When people think of lakes in Ohio, it is usually Lake Erie that comes to mind first. However, it is not the only beautiful lake to visit in the state, as there are plenty of other options. One such lake is Lake Hinckley, which is part of the Hinckley Reservation. It is an 87-acre lake in the Northeastern corner of Medina County. The lake is part of the Rocky River Watershed at the southern end of the Cleveland Metroparks. If you decide to visit this attraction, here are 10 things you can do at Lake Hinckley in Ohio.
1. Explore Nature
The main reason that people visit Hinckley Lake is to explore nature, and the best way of doing this is along the trails. There are multiple trails surrounding the lake, all of which are suitable for hiking and some where you can cycle or go horseback riding. The three main trails are Hinckley Lake Trailhead, Hinckley Hills Trailhead, and Hinckley Spillway Trailhead says Cleveland Metro Parks. The trails head around the lake and through the surrounding forests. Hinckley Reservation is known for being where buzzards roost, so this is something to keep an eye out for as you explore the reservation. Each year, the return of spring and the buzzards are celebrated at the park on March 15.
2. Hike the Ledges
Heading away from the lake, there are further trails to explore that have different landscapes to the trails around the lake. Whipp’s Ledges is the only place where people can rock climb in Northeast Ohio. If you do not want to try climbing, but you want to enjoy the rocky landscape, then hike the Whipp’s Ledges loop trail. Another area of rocky ledges within the reservation is Worden’s Ledges. An interesting feature of the trail through these ledges is carvings done by Nobel Stuart. There are stunning views of the lakes, the forests, and the surrounding area at various points along the trails. One of the best places to enjoy the views is at West Drive Scenic Overlook. From this viewpoint, there are views of the east branch of the Rocky River just before it meets Hinckley Lake.
3. Go Fishing
A popular activity at Hinckley Lake is fishing. There are designated fishing spots around the lake, and there is a fishing pier. Some of the fish in this lake include white crappie bluegill, rainbow trout, carp, largemouth bass, and bullhead catfish. In addition to Hinckley Lake, Hinckley Reservation is also home to Ledge Lake, which is a 4.5-acre lake that is for shore fishing only, and there is no boating. The reservation also houses the 2-acre Judge’s Lake, where there is easy access for fishing.
4. Enjoy Activities on the Lake
According to Only In Your State, there are several activities you can enjoy on the lake. It has a public boat launch that is used as the starting point for various fun, water-based activities. These include boating, canoeing, and kayaking.
5. Book an Event at the Lake
If you have an event that you want to celebrate while you are in the area, there is a venue by Hinckley Lake that you can book. The Brooklyn Exchange Cabin, which the Brooklyn Exchange Club operates, is a large log cabin that offers plenty of space to host an event. It was built in 1941, and it overlooks the lake and sits against a backdrop of woodlands.
6. Have a Picnic
Hinckley Lake is a popular place amongst the locals for a picnic, and there are several picnic areas along the lake where visitors can sit with their picnics. Both Indiana Point Picnic Area and Johnson’s Picnic Area are close to the lake, and both feature picnic tables and grills for those who want to eat hot food. There are several other picnic areas a little further from the lake. If you have not brought a picnic along, then you should head to Buzzard’s landing, which is a small café that sells snacks, beverages, and locally produced ice creams.
7. Play Ball Games
An activity that all the family can enjoy while visiting Hinckley Lake is playing ball games. Several open spaces are ideal for having a kick around. Within Hinckley Reservation, there are also ball fields and volleyball areas. There is no need to book in advance, as visitors can just turn up at the park with their own balls and enjoy some outdoor fun with their friends and family.
8. Enjoy Some Winter Activities
Some of the activities at Hinckley Reservation, are not available during the winter months. For example, swimming is not allowed out of season due to the low temperatures. However, it does not mean that it is not worth visiting Hinckley Lake, as there are alternative activities to enjoy during the winter months. There is a sledding hill where people of all ages can enjoy sledding down the slopes. It is also possible to snowshoe around the trails.
9. Go Swimming
There are some sections of Hinckley Lake where you can go for a swim, although there are other parts where swimming is forbidden because of the other activities on the lake. Another option if you want to go for a swim in Hinckley Reservation is Ledge Pool and Recreation Area. It is a popular spot for families with younger children.
10. Participate in Programs and Events
There are various programs and events taking place throughout the year at Hinckley Lake. In addition to the annual Buzzard Roost, there are programs suitable for visitors of all ages. One example is Little Explorers, which is an event that aims to teach children about the wildlife and natural environment around the lake. Another example is the guided hiking events, which are led by experts in the area’s environment. Hikers can learn more about the natural phenomena they will see along the trails.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn