Northeast Ohio is located on the shores of Lake Erie and is surrounded by an intricate park system that offers an incredible number of recreational opportunites.

Lake Erie

Lake Erie is the 4th largest Great Lake by surface area, shallowest of the Great Lakes, and the 12th largest freshwater lake in the world. There are over 200 marinas along Ohio's 262 miles of shoreline and over 75,000 of Ohio's 315,000 registered boats (8th highest in the country) use Lake Erie as their primary boating area.

Take a tour of the lake:

More information about Lake Erie:
Cleveland Lakefront/Headlands Beach State Park

Local Park Systems

Cleveland Metroparks
The Cleveland Metroparks has 14 reservations with over 20,000 acres of land in Cuyahoga Country. Visitors enjoy swimming, fishing, golfing, boating, cross country skiing, horseback riding, sledding, and tobogganing in addition to the miles of paved and dirt trails. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a recommended attraction for all ages. The Zoo includes the Rainforest, a 2-acre building housing 600 animals in 118 different species, and 7,000 live flowers, trees and shrubs of 360 varieties.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Geauga Park District
The Geauga Park District maintains 6,000 acres within 12 parks and reserves. Guests can enjoy the natural beauty of Geauga County through fishing, horseback riding, sledding, boating, cross country skiing, camping, and picnicking. The Park District constantly has fun and hands-on programs for all ages.

Lake Metroparks
Lake Metroparks manages 26 parks and reservations. Lake Farmpark, a part of the Lake Metroparks system, is a science and cultural center. It offers a variety of activities including how to care for farm animals and what life is like on a farm, and hosts a number of special events throughout the year. Lake Metroparks also has a lakefront beach, a 4.4 mile bike trail which is being extended into Geauga County, golf courses, educational programs, and several nature centers.

Lorain County Metro Parks
The Lorain County Metro Parks operates 15 parks within 6,500 acres. A feature of the park district is the Schoepfle Garden containing 70 acres of botanical gardens and woodlands bordering the Vermilion River. The newest addition to the Lorain Country Metro Parks is the Splash Zone with indoor and outdoor water fun.

Metro Parks, Serving Summit County
Metro Parks, Serving Summit County encompasses 8,666 acres and provides residents with safe, outdoor recreation and educational opportunities through a system of natural area parks. The system maintains 12 developed parks, a 33-mile Bike & Hike Trail, 13 miles of Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, the F.A. Seiberling Naturealm, and several large conservation areas.

Mill Creek Metroparks
The Mill Creek Metropolitan Park District preserves open spaces within the urbanized Mahoning Valley. Mill Creek Park encompasses approximately 2,600 acres, 20 miles of drives, and 15 miles of foot trails, and a rare collection of gardens, streams, lakes, woodlands, meadows and wildlife for all to enjoy. Visitors will find a wide range of recreational opportunities such as hiking, biking, picnicking, boating, Par-3, or championship golf, tennis, sand volleyball and more.

Medina County Park District
The Medina County Park District maintains 14 parks throughout Medina County. They hold programs all year long such as Star Gazing Parties, Speakers, and an Exploring Nature Series.

Ohio State Parks
Several state parks are located in Northeast Ohio and offer a variety of different recreational activities. Punderson State Park, located in Newbury, is the top winter sports park in Ohio offering sledding, tobogganing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling as well as other seasonal activities. Mentor Headlands, Edgewater Park, the Lake Erie Island Park, and Marblehead are a few state beaches along the Lake Erie coast.

Portage Park District
The Portage Park District currently operates 4 parks with plans to acquire land. One of their parks, Towner's Woods, is a 175 acre park surrounding the site of 2,000 year old Hopewell Indian Mound.

Stark County Park District
Stark Parks maintains 10 facilities. The Park has 2 educational centers, the Sanders Center of Outdoor Education and the Fichtner Center, which offer outdoor, cultural, and ecological programs.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park protects 33,000 acres along the banks of the Cuyahoga River. Though such a short distance from urban environments, the park is worlds away. The winding Cuyahoga—the "crooked river," as named by American Indians—gives way to rolling floodplain, steep valley walls and ravines, and lush upland forests. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a refuge for flora and fauna, and provides both recreation and solitude for Northeastern Ohio's residents and visitors. Park trails, from rugged backcountry hiking trails to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, a graded biking and hiking trail, offer something for everyone.

Other Outdoor Activities

Sport and Recreation Clubs and Resources
Cleveland Plays
Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Youth Challenge

Lake Erie Wheelers

Fowlers Mill

Hiking, Hunting, Fishing
Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Alpine Valley
Boston Mills-Brandywine

Hermes Sports & Events
Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and 10K

Western Reserve Rowing Association

Parks, Trails, and Gardens
Buckeye Trail
Cleveland Botanical Garden

Day in the Valley
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Gardenview Horticultural Park
Holden Arboretum
Ohio Canal Corridor
Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

Conservation and the Environment
Cleveland Green Building Coalition
Earth Day Coalition
EcoCity Cleveland