Photo of the a river winding through the Rocky River Reservation alongside a rocky dropoff

Take a Hike: Cleveland Metroparks

No other season reminds us to stop and take in the great outdoors quite like autumn—and brisk fall mornings and evenings make for perfect hiking conditions. If you’re looking to escape the rush of the city or need to clear your head, Cleveland has you covered with hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Check out The Daily on Thursdays in November for the inside scoop on some of Northeast Ohio’s outdoor attractions. 

The first stop on our Cleveland hiking tour is the Cleveland Metroparks—home to 18 reservations spanning more than 24,000 acres with 300 miles of trails, eight golf courses, eight lakefront parks and a nationally acclaimed zoo. Spread across Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township, the Cleveland Metroparks boast beaches and lakes, as well as a swamp forest, wildlife refuge and an urban greenway. Trails exist in each of the reservations and there’s something for everyone—visitors can walk the open rolling hills of Acacia Reservation or enjoy the challenging trails, scenic streams, and sprawling forest of Bedford Reservation, to name a few options. 

Make sure to download the Metroparks mobile app where you can sort hiking trails by park. Take, for example, Rocky River Reservation—there are more than 15 trails that range in difficulty and distance. You can take a quick trek around the 0.7 mile Scenic Park Loop trail or opt for a more difficult hike along the 19.3 mile Rocky River All Purpose Trail (north section).

Ready to hit the trail? Make it a solo trip, grab a friend or check out one of the park’s upcoming group hikes:

  • Friday Hike to the Falls: At 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5, at the Bedford Reservation, adventure to see the falls at Lost Meadows. Travel through the forest on a few trails and learn about trees, tracks and fungus along the way. 
  • Fall Wetland Hike: At 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7, at the Bradley Woods Reservation, experience autumn in a unique habitat as you visit Cuyahoga County’s last swamp forest. Be prepared to get muddy—and make sure to bring bug spray. 
  • Daylight Saving Sunset: At 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7, at the Acacia Reservation, embrace the time change with a sunset hike as you search for wildlife that comes out at dusk. 

Follow the Metroparks on Instagram for hiking inspiration, upcoming events and group hike opportunities. Interested in joining a community of outdoor enthusiasts at Case Western Reserve University? Look no further than the CWRU Wilderness Society.