Summer turns Cleveland Metroparks more than 23,600 acres green. The warmer months bring a surge of walkers, bikers and hikers out to explore the parks, golf courses, dining and retail venues and nationally acclaimed Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Summertime on the Lake
Cleveland Metroparks saw record visitation to the lakefront in 2018 with the Edgewater Beach House and successful Edgewater LIVE and Euclid Beach LIVE concert series. New additions also helped drive attendance such as the Edgewater Nature Shop featuring standup paddleboard rentals and Cleveland Public Library Book Box, a mini-library that was created in partnership with the Cleveland Public Library. In late May, Cleveland Metroparks will officially dedicate the new Euclid Beach Pier, a brand new 300-foot pier that partially extends over Lake Erie.
Cleveland Metroparks free Edgewater LIVE and Euclid Beach LIVE concert series kicks-off its sixth season the last week of May and runs until the beginning of August. The series offers free live musical performances along Cleveland’s lakefront with local food trucks, recreational activities and more. Edgewater LIVE presented by Cuyahoga Community College runs Thursday evenings beginning on May 30 at Edgewater Park and Euclid Beach LIVE presented by Dollar Bank runs Friday evenings and begins May 31 at Euclid Beach Park. The series will not be held on the week of July 4.
The trails of the Emerald Necklace
With more than 300 miles of trails including over 100 miles of paved all-purpose trails, Cleveland Metroparks continues to improve connections and build on park founder William Stinchcomb’s vision of an inter-connected Emerald Necklace. Recent improvements include the new six-mile paved Valley Parkway Connector Trail that fulfills the “missing link” in the Park District’s network of trails between Brecksville and Mill Stream Run Reservations.
In addition to paved trails, Cleveland Metroparks has also added several new natural surface trails including the West Channel Pond Trail in Rocky River Reservation that features elevated accessible boardwalks. The new half-mile Lookout Ridge Trail in West Creek Reservation offers a unique view of the skyline of Cleveland from its overlook.
Bicycling is a popular activity across the Park District, especially so in the warmer months. In addition to the over 100 miles of shared-use, paved, all-purpose trails and 300 miles of roadways, Cleveland Metroparks also offers three designated natural surface mountain bike trails in Bedford, Mill Stream Run and Ohio & Erie Canal reservations. The trails offer terrain for both beginner and intermediate mountain bikers.
A golf course for everyone
Golfing is also another popular recreational activity during the warmer months. With eight scenic and affordable golf courses nestled around The Emerald Necklace, there’s a course for everyone. Manakiki in Willoughby and Sleepy Hollow in Brecksville again rank among the top public courses in Ohio this year. While Sleepy Hollow and Manakiki can challenge even the most seasoned golfers, each of Cleveland Metroparks eight golf courses is unique — from a sporting par three at Shawnee Hills to the rolling hills of Big Met to a quick nine holes at Washington less than ten minutes from downtown.
In addition to offering fast pace of play and beautiful scenery, several courses offer a variety of lessons to improve anyone’s game by trained PGA golf professionals through the Academy of Golf programs.
Golf camps, golf leagues and tournaments are also offered throughout the golf season. Golfers can start their own league, join an existing league or sign up for Cleveland Metroparks Travel League hosted at five 18-hole golf courses from April to October. The league, offered for men and women, is now in its ninth season and is a great way for adults to experience a variety of courses and meet new golfers.
Securing a Future for Wildlife
Securing a future for wildlife is the role of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, a nationally recognized leader among zoos and aquariums in North America with over 2,000 animals across 400 species from around the world. The zoo features unique and engaging destinations for the whole family including Wilderness Trek, Australian Adventure, Primate, Cat & Aquatics, The RainForest, African Savanna, and newest destination – Asian Highlands.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo specializes in animal care, education, and research. For over 20 years, the zoo has been at the forefront of conservation efforts to protect wildlife around the world. Since 1995, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has contributed more than $7.5 million to wildlife conservation efforts around the world in partnership with the Cleveland Zoological Society.
The Zoo is open year-round and also hosts several premier family-friendly events annually including the popular Boo at the Zoo Halloween event and more. Its educational offerings include year-round programming, camps and overnight experiences.
Education and recreation in nature
Cleveland Metroparks is a place to learn and get active, offering thousands of programs and events each year across the 48 communities it serves. Educators at the zoo, parks, and golf courses offer remarkably diverse, hands-on education opportunities to create connections to nature and promote conservation and sustainability. Naturalists provide free or low-cost nature programming for all ages from preschool to seniors at locations throughout the Emerald Necklace. Educational opportunities for children include nature preschool, summer nature camps, and more. Free Nature Centers at locations across the Park District offer a break from the weather and feature unique educational displays and live animals.
For those looking to get active, Cleveland Metroparks Outdoor Experiences division offers diverse recreation and nature education programs year-round including hiking, mountain biking, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Dining and rentals
Cleveland Metroparks also offers unique dining opportunities such as Merwin’s Wharf, located along Cuyahoga River’s Irishtown Bend and offering fresh, locally sourced menu items. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Cleveland Metroparks offers several additional dining opportunities including e55 on the lake, Emerald Necklace Café and more.
Cleveland Metroparks also offers more than 75 rental facilities. From waterfalls and castles to lakefront sites and the state-of-the-art Stillwater Place at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, there are a number of interesting, unique places for special events.
For all information on Cleveland Metroparks, visit clevelandmetroparks.com.