Cleveland, OH

Emerald Necklace Trails

The Cleveland Metropark reservations are linked together to form the giant green (emerald) necklace around the outskirts of the city. This Emerald Necklace has a paved “all-purpose trail” totaling about 70 miles and nearly 20,000 acres. The trail winds its way, frequently along rivers and creeks, taking you up and down small hills. This is basically a series of linear parks that run into one another — a series of “reservations”. Some sections might be narrow or rugged for running.  A description of some of the more notable areas for running are below.

Description of Major Trails

Big Creek Reservation. Closest to downtown. The highlight is the Lake to Lake Trail, a 2.4 mile all-purpose trail that connects Lake Abram to Lake Isaac. Start at traihead at Brookpark Rd.

Rocky River Reservation: Northern Section/Southern Section.  Located on the west side of Cleveland about 20 minutes away from downtown, Rocky River Reservation is a must see! The all-purpose trail runs for 13.9 miles and is best for out and back runs. Traveling along Rocky River, you’ll see the massive shale cliffs, huge sycamore trees, numerous bird species and possibly white-tailed deer. Conveniently, this Reservation is located directly next to the International Airport. If you are stuck in an Airport Hotel, this run is accessible from your doorstep.

North Chagrin Reservation. Located in Mayfield and Willoughby Hills, about a 25-minute drive west of downrown. Home to Squires Castle, the park includes a 4.2 mile, hilly multipurpose trail. Also includes a nature center, a many gravel and dirt trails, and playing fields.

Brecksville Reservation. Also about 25 minutes south of Cleveland, the Brecksville Reservation borders Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The all-purpose trail extends 9.3 miles and passes Chippewa Creek Gorge scenic overlook and Dear Lick Cave. Note: this is hilly, with some hills up to a mile in length. The park also includes horse stables, the Sleepy Hollow Golf Course, a nature center, picnic areas, multiple additional trails.

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