Here’s a preview of what you’ll find along the way. And for those of you who have not been the entire four miles, here is a challenge to get out there and see all there is to see!
Let’s start at the northern terminus, the new trailhead just off Mohawk behind Home Depot. The trailhead was recently paved and striped with 20 spaces and a spotlight for nighttime security. Start your walk or run at the point where the 10-foot sidewalk starts going south. To your right is a permanent wetlands area with dozens of trees that just a few short years ago were seedlings. When you cross under the Paul Huff bridge you will have gone your first quarter mile.
Beyond the bridge is a half-mile stretch of hidden beauty that meanders through woods before opening to a grassy meadow unseen from any street. Just past the three-quarter mile mark you emerge upon the intersection of Mouse Creek Road and Mimosa Drive. When you pass under Mouse Creek, you come to the first pedestrian bridge which crosses Mouse Creek over to Tinsley Park. After a backside view of the ball fields, a hard right takes you past the skate park. Congratulations. You have just completed the first mile.
From here you are now on the familiar Tinsley Park trail which will soon be paved as part of Phase 5. Unfortunately, you will encounter construction all along this trail over the next several weeks so it is not recommended or safe to make this part of the trek. When it is complete, at the start of Tinsley’s woodsy path you will notice a picnic pavilion, playground and restroom. All along the one-mile-plus section of trail you will find about a dozen exercise stations.
Around the two-mile mark you will come upon the second footbridge which crosses Mouse Creek behind the Cleveland High football stadium. A hard left will bring the Greenway pedestrian on a straightaway toward Raider Drive. Passage under busy Raider Drive is now possible and lands you at the start of the current Greenway.
If you have never walked or run this familiar 1.88-mile stretch, here are some interesting tidbits of attraction along the way. If you get winded, you’ll find nearly two dozen benches and two water fountains. Just before you pass under Keith Street is one of the most popular attractions, the People for Care and Learning playground.
About a quarter-mile from Raider Drive is a trailhead and restroom. Another 100 yards from the trailhead, don’t miss the first of two historical markers, on your right. Head toward the 25th Street underpass and once on the other side, you will find the surface changes to asphalt.
You are now on the first phase of the Greenway. Take a tour of the Church of God International Offices prayer garden to your left via one of two connecting sidewalks. Just past the offices you have gone exactly one mile from Raider Drive.
From there, you will cross the first pedestrian bridge, funded originally by Bank of Cleveland. You’re now beside Keith Street and headed toward the 20th Street underpass. You’ll notice the surface changes back to concrete, signaling the beginning of Phase 3.
Just after you pass under 17th Street, you will see a mini-park funded by the family of Celeste Thompson, a former Lee University student who died several years ago. The fifth pedestrian bridge is just ahead on the left, crossing Mouse Creek into an area officially designated an Urban Wildlife Habitat.
The picnic tables to the right were furnished by the Cleveland Rotary Club. Entering the wooded area ahead is the last eighth-mile and one of the most serene portions of the Greenway. Don’t miss the second historical marker, on your left. The stacked-stone columns at the entrance on Willow Street were also funded by the Rotary Club. You have now completed the approximately four miles of the Greenway.
It’s 2012! Start that New Year’s resolution with a walk, run or bike ride on your Greenway!