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Hinckley Reservation is a 2,803-acre park in the Cleveland Metroparks system. It is best known for the Return of the Buzzards, the large Hinckley Lake, and Whipp’s Ledges.
Watersports abound at Hinckley Lake. There’s a sandy beach for swimming. Buzzard’s Landing offers snacks, beverages, and ice cream for purchase.
The Hinckley Boathouse is open year-round. They rent single and tandem kayaks and stand up paddleboards. Hinckley Lake Boat Launch is near the Boathouse. Visitors to the lake also enjoy paddleboats, rowboats, and canoeing.
Hinckley Lake is the largest inland lake in Cleveland Metroparks. Anglers go there to pursue channel catfish, white crappie, common crappie, black crappie, largemouth bass, and bluegill. The state of Ohio stocks rainbow trout in the lake every spring. Lake Hinckley also ranks as a very good bass lake. Every year, several “Fish Ohio” largemouth bass from the lake are registered.
Judge’s Lake was constructed in 1973 and is 2 acres. Fish commonly caught here include bullhead catfish, crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass and rainbow trout.
Ledge Lake was constructed in 1964 impounding 4.5 acres of water. Fishing here is restricted to shore fishing only with no boats permitted on the lake. Anglers catch channel catfish, bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie and rainbow trout here. In the winter, the Metroparks stock rainbow trout for ice fishing.
Green Vacation Deals can share ways to help you save money on rods and reels.
There are picnic areas throughout the park. They feature picnic tables, grills and restrooms. Some are covered and others have canopies. Most have amenities like ball fields or play areas.
The West Drive Scenic Overlook gives a great view of the Rocky River as it flows into Hinckley Lake.
In the spring and summer, colorful wildflowers catch the eye at Hinckley Reservation. The trees dominate in the fall with their orange, red, and gold leaves. Snow covers the park in the winter (the trails are cleared) with the hearty winter plants reemerging in the spring.
People around the world celebrate the coming of spring in many different ways. In Ohio, people celebrate it by watching the buzzards return to their nesting grounds in Hinckley Reservation.
The buzzards are actually turkey vultures. They migrate from Canada and the northern U.S. to South America and the Caribbean. It is believed the vultures have been coming to Ohio for more than 150 years as the state’s rocky ridges, open fields and forests are an ideal breeding place for the birds.
The first Sunday after March 15 is Buzzard Sunday. For the past 50 years, people attend the sausage and pancakes breakfast hosted by the Hinckley Chamber of Commerce. Then they go to the Hinckley Reservation to see the Return of the Buzzards.
Trails & Other Attractions
The park contains nearly 20 miles of trails for walking and riding and 6 miles of bridle trails. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you go up and down hills through pine and hemlock woods. With the lakes, hills, woods, and cliffs, you might actually have to remind yourself you’re really in Cleveland.
For many people, the Whipp’s Ledges are the main attraction. An ancient ocean created these sandstone cliffs in the middle of the woods. The Loop Trail is a 1 ¼ mile path that takes you through spectacular scenery. The cliffs are made of Sharon conglomerate sandstone. At times, you’ll get the chance to walk down fissures between the cliffs.
This is the only place in Northeast Ohio that permits rock climbing. Some of the cliffs rise over 350 feet above Lake Hinckley The view from the top of the ledges is breathtaking.
Another set of ledges, Worden’s Ledges, has unique carvings made in the 1940s. You could see a schooner, a cross, a pirate ship, the face of George Washington and many more. You never know what you might see around the next bend.
Hinckley Reservation is considered one of the best overall birding areas in Cleveland. Birds ofter seen include
- Eastern Towhees
- Purple Finches
- Brown Creepers
- Hooded Warblers
- Field Sparrows
- Louisiana Waterthrushes
- Canadian Warblers
- Great Crested Flycatchers
- Indigo Buntings
- Scarlet Tanagers
- Savannah Sparrows
Campgrounds near Hinckley Reservation include Chippewa Campground, Willow Lake Park, and The Lake Campgrounds. These campgrounds feature large trailer, RV hookups, and tent campsites.
If you’re interested in renting an RV, Green Vacation Deals recommends RVshare.
If your preference is for a hotel, consider the following hotels. They have discounted rates up to 35% off the regular rates.
- Extended Stay America – Akron – Copley West 35% Discount
- Extended Stay America – Akron – Copley East 31% Discount
- Copley Inn & Suites, Copley Akron 30% Discount
- Courtyard by Marriott, Akron Fairlawn 28% Discount
- Holiday Inn Akron West – Fairlawn 26% Discount
- Holiday Inn Cleveland – Strongville 22% Discount
- Best Western Plus West Akron Inn & Suites 21% Discount
- Hampton Inn Richfield 21% Discount
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Akron Fairlawn OH 21% Discount
- Red Roof Inn Cleveland – Medina 20% Discount
- Baymont by Wyndham Copley Akron 16% Discount
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Medina 16% Discount
- Hampton Inn Medina 14% Discount
- Radisson Hotel Akron/Fairlawn 19% Discount
- Comfort Suites 9% Discount
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Cleveland 8% Discount
- Kings Inn Cleveland 5% Discount