Lake Shore Boulevard and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
(state park address)
N 41° 32.69’
W 081° 37.97’
Access Site Type:
|The 88-acre Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, commonly known as Dike 14, provides 1.2 miles of manmade shore access. It is adjacent to Gordon Park and accessed from the northern terminus of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.
The wild, green oasis in downtown Cleveland is 4.7 miles east of the mouth of the Cuyahoga River – a river to which the preserve traces its existence. Dike 14 was created in 1976 and used until 1999 to hold the spoils from dredging Cleveland’s harbor and the river.
The mud and silt has metamorphosed into a haven for plants, animals and birds. Plants have colonized the preserve creating fields, wet meadows, shrub communities and stands of maturing trees. Wildlife including deer, fox, raccoons and coyotes, along with dozens of species of butterflies, reptiles, amphibians and a host of other organisms call the preserve home.
The preserve is an important staging area for migrating birds with more than 290 different species recorded. In 2004, it was recognized as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. The same year, a grant from the Ohio Coastal Management Program funded, in part, a feasibility study for safe public access to the preserve.
The preserve includes a 1.3 mile walking trail. Future site plans include creating additional trails, scenic overlooks and educational signage that balances nature and the public’s passive use of the site. The preserve is open daily from dawn to dusk.
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