Rocky River Reservation--Nature Center Trails

Tips for Birding

Rocky River Reservation is a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.

About this Location

Nestled in the Rocky River Valley, Rocky River Nature Center offers spectacular views of a 360 million-year-old shale cliff from the deck overhanging the river. Go backward through time inside the Nature Center as you explore exhibits about the early inhabitants of the valley including the giant fish of the Devonian sea, Dunkleosteus.

Children of all ages enjoy Hideaway Hollow, a giant oak tree with lots of things to discover. View wildlife from the comfort of an Amish-made rocker at our bird feeding station.

Explore the gardens outside on your way to over five miles of trails that lead from the Nature Center. The trails will take you to the river's edge, a wetland forest, ponds, hilltops, and an ancient American Indian earthwork. The nature sightings change along the trail each season.

About Rocky River Reservation

Rocky River Reservation is located in Berea, Brook Park, Cleveland, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Olmsted Township, and Rocky River. The first land purchased for Cleveland Metroparks can be seen from the Stinchcomb-Groth Memorial.

The character of the reservation is strongly influenced by the Rocky River. Massive shale cliffs rise above the willows, sycamores, and cottonwoods, and many trails wind through the valley’s deep floodplain forests, meadows, and wildflowers. Wildlife is common in the valley and visitors can expect to see numerous bird species and some common Ohio mammals year-round, including the white-tailed deer. Visit Rocky River Nature Center to learn more. The reservation includes three golf courses: Big Met, Little Met, and Mastick Woods.

The Rocky River Valley was settled early in this area’s history and reflects many of the sights common to the first settlers. Frostville Museum, an affiliate of Cleveland Metroparks, illustrates how the 1800s settlers lived and worked in the Rocky River Valley.

Notable Trails

Rocky River Nature Center Trails
There are six trails at the Rocky River Nature Center totaling about 5 miles of hiking. The Cleveland Metroparks and the Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland regularly offer guided hikes on these trails.

Mount Pleasant Loop – 1.5 miles
Shephard Lane Trail – .3 mile
Wildlife Management Loop – 1.5 miles
West Channel Pond Loop – .5 mile
Fort Hill Loop – .75 mile
Woodland Loop – .25 mile

There is a description and map of a 4.2-mile hike these trail at the AllTrails website.

Restrooms on site.

Content from Rocky River Nature Center webpage and Rocky River Reservation webpage