Recreation in Cleveland
Clevelanders love being outdoors (especially during the warmer months), and have no shortage of activities due to the area’s natural assets. The greater Cleveland area is part of the Great Lake Region, the country’s largest fresh water resource, and is home to six public beaches along Lake Erie. Just south of Cleveland is the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio’s only National Park that has extensive hiking and biking trails as well as cultural and educational events for the entire family.
Whether it’s on land or on water, Clevelanders are active and appreciate the natural amenities that are located right in their backyards. If you have younger kids in your family, click on the Kids’ Fun link to find activities for those under four feet.
The Cleveland Metroparks is an extensive network of nature reserves that encircles the City of Cleveland and spreads throughout the entire region. The Metroparks span over 21,000 acres and include trails for walking, hiking, cycling, mountain biking, and horseback riding as well as picnic areas, fishing areas, toboggan chutes, and golf courses. Other activities include archery, sledding, cross-country skiing, and plenty of open fields to arrange a pick-up game of your favorite sport.The Cleveland Metroparks also operate the Cleveland Zoo and Indoor Rain Forest.
Edgewater Beach and Park is a one of Cleveland’s most popular parks because it’s located on the shore of Lake Erie. There you will find a beach that is pet-friendly, and plenty of open space to plan a picnic or throw the Frisbee. Also located here are running paths to walk, bike, blade or just run along. Beach volleyball is always a popular choice, but many come just for the incredible views, and sunsets not to mention the fishing off the pier.
Edgewater Park is also the starting location for the annual Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler. This year the popular road race takes place on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 8:30am. Come, join up and run, or just root for your friends!
Located next to a marina, Whiskey Island contains a park where Clevelanders love to play sand volleyball and gather for picnics. Whiskey Island’s sand volleyball courts host many recreational leagues and corporate challenges.
The Marina on Whiskey Island is more than just a place to dock your boat. Find out more about Whiskey Island and the Marina here and discover why this used to be one of Cleveland’s best kept secrets.
Incidentally, Whiskey Island has now also been made infamous by the mystery writer Les Roberts whose story uses Whiskey Island as the backdrop to his character’s, P.I. Milan Jacovich, colorful investigative activities.
One of Cleveland’s greatest natural assets is Lake Erie. In addition to its breathtaking sights, Lake Erie is a wonderful source of recreational activities. Boaters enjoy this giant fresh water lake, and Cleveland has several marinas that can accommodate boats of all types and sizes.
Lake Erie can accommodate nearly any type of marine activity/sport. Whether it’s kayaking, water skiing, jet skiing or wake boarding, the summer brings all types of people to the lake. Lake Erie has become a very popular destination for fishing, with native species that include Largemouth Bass, Walleye, and Perch.
Cleveland has an emerging sailing scene, where many bring their sailboats to compete in regattas such as the Cleveland Cup. For those that prefer sailing as more of a leisure activity, Cleveland is the perfect place to learn or sharpen your sailing skills. Find out more about what’s sailing in 2014 at the Cleveland Sailing Association.
North Coast Harbor Transient Marina
The new Transient Marina located at North Coast Harbor is officially open for business as of June 25, 2014. The Transient Marina connects boaters with Downtown Cleveland by providing temporary docking on the shores of Lake Erie near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lake Science Center and other nearby attractions. The Marina also has paddle boats, paddle boards, kayaks and jet skis for rent. Make plans to dock your water craft here then take a short walk to E. 4th for dinner. You won’t be the only one.
The Cuyahoga River is home to the Cleveland Rowing Foundation, which allows members to row in boats of all sizes for competition or recreation. There are many businesses that offer kayak rentals on the Cuyahoga River, which empties into Lake Erie. If you are interesting in touring Cleveland via the Cuyahoga River by kayak visit 41* North Coastal Kayak or the Cleveland Metroparks Kayak Tours.
Boaters use the Cuyahoga River to access Lake Erie from their marinas, but many retail establishments are boater friendly along the river especially in the Flats (Shooters in the Flats).
Biking & Bike Trails
According to the League of American Bicyclists, Ohio is ranked 16th best in the nation for bike-friendliness. Bicycles have slowly become a serious transportation mode for Cleveland, with new trails, bike lanes and bike-supportive facilities such as bicycle parking outside restaurant Happy Dog. Earlier this year, the City of Cleveland announced a new Bikeway Implementation Plan designed to increase the number of bikeway miles by 250% by the end of 2017. As part of Mayor Jackson’s Sustainable 2019 initiative, the bicycle plan update was to make every neighborhood connectable to a bike network. To date, Cleveland has over 275 miles of biking trails.
For more information on current and proposed bikeways, lanes, and trails check out some maps over at the city’s planning website. Stay connected with the bicycle scene in Cleveland with www.bikecleveland.org.
5033 Broadway Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44127
Believe it or not, Cleveland is home to a major bicycle sport venue / stadium, the Cleveland Velodrome. The velodrome is a 166-meter incline bicycle track where amateurs and pros can ride (or watch), race, and take classes. The velodrome is a major economic driver for the City of Cleveland bringing in over 3,000 cyclists during first year operations in 2012.
Cleveland Critical Mass
On the last Friday of every month hundreds of Cleveland cyclists gather and ride together in what is know as Critical Mass. Critical Mass has no leaders originating from a grassroots idea to “promote bicycling as a means of transportation and recreation, assert bicyclists’ rights to the road, build and foster community, and have fun.” Come and be a part of the mass; Mass meets at Public Square downtown at 6:30 and departs at 7pm.
Ray’s Indoor Bike Park
9801 Walford Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44102
What about bicycling when it is snowing or raining? Well, Cleveland is also home to Ray’s MTB, an indoor bicycle park. The former factory houses many rooms for various riding styles / skill levels.
Perhaps it is the being seated on Lake Erie or home to abundant natural waterways that make Cleveland a great place for rowing. Whether for recreation or collegiate, Cleveland has it all. For those in college, Cleveland has many crew club teams from both Case Western and CSU. For those looking for recreation, most Cleveland Metroparks provide canoes and those looking for organized sport can view the links below.
Check out the Cleveland Rowing Foundation, Western Reserve Rowing Association or Cleveland Youth Rowing Association for information, events and programs.
Clevelanders love to compete. Cleveland has many intramural leagues where adults can play almost any organized sport, including: soccer, basketball, flag football, baseball, softball, volleyball, and kickball. Do you want to be in a league? Check out the website www.clevelandplays.com. There are competitive and recreational leagues to choose from as well as men’s, women’s and coed leagues. Many adults participate to stay in shape and make new friends. For those who like to run and run and run check out www.hermescleveland.com.
Do you think the winter slows down Clevelanders? We think not! Check out clevelandrockgym.com for a great indoor climbing experience for you, your friends and your entire family.
Clevelanders often combine dinner with their favorite recreational activities. You can have your cake and eat it too at The Corner Alley. What can be more thrilling than combining fun, flirting, food, and tossing a 10 pound bowling ball!
Maybe you’re more of a betting man or woman. Our Horseshoe Casino, the first casino in the state of Ohio, has 1,700 slot machines and 89 tables in 96,000sf of gaming space. There’s little risk in coming here; parking is free and its located in our Tower City Center.