Nature in Your Backyard by Will Welsh

This time of year, when the snow is melting and winter is slowly turning into spring, I find myself wanting to get outside. After months cooped up in the house, I start to go stir crazy. If you’re like me and you have to get outside, there are tons of fantastic parks and reservations nearby where you can get your fix. No matter what you like to do outdoors, there’s a place nearby where you can do it!

We are incredibly lucky to have an abundance of green space in Shaker Heights. Within walking distance of the high school, you can romp through Southerly Park, take a stroll on the boardwalk at the Nature Center, or go bird watching at Horseshoe Lake. These places are all easily accessible with paved trails and bridges over streams. They also have their fair share of unpaved trails and bike paths. The Nature Center is an especially good resource due to its facilities and social events. It offers a newly renovated boardwalk over a marsh, gift shop, and information desk. Along with all these amenities, the Nature Center also coordinates volunteer work for those that are interested. 

A little past the Nature Center are Lower Lake and Roxboro woods. Lower Lake is a fantastic place to walk, bike or run with paved and unpaved trails and the lake is beautiful at sunset. The woods surrounding the Doan Brook by Roxboro Middle School in Cleveland Heights are another fun place to explore. There are steep and rocky hiking paths coupled with fast running sections of the creek and a picturesque waterfall. 

Apart from local parks, Bedford, Euclid Creek, and North Chagrin Reservations offer recreational opportunities nearby. These places offer golf, fishing, horseback riding, biking, hiking, and more. Plus, all of these places are less than a 30 minute drive away!

Next time you want to lace up those boots and head outside, don’t fret, you have plenty of opportunities nearby. They’re practically in your backyard!

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