Location

This hike, Fairview Park, is in the south eastern section of Fairview Park, Ohio, USA, area of the Rocky Reservation, a Cleveland Metropark.

Geology

The Rocky River is carved through ancient shale deposits and is experienced from both sides of the river on this hike. 

Trails

This is an easy hike in the Rocky River Reservation, a Cleveland Metropark. It covers all or portions of the following trails; Bridle Trail 1, Bridle Trail 2, old river trail, Mastick Woods Loop, and Cotton Wood Loop. It follows the Rocky River along its east and west shorelines.

This hike starts in the Mastick Woods parking lot and heads north to Puritas Avenue where you cross over the Rocky River to the Rocky River Stables. Here you'll follow Bridle Trail 2 along the eastern shore of the Rocky River. This is an out and back trail that is flat and wide. The bridle trail is dirt and gravel with some muddy areas after heavy rainfall. Look for a trail extension off to the right that leads to the river. This is a great place for people and dogs to swim. Keep following the trail until it deadends into the river. Turn around and head back the same way. As you make your way back there is a small grassy wagon loop on the right to explore.

Once you get back to the Mastick Woods parking lot, continue on Bridle Trail 1. The length of this trail is in the woods. The trail surface is wide and flat with dirt and gravel and some mud in spots. Follow this until you come to the second high-level bridge.  Follow the unmarked path to the left along side the bridge until you reach the river. Caution here, as the bridge has warning signs for falling debris. Stay in the woods where possible.

You have now reached the unmarked, unmaintained old river trail. It is muddy and rutted, with fallen trees and debri washed ashore from the river. You are now following the western shore of the rocky river. Every step is beautiful with wildflowers, wildlife, and the relaxing sounds of the river. It'll be hard to imagine you are actually in an urban environment. Take time to explore the many rocky beach areas, small waterfalls, the spectaular shale cliffs across the river, and hidden water passages. This is great on a hot day. 

‍    As you get close to the end of the hike you will come out of the woods into the South Mastic Picnic area. Stay along the river following the Cottonwood Loop trail. This will take you back to your car.

Attributes

  • Distance - 6.6mi/10.6km
  • Variable surface from smooth and wide to rocky and narrow with debris 
  • Easy level
  • Leashed dogs welcome
  • Family friendly 
  • Toilets near trailhead
  • Parking at beginning and along route
  • Wide range of wildlife
  • Forest 
  • Waterfalls and river
  • Scenic views
  • Historic
  • Ascent - 125ft/38m
  • Descent - 144ft/44m
  • Highest point - 709ft/216m
  • Lowest point - 584ft/178m

Experiencing both sides of the river is the uniqueness of this hike. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Click on the Learn More button above to download a guided trail map.