Take a Hike: Free walking tours return to downtown Cleveland to share city's history

Last week, the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation (HGNC) began its 13th season its of in-person Take a Hike historic walking tours—giving participants a peek into Cleveland’s early history. 

Take a Hike tour offers 14 free historic tours of Cleveland neighborhoods, such as Gateway, Playhouse Square, Canal Basin, Tremont, and University Circle. Other tours show off the city’s historic buildings that have been converted into hotels, or the buildings that once housed the famed department stores on Euclid Avenue and Public Square. Several new development projects are also highlighted on the tours. 

Take A Hike free in-person walking tours of unique and historic neighborhoods in Cleveland.“New development highlights include the ongoing building of Downtown Cleveland as a residential mixed-use neighborhood,” says Thomas Yablonsky, executive director of HGNC. “Every tour has projects. For example, on the Public Square tour, new development projects on the horizon and highlighted include 55 Public Square, 75 Public Square, the new Sherwin Williams headquarters, and the effort to make Daniel Burnham’s Group Plan a National Historic Landmark.”

Yablonsky says the Public Square tour is new this year, and routes of the Gateway District and Playhouse Square District tours have been updated. He adds that the Public Square tour is designed with downtown employees in mind and is shorter than the others—lasting 45 minutes over lunchtime. 

The interactive walking tours are led by knowledgeable guides that will share fascinating facts about historical assets and key figures that helped build Cleveland. Tour participants will learn about architecture, cultural development, historic preservation, and Cleveland's role in American history.

Along the way, actors will share the stories of important figures from Cleveland’s past,.

In 2020, thousands of people explored the city independently with the introduction of Take a Hike self-guided tours, says Yablonsky, and HGNC will continue them this year.

The schedule of the guided tours is available here. Space for each tour is limited. Reservations are now available for the June and July tours. August and September tour reservations will be available on July 15.