As I have already written, Cleveland boasts a big lake. Of the five great lakes, Lake Erie is fourth in size. Not to judge, but it’s also the shallowest of the Lakes. Still, if you have seen it, you would probably agree with me that’s it’s pretty impressive.
A big surprise to me when I moved here is that there is little opportunity to enjoy the lake from different vantage points. In fact, I can imagine that many Clevelanders live their entire lives without having ever seen the lake. This is in stark contrast to the waterfronts of San Francisco or Seattle (Figure 1) where you can’t get away from the water. No, in Cleveland, you have to go to the water, ’cause it’s not coming to you!
And, so we went to the water one day for a walk. “We” being my husband Steve and me. On this particular weekend, we set out to walk trails we have passed several times in touring the city with family but never had the chance to actually walk it: the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve.
The Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve is a 88 acre, man-made peninsula located on the shoreline of Lake Erie. The entrance to the preserve is tucked away behind the Cleveland Metroparks Lakefront Office, but it’s maintained by the Port of Cleveland. Once you find the entrance (Figure 2), you have access to a few trails that give you some of the best water views of the city (Figure 3). We only noticed one obvious rest area (Figure 4), so pack some water if you are walking around on a hot day. Otherwise, enjoy the views and keep on the lookout for wildlife. This area apparently has many migratory birds as well as butterflies, fun mammals, and native Ohio plants. On our mid-day summer walk, we didn’t see any mammals, but we did see a lot of butterflies floating around the native wild flowers. And, of course, we saw lots and lots of water.