A Panoply of Parks and Trails in Northeast Ohio

A perk of living in Northeast Ohio that I’ve long taken for granted is how much green space surrounds us. No matter where you live, Cleveland, Akron, Canton or Youngstown, there’s a park near you. In fact, we have a national park between Cleveland and Akron – one of the 58 designated by the National Park Service. The vast majority of those are out west, so we’re pretty lucky.

All the open space (and our state’s propensity for building trails – lots of them), means a treadmill isn’t necessary year round. (You can always bundle up in the winter!) I live in the neighborhood of Lakewood Park on Lake Erie, so I’m always running on the boardwalk there.

Lakewood Park

When I’m in the mood for a change of scenery, here are my top parks and trails in the region to go running, walking, or cycling on:

Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail
Northeast Ohio

This might be the most famous trail in Northeast Ohio. Almost completely blazed through the region (with just a few miles left to finish in Cleveland), you can travel from Lake Erie all the way down to New Philadelphia and back without ever needing a car.

It’s beautiful in Cleveland…

Scranton Flats

… and Akron, too!

Akron Towpath

It celebrates our region’s enviable natural assets and industrial heritage.

Hampton Hills Metro Park

Hampton HillsHome to some of Northeast Ohio’s more challenging hikes, you’ll feel far, far away from the bustling urbanity of Cleveland and Akron. Located within Cuyahoga Valley National Park, this Summit Metro Park is where I get away from it all.

*Another favorite near Akron is Fred Fuller Park. It’s in Kent on the Cuyahoga River, connected to the Summit Metro Parks’ Freedom Trail.

McKinley Memorial

McKinley Memorial

While families and school groups tour the museum and memorial, you’ll find plenty of locals breaking a sweat running up and down these stairs and around the beautiful grounds. You’re in for a treat if you visit during the fall.

Edgewater Beach    


Cleveland Metroparks has turned this lakefront park into a photogenic gem. (I can vouch for this: a close friend’s wedding photos were all shot there this summer. Flawless!)

A paved trail runs from the end of W. 65th Street, through a pedestrian tunnel and along the beach. It’s the perfect length and offers up a beautiful view!

What are your favorite parks and trails in Northeast Ohio?


Ryan Collins
Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins is a writer and traveler. Currently based in Lakewood, he has lived all across Northeast Ohio. A Kent State University alum, today, Ryan works in admission at Baldwin Wallace University. His work has been published by Cleveland Plus, Belt Magazine and in conjunction with Destination Cleveland. Learn more at www.ryanscollins.com.