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Lake Erie in Ohio

Trip Overview

In the Rocky River area there are two favorite put-in locations. The first is Bradstreet Landing, a small picnic park with fishing pier/bait shop. Over a small wooden bridge and onto the beach area is where you launch.

The second location is within the Metro Parks "Eddies Boat Dock" at their (concrete) boat launch on Rocky river below the Detroit Bridge in between the cities of Rocky River and Lakewood. You enter from Lakewood's side. There has been a Kayak rental shop to the south a few steps of the boat launch for the past few years.

I prefer Bradstreet Landing, it is a sand/rock bottom that you can wade into and you have clear visibility of Lake Erie. However, you must stay several hundred feet from the fishing pier that juts out above Lake Erie, so as to not disturb the fishermen.

The Metro Park launch is on Rocky river and you paddle by the Cleveland Yacht Club (competing with much larger vessels) and then enter Lake Erie at the mouth of the river. Directly to the right before leaving Rocky river is the old "castle" (recently refurbished, unfortunately) that Elliot Ness resided in during his stint to wipe out whiskey runners bringing in their wares from Canada to Cleveland. At the mouth, the waters always tend to be a bit turbulent, so be prepared.

Paddling east or west is pleasant and mostly cliff lined, except where the rich and famous have made their mark all the way to the water's edge. The adventurous can venture out to the Water Pump Station and back.

Always check www.wunderground.com for a wave report and Lake conditions. Lake Erie is fairly shallow and can whip up into a frenzy very quickly. I strongly recommend a spray skirt and bilge pump for "iffy" conditions. I had a friend, with more ambition than ability, abandon his water-logged kayak (which was retrieved by the Coast Guard-along with an ensuing search $$) and swam a frantic and fatiguing mile into shore as a result of his lack of preparation.


Couldn't list them all, but both Rocky River and Lakewood have plentiful eateries both fine, casual and fastfood, a Mitchell's Ice Cream shop in Rocky River on Detroit Road is a Must Stop (their Keylime pie ice cream is die for).


No fees, but Rangers are plentiful in the Metro Parks and will enforce the laws.


Bradstreet Landing can be reached by exiting I-90 at Clague Road, traveling north until Lake Road (approx.1/2 mile), turn right (east) and travel approximately 1 mile on Lake Road and Bradstreet Landing will be on your left and the bottom of the hill. Parking is free and no launch fee.

The Rocky river boat launch in the Metro Parks is a little more difficult.
From the east, exit at McKinley Ave. in Lakewood (turn right)head north two traffic lights which will be Madison Ave. (turn left) head west to dead end at Riverside Road. Turn right or north on Riverside Road and follow it along the rim of the Metro Parks until the traffic light at Detroit Road. At Detroit Road turn left or west and curve around until the second traffic light, where you will turn left and head down into the Metro Parks. (If you go over the Detroit Bridge, you've gone too far) At the base of the hill, take your first right and you can find the launch along the river. The Marina offers refreshments and fine dining and is open to the public (nice restrooms too).
From the west, exit at Detroit Road in Rocky River and turn left (east) onto Detroit Road and follow it a couple miles through a business district. You will travel over the Detroit bridge and turn right at the east end of the bridge. Travel down the hill and turn right at the first drive which is the entrance to the boat dock area.


Check www.wunderground.com for a wave report and Lake conditions.

Keelhaulers.org is an outstanding wealth of information.

  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip