Top Things to Do for Active Travelers in Cleveland
1. Explore Cleveland Metroparks
Pick a park, any park. Nicknamed the Emerald Necklace by locals, the extensive Metroparks system loops through 18 natural preserves and 24,000 acres of northeast Ohio green space. Metroparks also took over management of six lakefront properties linking Huntington to Euclid Creek in a scenic 14-mile stretch. You can hike, bike, do archery, golf, boat, cross-country ski, ride horses, geocache and bird-watch.
2. Bike the Towpath Trail
This well-traveled bike trail (84 miles long) skirts the Ohio and Erie Canal through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Horses and mules used to pull boats along this path when the canal was active back in the 1800s and early 1900s; here and there, you glimpse old boat locks. If you get tired, the Bike Aboard! program lets cyclists ride any portion of the path, then tote their wheels back on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
3. Get on the Water
Open seasonally Memorial Day into September (weather permitting), outfitter 41˚ North Kayak Adventures supplies kayaking and paddleboarding lessons, tours and rentals. The three-hour sunset kayak tour around the harbor is a fun way to see downtown Cleveland landmarks from a whole new perspective—you'll actually paddle underneath the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In case you were wondering, 41˚ North refers to Cleveland's latitude.
5. See the City on Wheels
Bob's Bikes offers guided tours of downtown Cleveland. These jaunty, not to mention informative, excursions cover a lot of territory. The 2.5-hour Best Location in the Nation Tour is the most popular; riders spin by landmarks such as Playhouse Square, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Progressive Field. Other options include the Historic Neighborhood Tour and the new Gold Coast Tour, which includes a ride through Edgewater State Park.
4. Go Tobogganing at Chalet Recreation Area
This place makes ordinary sledding seem downright boring. Reach speeds of up to 55 mph on two 700-foot-long chutes with vertical drops of 70 feet. Find this adrenaline rush at The Chalet at Mill Stream Reservation in Strongsville. Kids must be at least 42 inches tall to ride, and heavy gloves or mittens are required. Open Thursdays through Sundays from late November through early March (as long as the weather cooperates).
6. Take Your Biking Inside
You're itching to hop on a bike, but the winter weather's nasty. What to do? Check out Ray's MTB, a 150,000-square-foot indoor bike park. The facility re-creates a variety of terrain for a challenging ride, and you can bring your mountain bike or rent one here. All skill levels are welcome. Ray's is typically open October through April.
8. Chill Out at a Bicycle-Theme Pub
Nano Brew caters to the thirsty, two-wheeling crowd with covered bike parking and a tune-up station inside. Bartenders pull pints from an evolving roster of two dozen or so craft beers, some made on-site, some sourced from other local brewers. The food's good, too. Customers rave about the burgers.
8. Lace Up Your Skates
For family-friendly fun, glide across the ice at The Rink at Wade Oval in the heart of University Circle. Newbies learn during lessons; check the website for times. Admission is just $2, and skate rental is available.
Related: Top Things to Do in Cleveland