This 419-acre reservation provides access to beaches, trails, boating and fishing docks, and open green space along the southern shore of Lake Erie. In 1977, the City of Cleveland, struggling to protect its parklands from increasing pollution and vandalism, leased more than 400 acres of its lakefront parkland to the state of Ohio who commissioned landscape architects William A. Behnke Associates, Inc., to develop a master plan for the new Lakefront State Park. Although the plan received national recognition, lack of funding led to the transfer of parkland management to Cleveland Metroparks in 2013. Edgewater Park to the west and Gordon Park to the east were originally established in the 1894 Parks and Parkways Plan to provide lakefront access and are now connected by the Memorial Shoreway (I-90) and a series of foot and bike paths, including the Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway, to a chain of waterfront parks including Wendy Park, Wildwood Park, and Euclid Beach Park.
The 147-acre Edgewater Park includes a wooded upper-level hosting bike trails and visitor amenities, and a lower level featuring a beach, marinas, fishing piers, and a pavilion designed by local firm Bialosky. An all-purpose trail connects Edgewater Park to Wendy Park, a nesting and migratory animal habitat, and a historic Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. East of the river, the East 55th Street Marina, contains boat slips, a restaurant, and volleyball and bocce ball courts, connects to a fishing area. The lakeside section of Gordon Park contains boat ramps, fishing platforms, picnic facilities, and a parking lot. The Doan Brook once emptied into Lake Erie here, providing scenic and recreational value, but was culverted during the extension of I-90 in the 1950s. Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, a former landfill and dredge placement site, was constructed with dredge from the Cuyahoga River. The Nature Preserve, operated by the Port of Cleveland, provides essential lakefront habitat and is recognized by the National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area.