The Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway is a bit more route than trail. Just as a wine country "trail" is primarily a road route between (hopefully) nearby wineries, the Lakefront Bikeway connects parks and attractions along Cleveland's north coast.
Though trail is present in the parks and along a road section or two, connecting road routes are the mainstay, as can be seen by the bikeway's limited green lines on the Ohio Trails map.
The road routes sections look promising, except for the stretch that takes you across the Superior Avenue bridge and west along Detroit Avenue. A key 2.6-mile stretch in the official route, but an intimidating one. Hopefully there are bike lanes or wide shoulders in place to get cyclists safely across the Cuyahoga River and along this bound-to-be-busy stretch.
The route utilizes trail, bike lanes, wide sidewalks and road routes to stretch about 17 miles between Cleveland's corporation limits from west to east. This same expanse defines the bondaries of the Cleveland Lakefront State Park. Hence the name, Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway. (This map shows park facilities.)
If you understand that this is a Cleveland jurisdiction issue, then you know why the official endpoints of the bikeway are at the Cleveland city limits. Since most cyclists would hardly consider those to be tangible destinations, we've taken the liberty to expand the trail in both directions.
In the spirit of the Lakefront Bikeway concept, we've extended it to the next park in the same direction along the way: Lakewood Park to the west and Kenneth Sims Park to the east, adding roughly 3 miles to the overall route. For those opposed to messing with officialdom, forgive us for taking the liberty of giving the bikeway a beginning and endpoint.
This section of lakefront offers up several parks, some beaches, marinas, an airport and a cluster of attractions conveniently grouped between W. 3rd and E. 9th Streets. Those being the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, The Great Lakes Science Center (with Omnimax theatre) and the Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Trying to weave a bike trail between existing development in a limited space is always a challenge. Add a shoreline to the equation and you toughen the task. So, it's no surprise that road riding sections were called for here. We hope that sufficient infrastructure in the form of signage, bike lanes, etc. was also used to allow cyclists to enjoy the full scope of the bikeway safely.
If you've ridden the Lakefront Bikeway route, whether pieces or the whole enchilada, tell us about your ride.
Submit comments, photos or reviews for this bikeway to support[at]ohiobikeways[dot]net.
Length: 17.4 miles / (The Gmap route is about 20.2 miles)
Facilities: Available in the parks and marinas along the route.
Food: The marinas and Edgewater Park provide concessions in-season. A few local restaurants are likely along the route.
Parking: Parking at the marinas and parks along the lakeshore including: Lakewood Park, Edgewater, Gordon, Wildwood and Kenneth Sims Parks.
Lakewood-Park Edgewater Rock-Hall Gordon-Park Wildwood Sims-Park
20.2mi 17mi 12.8mi 8.8mi 3.3mi 0mi