10 Best Hiking, Walking and Jogging Trails Near Cleveland, Ohio

Where to Go Hiking Near Cleveland OH

From leisurely lakeside trails to adventurous climbs, Cleveland's diverse landscapes offer an escape for every type of hiker. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer, a casual nature enthusiast, or simply looking to stretch your legs amidst beautiful scenery, you'll find trails catering to your preferences within easy reach of the city. As you plan your Ohio adventure, take the opportunity to explore the best trails in Cleveland.

Beginner Trails

Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve

  • Distance: 2.8 miles (loop)
  • Highlights: City skyline views, lakeshore scenery, urban wildlife preserve

Ready to dip your toes into Cleveland hiking? Look no further than the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve! This well-maintained urban oasis on the east side of Cleveland offers a breezy 2.8-mile loop showcasing breathtaking Lake Erie panoramas and iconic city views. You might even spot some of the diverse wildlife that calls this preserve home. And the best part? This trail is a convenient hop from downtown, making it a great escape from the hustle.

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Going Through Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Distance: Up to 90 miles (one-way)
  • Highlights: Historical significance, flat terrain, mix of urban and rural settings

History buffs and leisure-seekers alike will adore the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. This multi-use trail stretches an impressive 90 miles and counting, tracing the historic canal's original route from Canal Basin Park in downtown Cleveland all the way down to New Philadelphia. The flat terrain makes it fantastic for walkers, joggers, and cyclists. You can opt for a short tour or a multi-day adventure, passing through vibrant urban areas, charming rural towns, and the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Glens Trail (North Chagrin Reservation)

  • Distance: 1.9 miles (loop)
  • Highlights: Rock formations, river views, waterfalls

If you're looking for a quick dose of dramatic natural beauty, Glens Trail delivers! This beloved loop within the North Chagrin Reservation packs a scenic punch into its 1.9 miles. Prepare to be wowed by towering rock formations as you wander beside a rushing river, even crossing a picturesque dam. It's a fantastic choice for anyone seeking a taste of rugged Ohio terrain with minimal time commitment.

Moderate Trails

Fort Hill Earthworks Loop Trail (Rocky River Reservation)

  • Distance: 4.2 miles (loop)
  • Highlights: Forested setting, pond views, some elevation changes and stairs

In Rocky River, Fort Hill Earthworks Loop Trail in the Rocky River Reservation fits the bill for a moderate challenge within city limits. Expect to find a bit of up-and-down as you wind through enchanting forests and get glimpses of the tranquil West Channel Pond. While not overly complicated, the elevation changes and stairs provide a good workout, making this a satisfying option with diverse scenery.

Mingo Trail (Hinckley Reservation)

  • Distance: 3 miles (loop)
  • Highlights: Beech and oak forest, proximity to Towpath Trail

Immerse yourself in the classic Midwestern charm of Mingo Trail. You'll find this 3-mile loop nestled within the Hinckley Reservation just south of Cleveland, boasting a lush forest filled with beautiful oaks and beeches. It is a moderately rugged path; expect some elevation change and natural obstacles for an engaging hike. Plus, the proximity to the Towpath Trail lets you extend your adventure!

Brandywine Gorge Trail (Cuyahoga Valley National Park)

Brandywine Falls Overlook on Brandywine Gorge Trail
  • Distance: 1.4 miles (loop)
  • Highlights: Boardwalks, waterfalls, scenic views

A trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park is already one of the top things to do in Cleveland, but it isn't complete without experiencing the Brandywine Gorge Trail. Prepare to be mesmerized by the cascading Brandywine Falls as you traverse boardwalks and paths with stunning overlooks. This trail is a true Cleveland classic! While short, the terrain offers a bit of a challenge, making it perfect for those seeking a moderately strenuous hike. Bonus: Cuyahoga National Park is also fantastic for dog-friendly hikes near Cleveland.

Cherry Lane Trail (F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm)

  • Distance: 1.1 miles (loop)
  • Highlights: Wildlife viewing, bridges, peaceful forests

Wildlife lovers and those seeking a tranquil escape will adore the Cherry Lane Trail within the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm in Akron. This short and sweet loop is renowned for its excellent birdwatching and opportunities to spot other native critters. Be sure to keep your eyes open! Along with the wildlife potential, you'll enjoy charming bridges and the serenity of the surrounding woodlands.

Advanced Trails

Ledges Trail (Cuyahoga Valley National Park)

Stone Staircase on The Ledges Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Distance: 2.6 miles (loop)
  • Highlights: Dramatic rock formations, challenging terrain

Let's kick things up a notch with the Ledges Trail! This adventurous loop within Cuyahoga Valley National Park will test your agility as you navigate its namesake rock formations. Expect to squeeze through narrow passages, climb stone staircases, and get your heart pumping on this unique and exhilarating trail.

Chapin Forest Reservation Trail

  • Distance: 5.7 miles (loop)
  • Highlights: Hilltop views, varied forest terrain

Ready for a longer, harder day hike? The Chapin Forest Reservation Trail in Kirtland offers a satisfying 5.7-mile loop with diverse wooded landscapes and some serious elevation gain. Several overlooks within the forest reward you with sweeping views of the surrounding Ohio countryside. Be prepared to tackle some hills and feel you've earned those vistas!

Old Man's Cave and Ash Cave (Hocking Hills State Park)

Old Man's Cave Trail is a Great Hiking Weekend Trip from Cleveland
  • Distance: 9.3 miles
  • Highlights: Waterfalls, caves, rugged beauty, considered an "Ohio classic"

While quite a bit further away from Cleveland, if you're willing to travel for a challenge, the Old Man's Cave and Ash Cave trail in Hocking Hills State Park is one of the best hikes in Ohio. This expert-level route weaves together some of the region's most awe-inspiring natural wonders. Expect breathtaking waterfalls, cavernous rock formations, and a healthy dose of challenging terrain. True hiking enthusiasts won't want to miss this epic and unforgettable trail experience in one of the best attractions in Ohio!

Hike On! Your Cleveland Trail Adventures Await

The adventure doesn't stop here! Cleveland's Metroparks system holds countless other hiking gems waiting to be discovered. Before you lace up those boots, remember to check for official updates on trail status and closures before setting out, and practice the "Leave No Trace" principles. Get out there and start exploring! Whether a casual stroll or a challenging climb calls to you, Cleveland's trails offer something for every enthusiast.

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