Cleveland offers a 56-mile path decked out in green flora called the Emerald Necklace following the Chagrin and Rocky river valleys, making it a unique place to visit.
While there, you may want to visit the many state parks in the area.
With the right choices, Ohio State Parks near Cleveland can be your natural playground for outdoor lovers who need a break from the city.
Find activities for the whole family in any weather, all within two hours of the city.
Nature is never far away if you need a break from the noise and worries of an urban lifestyle.
Here are the five best options ready to help you soak up vitamin D and enjoy the best parks the state has to offer.
Map of State Parks Near Cleveland OH
Below is a map of the Ohio parks covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near Cleveland
Here are each of those state parks with their distance from Cleveland and the features that make each worth a visit.
1. Punderson State Park
Location: 11755 Kinsman Rd, Newbury Township, OH 44065
Around thirty miles from Cleveland, you will find Punderson State Park with a unique English Tudor manor perfect for a getaway year-round.
The park is often known as “Ohio’s Winter Playground,” as it offers an epic sledding slope, as well as hiking, kayaking, and other seasonal outdoor activities.
Sledding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are all at their peak at Punderson, giving tourists a variety of cold-weather pleasures.
Add in a scenic lake for summer fun, and this is a fantastic park close to the city.
Even the most seasoned golfer will be challenged by a championship 18-hole public golf course.
Hikers can access some of the park’s more intriguing and scenic regions via fourteen miles of trails.
The winter sports chalet is a one-of-a-kind heated facility that may be rented on a daily basis from spring to fall or rent a boat in nicer weather.
Activity options are endless for everyone, from volleyball to playgrounds and even a tennis court.
Campers can enjoy 25 campsites with up to 6 guests per site with amenities such as toilets, campfires, portable water, showers, and picnic tables that are all available and ready to go for your camping experience.
Even pets can enjoy the campsites too to include the entire family.
Add in lodging options, including family cottages and the resort manor for those looking for a less rustic stay while maintaining closeness to nature.
2. Headlands Beach State Park
Location: 9601 Headlands Rd, Mentor, OH 44060
Drive thirty minutes away from the city to the water and enjoy a relaxing vacation at Headlands Beach State Park.
It’s known for its mile-long natural sand beach, the longest in the state.
In addition to its appeal with picnickers and swimmers throughout the summer, the area is home to many plant species only found along the Atlantic Coast.
If you have dreamed of a lake beach with driftwood and gorgeous sunsets, this will be your new oasis.
The Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve, at the park’s eastern extremity, is one of Ohio’s last and best examples of Lake Erie beach and dune communities.
Many plant species not present in northeastern Ohio, making it a haven for nature lovers.
Enjoy fishing and a slew of water sports as well as a couple of short hiking trails.
An antique lighthouse located near the break wall and can be reached by both boat and foot.
It serves as a maritime museum and sits on a hill in Fairport, overlooking the lake’s free parking, restrooms, refreshment stands, and change places for swimmers and sunbathers are all available to visitors.
Keep in mind the park is only open for day use and does not offer camping or lodging on-site, but you can reserve a shelter house for large groups for day use.
3. West Branch State Park
Location: 5570 Esworthy Rd, Ravenna, OH 44266
A little over an hour away from Cleveland, find the vast 2,650-acre lake at West Branch State Park in Portage County, with its various forks and bays that are quite popular with fisherman, boaters, and swimmers.
In addition, the park offers acres upon acres of meadows and woodlots, making it a wonderful setting for camping, hiking, and horseback riding.
Add in a variety of woodland creatures and foliage perfect for a family far away from the troubles and noise of the city.
Next, the park offers a shower building, change station, and snack bar on the park’s 700-foot sand beach.
In Silver Creek Bay, southwest of the beach, there is a boat swimming area.
Hiking trails spanning over twelve miles allow access to the natural world. A two-mile spur trail connects the park to the campsite and travels along a section of the state’s Buckeye Trail.
When the weather permits, the park has large snowmobile paths great for winter fun.
Take time away from your busy life to camp by the lake. The park provides full-service sites, sites with 50-amp electric hook-ups, and non-electric sites at this recently refurbished family campground.
Heated showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, and a trailer dump station are all available at the campground.
Even groups can enjoy the park together, horses, and those with personal boats making this a desirable location for a vacation.
Take your dog to the park made just for them with a pond included.
4. Findley State Park
Location: 25381 OH-58, Wellington, OH 44090
Findley State Park, which was previously a state forest, is densely forested with tall pines and hardwoods about an hour away from Cleveland.
It’s surrounded by beautiful views of grand pines and gorgeous hardwoods and is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, with Sand Stone quarries that highlight the park’s beauty as well as its rich agriculture.
In a unique forest location, you’ll have access to a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking and boating to fishing and swimming.
Findley’s campground has over two hundred campsites, including non-electric sites, electric, and full-service options.
Showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, a dump station, a game room, and a fully equipped camp store are all available at the campground.
Campers can also enjoy a leisure area featuring sand volleyball, a basketball court, and two horseshoe pits.
Less rustically-inclined families can opt for a camper cabin with room for four.
Nature lovers can explore varied environments on around 10 miles of hiking trails, including a piece of the statewide Buckeye Trail.
All trails are open to mountain riding for bike enthusiasts. At the marina, you can hire canoes, rowboats, and paddle boats.
The park is home to various animals, including beavers, raccoons, white-tailed deer, and red foxes.
Historians and geology buffs alike will be enthralled by the location after learning about the bedrock beneath the sensational park.
5. Wingfoot Lake State Park
Location: 993 Goodyear Park Blvd, Mogadore, OH 44260
Wingfoot Lake State Park offers guests a relaxing day in the great outdoors about fifty miles from the city.
A quiet backdrop for paddling, fishing, picnics, or disc golf is provided by groves of tall trees, areas of grass, and a lovely lake.
In addition, visitors can see the Goodyear blimp stationed in its hangar on the lake’s south bank on a clear day as Goodyear originally owned the park.
Despite the interesting origins, the park offers groves of tall trees, areas of grass, and a lovely glacial lake perfect for a peaceful backdrop for a relaxed trip.
Bookable shelters are ideal for all types and sizes of picnics, reunions, and social gatherings in a scenic outdoor setting.
Kids will love the huge playground with everything they can imagine, including bridges, rock walls, and even a mini-golf course.
After spending the afternoon admiring the beauty while the children run around, enjoy more activities, including disc golf, hunting, horseshoe pits, bocce ball courts, ball fields, basketball, badminton courts, and volleyball courts.
The park does not offer camping but has plenty of trails, a nature center, fishing, and winter activities too.
If you need a day away from the world, this is a wonderful option ready to offer quiet solitude.