Outdoor recreation

Northern Ohio boasts of some of the best recreational activities in the nation.

Northern Ohio offers extraordinary outdoor recreation opportunities ranging from world-class steelhead trout and walleye fishing to birdwatching to bicycling on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

The Land Conservancy believes it is our role to preserve our precious natural resources in order to maintain the quality of life in our region and to provide places for people to enjoy everything from picnicking to canoeing. Our region has the kind of outdoor amenities today’s workers are seeking, and we must protect them. We work with park systems, state agencies and outdoor groups such as the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and Ducks Unlimited to permanently preserve land for outdoor recreation in northern Ohio.


Walking and hiking opportunities abound in the region’s park systems, including Cleveland Metroparks, Lorain County Metro Parks, Geauga Park District and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which traverses both rural and urban areas, and the Buckeye Trail, which circles Ohio, are among the many paths available to hikers in our region.


Land conservation has helped make two-wheeled transportation extremely popular in northern Ohio. Bicyclists enjoy a smorgasbord of opportunities, including Cleveland Metroparks’ all-purpose trail; the Towpath Trail; the Western Reserve Greenway, which will eventually link Lake Erie to the Ohio River; and Youngtown’s Mill Creek MetroParks Bikeway. In addition, groups such as the Cleveland Area Mountain Biking Association are working to create additional trails for the region’s mountain bikers.


Most of our work in northern Ohio protects water that drains into Lake Erie, which is world-renown for its walleye, yellow perch and smallmouth bass fishing. Anglers from other states come to northern Ohio for its world-class steelhead trout fishing in such streams as the Chagrin River, Rocky River, Grand River, and Conneaut Creek. And many of the region’s farms have ponds that offer outstanding largemouth bass and bluegill fishing.


Northern Ohio is home to world-class hunting grounds for ducks, wild turkey, and white-tailed deer. Lake Erie and inland marshes, including those in the Mosquito Creek and Grand River wildlife areas, are popular with duck hunters, while Ashtabula County is the top wild turkey hunting spot in the state.


Lake Erie’s south shore is a prime place to watch migrating shorebirds such as the American golden plover, songbirds such as the cerulean warbler and raptors such as the bald eagle. The fields of northern Ohio are also the summer home of many migrating grassland birds, including the tiny bobolink. Groups such as the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society help promote birding in the region with walks and educational programs. Nearly 400 species have been sighted on the 312-mile Lake Erie Birding Trail, which spans northern Ohio.

region-boatingCanoeing, kayaking, boating

Our region is home to one of the Great Lakes and no fewer than three state Scenic Rivers. Lake Erie is one of the top freshwater boating destinations in the country, while canoeing is popular on the Upper Cuyahoga and Grand rivers. A new water trail along the Vermilion River, Black River, and Lake Erie in Lorain County has made kayaking and canoeing more accessible.