Photo from the top of the Kalberer Emergent Tower showing fall leaves

7 things to do around Cleveland in the fall

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2022. To give members of the Case Western Reserve University community ideas for what they can do this fall, we’re sharing it again in 2023.

Scenes of summer are fading into crisp, foggy mornings, which can only mean one thing: Autumn has arrived, and here in Northeast Ohio, we love our fall activities. 

From strolling through colorful leaves with a warm coffee in hand to preparing chili while a football game serves as background noise, there’s no shortage of ways to lean into the season. 

No matter what your favorite autumnal scenes entail, we have good news: you don’t have to wait any longer. Today (Sept. 22) is officially the first day of fall.

Check out these seven things to do around Cleveland in the fall.

1. Go on a bike ride or take a hike.

Between Cleveland Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park, there are hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails around Cleveland. Meander through the Rocky River Reservation or hike through Virginia Kendall Park, all while soaking in the beautiful fall foliage (hint: autumn colors in Ohio peak mid-October). Or, pack a picnic, grab a bike and pedal along the Ohio and Erie Towpath Trail.

2. Visit Holden Arboretum for leaf peeping.

Gain an entirely new perspective on fall when you visit the Murch Canopy Walk and Kalberer Emergent Tower (as seen in the banner photo) at Holden Arboretum. The former is a 500-foot elevated walkway that gives you the opportunity to walk amongst the treetops, as it rises 65 feet above the forest floor; while the latter is a tower that stands 120 feet tall to offer unrivaled views of the surrounding area (including Lake Erie). 

3. Stroll around Lake View Cemetery. 

Take a walk in one of the largest and most beautiful garden cemeteries in the United States, right here in Cleveland. Founded in 1869, Lake View Cemetery is modeled after the Victorian and Edwardian garden cemeteries of France and England, and as such, it’s filled with dramatic natural landscapes, curved roadways, artful plantings and carefully designed monuments. There’s few better fall getaways than reconnecting with nature while exploring these breathtaking 285 acres, conveniently located near Case Western Reserve’s campus.

4. Pick apples at Patterson Fruit Farm. 

Visit Patterson Fruit Farm in Chesterland to pick your own apples—but make sure to plan your visit soon, as apple picking is subject to availability and only runs through October. No matter your favorite kind of apple, you’re likely to find it at Patterson’s—including Ginger Gold, Gala, McIntosh, Zestar and Golden Delicious. While you’re there, the aroma of fresh baked pies will certainly draw you into Patterson’s bakery, which is filled with not only fresh pies, but donuts and delectable apple fritters as well.

5. Indulge in fall drinks at local coffee shops. 

Plan a coffee tour around Cleveland! Our city has plenty of local coffee shops to choose from, each offering their own unique spin on autumn flavors. Grab a pumpkin pie latte from Rising Star Coffee Roasters, a salted maple latte from The 27 Club, or go on a hunt for the best apple cider in The Land. Check out our coffee tour series to learn more about Cleveland coffee shops. 

6. Take a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. 

Climb aboard the Fall Flyer and ride along the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to take in the sweeping views of the changing leaves in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Fall Flyer offers two-hour sight-seeing excursions of Ohio’s only national park, departing at two times on Saturdays from Rockside Station. 

7. Carve a pumpkin. 

Photo of a pumpkin with CWRU carved into it

Fall wouldn’t be fall without pumpkins, whether you’re eating pumpkin seeds, indulging in pumpkin pie or carving pumpkins. There are several spots close to campus where you can grab a pumpkin, including Bremec Garden Center and Zagara’s Marketplace, both in Cleveland Heights. We want to see your pumpkin carving creations—tag us (@cwru) on Instagram!

Looking to share your fall adventures with the Case Western Reserve University community—and possibly win something? Stay tuned to our social media pages for a fall photo contest.