When completed, the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail will make a critical connection between Cleveland's downtown neighborhoods and the vast Lake Erie. As of August 2015, the first phase of the trail is open, stretching about a quarter-mile from Scranton Road to just south of Rivergate Park.
In August 2014, a $5 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation, a legacy gift in honor of its 100th anniversary, propelled the trail project forward. In recognition of this significant contribution, the trail, originally known as the Lake Link Trail, was renamed.
The rest of the trail, up to Wendy Park on the Lake Erie shore, will follow as additional funding becomes available. Trail development is slated for completion by 2017, in time for another centennial anniversary: that of Cleveland Metroparks, the trail’s steward organization. The march toward the lakefront will include construction of a massive pedestrian bridge over multiple active railroad tracks. The bridge will feature a contemporary, eye-catching design and is expected to be a signature part of the trail.
In addition to Lake Erie, the trail will provide access to another of the city’s famed waterways: the Cuyahoga River. Together, the lake and river positioned Cleveland historically as a shipping powerhouse. The trail itself is being built along the former Cleveland and Mahoning Railroad, which dates back to the 1850s.
On its other (southern) end, the trail will also provide a much-desired connection to the popular Ohio and Erie Canalway Towpath Trail, which unfolds southward from Cleveland more than 80 miles through a scenic National Heritage Corridor.
Parking is available at Merwin's Wharf (1785 Merwin Ave.) in Cleveland's Industrial Flats neighborhood.