Emerging from a Cleveland Winter

Getting outdoors again

It is really difficult to understand the weather in Cleveland, OH if you have never been here or in a similar climate, but for those of us who live here, winter seems extra long, and springtime can't come fast enough.

Winter closes us into our homes, into layers of sweaters, and blanketed by a lot of snow.  Everything is cold, heavy, and lonely.  During the winter, it takes a much bigger effort to go out and do anything, let alone stay outside for sports or fun.  And as you get older, it seems to be even harder.

Spring only begins to show up in March, and St. Patrick's Day is usually the first real sign of spring.  Some years, the St. Patrick's Day parade is warm and sunny.  Other years it is like a winter day.

Once St. Patrick's Day has passed, signs of spring abound as the sun comes out a bit more, and snow melts faster.  However, real spring doesn't come until April.

You can understand why Clevelanders are so fascinated with spring, and getting outdoors.

Cleveland: What to Do in the Spring

Get outdoors as much as possible

April is the true beginning of spring in northern Ohio, although just because it is April, doesn't mean that Cleveland will not get more snow.  Many years, there is snow in April.

During April, spring flowers sprout, and outdoor markets start up again.

Both activities go hand in hand, and are great to do in the spring.  Gardening in a climate like Cleveland's can be both rewarding and frustrating, even if you know what you are doing.  But the snow, and rain can add a lot of moisture to the ground, and getting your plants in is a matter of luck, and skill.  The trick is planting after the last snowfall.  Once the gardens are in, farmers markets start to pop up all around the city.  The earliest market is the Shaker Square Farmers Market which runs year round, and starts back outside in the beginning of April.

The most attractive spring activities are just about anything that you can do outdoors.  Every sunny day is a chance to get involved with outdoor sports, like baseball or soccer, or just hike and walk.

Hiking and Walking in Cleveland OH

There are numerous parks and trails

Actually, Cleveland OH is a wonderful place to hike and walk.  There are lots of parks in and around the city.  One of the best places to walk is the Shaker Lakes Nature Center.  The Nature Center has several trails that are well wooded, and shaded to keep cool.  It is also a beautiful section of Cleveland next to the nearby Shaker Lakes.

The city of Cleveland is also surrounded by the Metroparks system, which is nicknamed the Emerald Necklace because it surrounds the city with green on a map.  Several of the parks have great walking trails, but the best one is the North Chagrin Reservation with Squire's Castle, several picnic areas, bridal trails, and walking trails.  Each trail is marked so that they are easy to follow.  It is possible to get lost in the North Chagrin Reservation so the park will supply you with a clearly marked map.

Cleveland also has several walking tours including some wonderful downtown tours.  Each tour is thematically based including a few haunted Cleveland tours.

Spring Sports

You can watch or participate

Clevelanders are die hard sports fans, certainly for our city teams, and also for Ohio State University teams.  We are always true to our sports teams, even when they are down.

In the spring, baseball is a big sport due to the Cleveland Indians, and you can find lots of pee wee baseball and softball teams around the city as well as adult teams that aren't quite up to the pro level.  Soccer is very big in Cleveland too, and in the spring that means outdoor soccer.  Just about every place you see a spot of green, there are kids playing soccer with their friends.