Being a Cleveland native, I’ve spent countless hours playing, running, hiking, biking, and picnic-ing through the western gems of Cleveland’s “Emerald Necklace.” As summer turns to fall, there is no better time to catch the natural beauty found in the trees of the Metroparks! Read on for some of my favorite meeting points and outdoor activities to have some fall fun on the west side! For more detailed directions for each location, head to the Cleveland Metroparks’ website for an interactive map!
Cedar Point Picnic Area
One of my earliest childhood memories is of me and my siblings bundling in a GAP sweatshirts to have a breakfast in the park. My grandparents and parents would make bacon, pancakes, and eggs using the coal grills at the picnic area while us kids crunched through the leaves playing frisbee or soccer. Gather your tribe for a Sunday morning soiree in the fresh air!
Scenic Boat Launch
This is my go-to meeting point when I want to take a long walk with a friend or bike along the trails. I’ve been known to grab a coffee and fresh loaf of sourdough at Blackbird Baking Co right across the street on my way out of the Scenic Boat Launch too! As if the bread wasn’t enough of a bonus, there is also a dog park at this spot for you to make it a social event for your four-legged love too!
Fort Hill Steps
Whether you want to kick your booty with a running stair climb, or simply walk up once to catch an INCREDIBLE view, I recommend checking out Fort Hill Steps at least once. I once led a group walk and talk session at this location. With winding trails and picnic table areas, there was so much to explore even after we reached the top!
The newest spot I’ve been introduced to is the breathtaking Tyler Barn. It’s tucked away in a secluded area of the Rocky River Reservation, but its bold, bright red color makes it hard to miss once you know where to go. My friend and I spent the afternoon here just this past summer, listening to the river’s water flow as we hung in our Enos and chatted about life. This spot is perfect for a picnic or even a quiet, solo walk to clear your head.
Being right on Lake Erie, Edgewater Beach definitely has a “wow factor” for friends visiting Cleveland. Be sure to snap a picture at the Cleveland sign, and consider packing a picnic, bringing a volleyball, or renting a paddleboard to take full advantage of the space! Another tip: plan a trip on a Thursday evening in the summer months for Edgewater Live, a concert series featuring local bands and tribute artists!
If you’re from the west side and haven’t gone on a date to watch the sunset at Huntington, you’re seriously missing out! Grab an ice cream cone, watch the sunset with your honey, or pack up your bikes to ride through the streets of Bay Village and along the lakeside running loop!
Now that you’ve heard from me, I’d love to know… what are your favorite outdoor activities in to do in Cleveland?!