You can’t swim year-round in Lake Erie. But put on a hat and some fleece tights, and you can run along the shore in any type of Cleveland weather.
Here are five of my favorite running routes, where you can get inspired by the water.
- Edgewater Park
The loop around Edgewater Park, circling from the pier to the beach, skimming Edgewater Yacht Club, is about a mile. The views of both Lake Erie and the downtown skyline are magnificent – and so is the people-watching. Plus, you can stop to some pull-ups at exercise stations sprinkled along the asphalt path. Or keep heading up the bluff for more mileage.
2. Lake Link Trail
When finished, the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Lake Link Trail will run 1.3 miles along an abandoned railroad right-of-way in the Flats. Already the trail connects with the Towpath at the southern end of Scranton Peninsula and traverses through the west bank of the Flats, giving runners some incredible views of the city. Eventually it will wind over the railroad tracks to Wendy Park, on a pedestrian bridge. That should be finished in 2019.
3. Lake Road
Need a long run? Just take Lake Road west, from Lakewood to Avon Lake or Beyond. You can even run along the northernmost bridge over the Rocky River, with a fantastic view of the Cleveland Yachting Club docks. Swing through Beachcliff, checking out the million-dollar mansions before reaching Rocky River Park, where you can look for some beach glass in the sand.
4. Lakefront Bikeway
Of course you could run around downtown Cleveland, which
has plenty of great views of the lake. But head north, loop around the volleyball court at Voinovich Park to marvel at the skyline, then head east by Burke Lakefront Airport, up to East 55th Marina (where maybe a live band will be playing) and continue on the path to East 72nd Street Marina, where cars can’t follow. Get a ride from Gordon Park, next to the Cleveland Lakefront Wildlife Preserve, or head back downtown.
5. North Chagrin Reservation
Enjoy 2.8 miles of picturesque trails through the Chagrin River Park in Lake County. Head north along the river to the lake.