Surrounded the beauty of Lake Erie, national parks and historical sites, Cleveland’s scenic routes abound. These are the best of the best, the most beautiful and the most fun the area has to offer, all within 60 miles.
I-77S to Ohio & Erie Canal Way
Ohio & Erie Canal Way Assoc.
520 S. Main St.
Akron, OH 44311
Distance 39 miles one way
Price: free parking/check website for event pricing
Hours: daily – 8 p.m. to sundown
Enjoy scenes of the past, present and future along this stretch of roadway while experiencing the rich history of the train rails, ethnic neighborhoods, scenic views of the lake and occasional waterfalls along the roadway. Stop for a picnic at the Ohio and Erie Canal Way. Along the route, go hiking, bird watching or just enjoy the twists and turns of the beautiful roadside. Please note that biking is not recommended on the byway because of the narrow roadways. The Canal Way trail features many waterfalls at Millcreek and in Cuyahoga Valley enjoy the ethnic screaming sounds of the railroad. If you are looking for history, this scenic drive is for you.
Rt. 2 to Inland Seas Maritime Museum
Inland Seas Maritime Museum
480 Main St.
Vermilion, Ohio 44089
Distance 43.57 miles
Price: museum admission $5 adults/$4 seniors/$3 children ages 7 to 16/free for children younger than 6
Hours: daily – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
On this drive you’ll weave you along the banks of Lake Erie passing through parks, marinas and accesses to beaches as well as historic but sound lighthouses. Bring the camera for beautiful views from the lighthouses along the shoreline. Experience the rich history as you pass through historic sites of the underground railroad and memorials commemorating the War of 1812. Stop at the Inland Seas Maritime Museum to learn the fascinating history and legends of the Great Lakes, tour the underwater shipwreck artifacts and learn the fate of the unfortunate crew. Stop along the way at one of the many area beaches for a quick dip and relaxing while watching area fisherman at their best. This is a great scenic route for a beautiful sunny day while enjoying all the the Great Lakes has to offer.
SR 254 through the North Ridge Scenic Byway to Milton Garfield House
Milton Garfield House
4921 Detroit Rd.
Distance: 25 miles
Tours are by appointments only
Prices vary by the number of visitors
This scenic route, while a pretty small road trip, offers visions of the past. With more than 100 historic homes, most dating back to the early 1800s, this is a great ride for architecture enthusiasts. Take in the beautiful variety of Ohio native trees, which provide beautiful fall and spring foliage. For a more coastal view, slip onto Grand Army of the Republic Highway. Be sure to stop by Milton Garfield House, which was turned over to the Historic Foundation and was settled by one of the first settlers from Massachusetts. This route will take you not only back in time but will give you an appreciation for today. Winding through the old neighborhoods take notice of the serenity of the wonderful landscaping to gather ideas for your next project.
I-271 to I-80 to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
15610 Vaughn Rd.
Brecksville, OH 44141
Distance 25.11 miles
Hours: daily – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This is a drive for nature lovers — where you’ll wind through an enchantment of wilderness. Come face to face deer, red foxes and raccoons for a throw back to a more natural region. The route provides occasional parking areas that will allow you to get out of the car and hike the many trails, take photos or picnic with the family to let the kids run off some energy. In the center of the Cuyahoga National Park hike to a 60-foot waterfall for stunning sights year round. Enjoy covered bridges and haunting caves along the way. This is a destination great for rock climbers to the average hiker. Along this path, keep your eyes open because you may witness a magificant bald eagle flying overhead.
I 80 E. Burton to Eagle Creek State Nature Park
Eagle Creek State Nature Park
11027 Hopkins Rd.
Garrettsville, OH 44231
Distance: 52 miles
Price: camping $17 to $38
Hours: daily – 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
This north eastern tour will entangle you in the wonders of the world and provide you a relaxing scene of two national parks. With more than 427 acres, Eagle Creek State Nature Park is a must see for a phenomenal scenic drive. Stop with a sacked lunch or picnic for the family and enjoy all that the park has to offer. Enjoy hiking, surrounding ponds for fishing or just spending quality alone time with your family. Watch out for deer, squirrels and other wildlife as you wind your way through the park’s beautiful roadways.
Danielle Coots has been writing since 1996. She has published short stories and articles in many publications. Danielle loves being active in the community and providing quality information regarding current and upcoming events in the Cleveland area. She will be covering topics of travel & outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.