What to do in Cleveland Lakefront State Park

Ohio has been truly blessed by the presence of Lake Erie on its northern border. Lake Erie is one of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world. When considering nearly 99% of the world's water supply is either frozen or saltwater, the Great Lakes are a tremendous resource most Ohioans take for granted.

Lake Erie is shallow allowing for violent storms with high waves. The lake is divided into three basins: west, central and eastern. The west is most shallow at 25 to 30 feet average depth. The central basin, wherein lies Cleveland Lakefront State Park, has an average depth of 61 feet. The eastern basin is deepest at 210 feet average depth.

Lake Erie, because of its higher nutrient levels and warmer temperatures, produces greater numbers and varieties of fish than any other great lake. The annual Erie fish catch nearly equals the combined catches of all the other great lakes. Dominant species are perch, smallmouth and white bass, channel catfish, walleye and freshwater drum.

Sand beaches are scattered along the main shoreline. Coastal plants such as sand cherry, beach grass, beach pea and others are rare in this urban environment. Common trees include cottonwood, willow and ash with vines of wild grape, Virginia creeper, bittersweet and poison ivy among the branches.

As early as 1865, lands were set aside in Cleveland to be developed as recreation areas. In 1977, the city of Cleveland leased its four lakefront parks to the state of Ohio. The four parks became Cleveland Lakefront State Park in 1978. In 1982, the Euclid Beach area was added to the state park property. The Villa Angela area consisted of two separate land purchases. The first 30 acres was bought by the city of Cleveland and turned over to the state in 1984. Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Cleveland Public Library purchased the remaining 13 acres in May 1991. While each area appears to be a separate park, they are administered through a single park office located at Gordon Park.

Edgewater Park: This park is divided into upper and lower areas connected by a paved bicycle path. Upper Edgewater features a renovated pavilion which can be reserved. It has restroom facilities, playground equipment and is within walking distance of the 900-foot swimming beach. A statue of Conrad Mizar, the oldest monument in Cleveland, is found near the pavilion. The circle lot adjacent to Upper Edgewater is known for being one of the best viewing sites of downtown Cleveland. Lower Edgewater features a swimming beach with two picnic shelters, restrooms and a concession facility. A nearby fishing pier provides access for anglers. The ten boat ramps are heavily used as there are few other access points on the west side of the city.

East 55th Marina: This area offers 335 seasonal docks for rent with water and electrical hookups. The concession facility serves not only marina members, but also anglers who take advantage of the 1,200-foot fishing platform.

Gordon Park: This area features six launch ramps with a large parking area for vehicles and trailers. The state park office is located here as well as a picnic area. Anglers are attracted to the onshore fishing platforms. The adjacent Cleveland Electric & Illuminating Company's warm water discharge improves winter catches of steelhead and salmon.

Euclid Beach: This area offers a 650-foot swimming beach with shaded picnic areas and a scenic observation pier. The picnic area above the beach can accommodate a large group (300-400 people). The area is reservable for a nominal fee.

Villa Angela: This area offers a scenic boardwalk, fitness trail, bathhouse, wheelchair accessible fishing pier and 900-foot swimming beach. A variety of plant species and scenic overlooks can be found here. A bridge connects this area to the adjacent Wildwood area.

Wildwood: A six-ramp boat launch and picnic areas highlight this park. With access to the summer walleye fishery in the central basin of Lake Erie, Wildwood has two lengthy rock breakwalls to accommodate shore anglers. The park also provides access to Euclid Creek which attracts anglers in the spring for its coho salmon.

Recreation
Recreations pursued at Cleveland Lakefront State Park includes boating, swimming, picnicking, sight-seeing, fishing, fitness course, biking, ice skating, ice fishing, sledding, and cross-country skiing.

Location
The four separate park areas that comprise Cleveland Lakefront State Park are located on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio.

Climate
This state has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.

Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.

Address
8701 Lakeshore Boulevard, NE
Cleveland, OH 44108-1069

Phone: 216-881-8141

  • Cleveland Lakefront State Park Travel Q&A

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