The Valley Parkway Trail runs the length of the Rocky River Reservation, offering beautiful views of the winding waterway, shale cliffs and lush forests on the western border of Lakewood, a suburb of Cleveland. Wildlife is abundant in the park and you are likely to catch a glimpse of a white-tailed deer, as well as many kinds of birds.
A good place to begin your journey is at the aptly named Scenic Park, just south of Detroit Avenue. Follow the trail south along the parkway and soon you will reach a trail spur that can take you to the Emerald Necklace Marina, where you can find snacks, picnic tables and a boat launch. Additional offshoots on the trail offer access to local business and residential areas. And, if you have time, you can stop and explore the exhibits and gardens of the Rocky River Nature Center along the way.
The trail ends at Bagley Road, but, from here, trail-goers can continue their adventure another 9 miles on the trail through Mill Stream Run Reservation.
Parking and Trail Access
Parking is available at the Emerald Necklace Marina (1500 Scenic Park Drive, Lakewood) and the Rocky River Nature Center (24000 Valley Parkway, North Olmsted).
The walkers and their dogs are out to kill you!
You could not ask for better scenery and trail conditions. The only drawback of this trail are the walkers, who will not stay in their lanes, will not keep their dogs in their lanes, walk 3 and 4 abreast. 2 major hills, I had to ditch on my ride up them ...