Cleveland's "Emerald Necklace" is one of the most interconnected and extensive city park systems in the US. Founded in 1917, the Cleveland Metroparks system is the oldest park system in Ohio and now encompasses more than 20,000 acres of parkland. You can travel from the mouth of the Rocky River to the woods outside of Chagrin Falls without ever leaving the park.
Facilities include the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, a marina, the toboggan chutes in Strongsville, several golf courses, riding stables, and miles and miles of biking and hiking trails.
The Cleveland Metroparks were founded in 1917, the brainchild of the park system's first director, William Stinchcomb. The original park had just three acres of land in Rocky River.
The Cleveland Metroparks system includes 16 "reservations" plus the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Most of the park areas connect to other reservations, forming the "Emerald Necklace." Some of the more popular Reservations are:
- Big Creek Reservation
- Brecksville Reservation
- Euclid Creek Reservation
- Garfield Park Reservation
- Hinckley Reservation
- Mill Stream Run Reservation
- North Chagrin Reservation
- Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation
- Rocky River Reservation North
- Rocky River Reservation South
- South Chagrin Reservation
Special Events and Programs:
The Cleveland Metroparks host a full schedule of special events, including nature walks, family days, films, and a fall clambake.
Golfing in the Cleveland Metroparks:
The Cleveland Metroparks system includes seven golf courses. They are:
- Big Met Golf Course in the Rocky River Reservation in Fairview Park
- Little Met Golf Course in the Rocky River Reservation in Cleveland
- Manakiki Golf Course in the North Chagrin Reservation in Willoughby Hills
- Mastick Woods Golf Course in the Rocky River Reservation in Cleveland
- Shawnee Hills Golf Course in the Bedford Reservation in Bedford
- Sleepy Hollow Golf Course in the Brecksville Reservation in Brecksville
- Washington Golf Learning Center in the Washington Reservation in Newburgh Heights
Winter Sports in the Metroparks:
Other Park Facilities:
Other park facilities include four nature centers, the CanalWay learning center, 60 miles of paved all-purpose trails, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, the Emerald Necklace Marina in the Rocky River Reservation, two lakes, a swimming pool, bridle trails and a stable, and Huntington Beach on the shores of Lake Erie.
All of the park reservations are open daily from 6am to 11pm, year-round. The nature centers are open from 930am to 5pm and CanalWay Center is open from 9am to 5pm.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo:
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, located just off of Fulton Road south of downtown Cleveland, became a part of the Metroparks System in 1975. Set amid 165 acres, the favorite zoo exhibits include the African elephants, the "Wolf Wilderness" exhibit, and the latest addition, the "Australian Adventure." A two-acre, enclosed Rain Forest was added in 1992 and features some of the myriad of wildlife found in the tropical jungle.
4101 Fulton Parkway Cleveland, OH 44144