Outdoor Wintertime Fun in Cleveland - Cleveland Article
However, there are certain folks who simply gravitate to the wintertime in the Great Outdoors—skiers, snowboarders, nature enthusiasts, snowmen.
For those of you who don’t mind a few snowflakes, put on your long johns and snow pants, because Cleveland is the place to experience Mother Nature’s fiercest.
Tobogganing | Cleveland Metroparks: You can do all sorts of outdoor activities (sled, snowshoe, ice fish, geocache) in the Cleveland Metroparks, which beautifully engulf the city of Cleveland. But if you’re going for uniqueness, then you’ve got to check out the two, 700-foot refrigerated toboggan chutes at the Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville. It’s like a big, long roller coaster-sized slide—in the middle of a winter wonderland. (Weather permitting)
Snowshoeing | Lake Metroparks: If ever there were a place to explore Cleveland’s winter, it’s on the east side, which typically receives the brunt of the Lake Effect snowfall. Lake Metroparks offers up plenty of wintertime activities, but is a must-visit for snowshoeing. Rent snowshoes and check out mapped trails at Penitentiary Glen Reservation and the Ski Center at Chapin Forest Reservation. Lake Metroparks has even mapped some “backcountry” snowshoe routes through the Girdled Road Reservation.
Cross-Country Skiing | Cuyahoga Valley National Park: While the opportunities for wintertime activity are rather abundant within the confines of the massive, 33,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park (snowshoeing, winter hiking, sledding, nature walking, etc.), cross-country skiing is a big hit. Head to the Winter Sports Center at the Kendall Lake Shelter where, when there’s more than six inches of snow, you can rent cross-country skis. Better still, the national park offers up ranger-led cross-country ski lessons, as well as a plethora of paths devoted specifically for the sport.
Downhill Skiing | Boston Mills Brandywine Resort: Ski, snowboard or snow tube. BMBW offers it all! The dual-resort (it was once two ski resorts, but is now one) offers 18 trails for various levels with 16 lifts. Located outside of Akron, the resort also boasts a rather impressive snow tubing park where night tubing is all the rage.
Hand-Feed Birds | Geauga Park District: Experience the quiet excitement of tiny chickadees landing on your gloves to eat bird food right out of your hands. A totally unique (and rather extraordinary) nature activity during the winter, hand feeding the birds is a blast at the Geauga Park District. (The Cleveland Metroparks offers it, too.)
Ice Skating | The Rink at Wade Oval and The Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink: Need a locale to practice your triple-axel-half-loop combo? The Rink at Wade Oval provides wintertime ice skating surrounded by the opulence of hundreds of years of arts and culture. Or, make way to Downtown Cleveland to the recently opened Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink at Public Square.