on August 17, 2021 (Kyle Lanzer / Cleveland Metroparks)Kyle Lanzer / Cleveland Metroparks

East of the city center is another lakefront gem, the Reservations E. 55 and E. 72 Metroparks Lakefront. There you will find a dedicated fishing area, access to the Cleveland Lakefront bike path, E. 55th Marina, Gordon Park boat launch, and paddle access.

7. Bedford reservation – 1 million visitors

bedford reservation waterfalls

Hidden Waterfalls at Bedford Cleveland Metroparks Reservation

Bedford Reservation home to a National Natural Landmark, a deep gorge with breathtaking views and waterfalls. For outdoor recreation, visitors can enjoy the Shawnee Hills Golf Course, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

8. Hinckley reservation – 999,000 visitors

Coronavirus pandemic gives impetus to cycle paths

Ledges to Lake event at the Hinckley Reservation on September 21, 2019 (Kyle Lanzer / Cleveland Metroparks)Kyle Lanzer / Cleveland Metroparks

Hinckley Reservation is best known for the 90-acre Hinckley Lake, a favorite spot for those who enjoy fishing and paddling. Whipp’s Ledges is one of Northeast Ohio’s most popular places for rock climbing, with elevations of 350 feet above the lake. If all the activities make you hungry, check out a variety of picnic areas and Buzzard’s Landing, which features Honey Hut snacks, drinks and ice cream.

9. Huntington Reservation – 926,000 visitors

Heat

People beat the heat as they play on the shores of Lake Erie at Cleveland Metroparks Huntington Reservation on Thursday, July 18, 2019. Temperatures will soar with a heat index above 100 degrees tomorrow and over the weekend. (Lisa DeJong / The Plain Dealer)Lisa DeJong / The Plain Dealer

Huntington Reservation, located in Bay Village, has many hiking trails and great beach access. The Noshery offers food, draft beer, specialty cocktails, Honey Hut food and ice cream. Visitors can also visit the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center and BAYarts, located within the reserve.

10. Big Creek Reservation – 711,000 visitors

Big Creek Preserve Lake-to-Lake Trail

The Big Creek Preserve Lake-to-Lake Trail explores some of Northeast Ohio’s most significant glacial wetlands. The 5 mile Trail Challenge route offers a fairly easy and accessible option for everyone. (Photo courtesy of Cleveland Metroparks / Kyle Lanzer)Kyle Lanzer / Cleveland Metroparks

Big Creek Reservation is located in Brooklyn, Parma, Parma Heights, Middleburg Heights, and Strongsville and includes the 2.4 mile Lake to Lake Trail, connecting Abraham Lake and Isaac Lake. Memphis Sledding Hill is a winter favorite.

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