Places To Explore Nature With Kids on the Near East Side of Cleveland

Places To Explore Nature With Kids on the Near East Side of Cleveland

Spring has sprung in Northeast Ohio and I’m so excited to be outside all the time and my kids are, too. Here are a few of our favorite places on the near east side of Cleveland:

Shaker Lakes: We love the paths around Shaker Lakes. Our favorite is lower lake, and my kids love starting at the bridge near the dam, and then going around the lower path right next to the water. It’s a beautiful trail so close to the city, yet you’re likely to catch some animals while you’re there. Our favorite wildlife spotting includes seeing hawks, heron eating a fish and lots of turtles! Feel free to bring some snacks; there is greenspace around the trail where you can enjoy a picnic lunch. Check out their trails, here.

Doan Brook Trail: Doan Brook Trail is one of our favorite hidden trails in between downtown and the Heights. The brook starts on the east side and goes all the way to Lake Erie, and our favorite place to access the trail and walk along the water is near Lower Shaker Lake in Shaker Heights. We’ll often walk along the trail for part of the way, and then make our way back up to the level of traffic and finish our hike with a trip to the playground at Roxboro Elementary School.

Cain Park: While Cain Park is great in any weather, it’s one of our favorite places to go in the winter. My kids love sledding down their big hill and if you go early, it’s rarely too crowded. When it’s ot snowy, the park also has a playground, tennis courts, a splash pad and more. 

Lakeview Cemetery: A cemetery on a list of places to take kids? Indeed! Lakeview Cemetery has many paths to walk along, and historic sites to enjoy. In the springtime, the cemetery is in bloom and you can explore Cleveland’s Daffodil Hill. Other times of year, some spots to check out include President Garfield’s Memorial and Wade Memorial Chapel. Plus, you can go on a scavenger hunt to find famous occupants.

The Cultural Gardens: The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are one of our favorite places for a hike, picnic, bike ride and more. The 30+ gardens, primarily along Martin Luther King and East Boulevards, are a beautiful way to experience some of the many cultures that Cleveland has to offer. Depending on where we choose to walk and explore, we can end up at a playground, or at Lake Erie for a picnic. If you walk away from Lake Erie and head east, you’ll find yourself at Wade Oval, another great place to walk around. 

The Shaker Nature Center: Nestled in between the Shaker Lakes is one of our favorite places to visit, the Shaker Nature Center. When we’re trying to stick outside, the area has plenty of places for us to hike (trail map here) and explore nature with the kids. Note: most recently, masks have been required on the trails that we’ve been on.

Where’s your favorite place to explore now that the weather is finally getting nicer?

About the author

Melissa Koski Carney (known as @koskim on social media) is an Ohio transplant from New York. A 30-something mom of two, she recently moved with her family from their downtown apartment to a nearly 100-year-old home in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She works full-time as a marketing communications professional. When she’s not working, blogging, or juggling two children under the age of three, she enjoys running, baking and reading; as well as hanging out with the other women she has met through her Ladies Craft Beer Society. She blogs regularly at I Crashed The Web.

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