Woodland Garden

Among towering trees and their abundant natural shade, you will find a peaceful escape from our busy city. Butterflies, song birds, wild flowers and more than 30 species of trees are your constant companions in this most informal and expansive retreat.

What could be more relaxing than a stroll on the Helen M. Whitehouse Boardwalk? You pass beneath a canopy of trees and greenery and experience what this area of Cleveland, “The Forest City,” was like 300 years ago. A rippling natural stream runs through this dense woodland. Beech, hemlock, maple, wild cherry, as well as black gum, tulip poplar and ash trees are all around. Trilliums, dutchman’s breeches, Jack-in-the pulpit, Virginia blue bells and Solomon’s seal are just a few of the many Ohio wildflowers you see along the way.

Explore this special forest on your own or with a date. Hidden bridges and tucked-away benches off the beaten path invite you to sit while you absorb the awe of nature.


  • This is one of the best places to immerse yourself in fall color.
  • A rain garden area, added in 2010, shows you how native plants can utilize runoff rain water to lush green effect.
  • The garden’s ravine is a fragment of Lake Erie’s former shore line, which was once along present-day East Boulevard.
  • The paw-paw patch is home to North America’s largest native fruit.
  • The ravine became neglected and brush-covered before it was lovingly restored by Garden staff and members of the Northeast Ohio Native Plant Society.
  • The Woodland Garden was once the home of the bear pit when the original Cleveland Zoo was located here.