Photo of Shaker Lakes with ducks on the water and trees covered in fall foliage in the background

Take a Hike: Nature Center at Shaker Lakes

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. 

In the heart of Cleveland and less than a 10-minute drive from Case Western Reserve University sits the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes—a 20-acre green space located within a section of the Shaker Parklands. 

The Nature Center is home to three serene trails—the All Peoples’ Trail, Stearns Trail and Upper Rim Trail—that wind through gardens and natural habitats (including a lake, stream, marsh, field, ravine and forest).

The ADA-accessible All Peoples’ Trail follows a ⅓-mile boardwalk that passes through the forest, over the Doan Brook and to an overlook of the Nature Center’s signature marsh and Lower Shaker Lake. Along the way, you’ll be able to stop and learn about native fish and turtles in the Doan Brook at an observation deck, and get up close and personal with wood ducks and native and migratory songbirds along the wildlife-viewing bridge. 

Family-friendly and accessible to all, the short—but nature-packed—All Peoples’ Trail also connects to the surrounding neighborhood trails and the Shaker Parklands through a new ADA-accessible Cleveland Foundation trail. 

Looking for a woodland hike? Check out the Stearns Trail. Consisting of paved and natural segments as well as bridges and boardwalks, this trail begins at the Nature Center’s Rusty Knight Woodland Garden and makes its way through the floodplain forest along the Doan Brook. 

Choose to saunter or jog among the trees on this 1.5-mile trail—or stop at the new treehouse, take some time to reflect at the meditation terrace, explore the play area or continue your woodland adventure by taking the unpaved Upper Rim Trail near the prairie. 

Ready to explore the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes? Plan your visit and discover everything it has to offer at its South Park Blvd. location. Its trails are open dawn to dusk 365 days a year—download a trail map here.