dog swimming at Edgewater Park’s Dog Beach

When you live in a climate that sees its solid share of cold temperatures for half of the year, you get good recognizing when you have an opportunity to soak up that last bit of warm weather. And when you also live in an area that is surrounded by the “Emerald Necklace” — AKA Northeast Ohio’s beloved Cleveland Metroparks — you have plenty of options to get your outdoors on.

Since by Saturday I was official over due with Baby H, I was ready to take on the Metroparks’ newest option — climbing their new Fort Hill Stairs in the Rocky River Reservation. The plan for the afternoon? Visit a family member’s new residence on Cleveland’s West side, run an errand in Lakewood, then head to the stairs. But in the process of our first stop, the males of Hansen family ended up at Edgewater Park.

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The Cleveland Metroparks has been operating Edgewater Park since 2013, making vast improvements to make it a hot spot for water loving local residents — and their fuzzy friends. I had previously heard of its dog beach — located just west of the main beach — but never got around to taking the dogs there. But as the boys were checking out the park, Hans’ literally stumbled upon a sign saying “dog beach this way” and went to investigate.

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What they found was a nice long stretch of beach, ripe for dipping their feet and paws into. Sure the water temperature was only around 60 degrees, but with the sun shining and the air much warmer, the three dove in for a swim. It took a few tries to get the dogs used to the waves, but Frank especially was all about this new-to-him thing called swimming. He even called upon those Golden Retriever instincts, really getting into fetching the stick Hans found on the beach.

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I eventually met them, finding three big smiles, two soaking wet pups and one more spot to enjoy again in the future. That view of the Cleveland skyline paired with nature is hard to beat! There’s no question that visits to the dog beach will be a regular occurrence again once that warm weather returns next Spring!

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…and in case you were wondering: yes, I’m still pregnant. That’s me at 40 weeks and 1 day. Baby watch is still on through this week!

Fellow dog lovers: what are your favorite Northeast Ohio spots to take your dog for a swim? 

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