Willoughby Hills was incorporated as a village in 1954 and became a city in 1970. Considered one of the most picturesque communities in northeast Ohio, it still maintains the delicate balance between country and city. The city encompasses about 11 square miles, through which the Chagrin River has carved a scenic valley to the east.
With a population of approximately 9,485 (2010 census), Willoughby Hills has a delicate balance of residential and commercial areas, including several boutique-style restaurants, specialty stores, and five major automobile dealerships. It is also the home of facilities operated by two of the major area hospitals, The Cleveland Clinic and The Lake Hospital System, as well as individual offices of dozens of medical specialists.
Its most prominent feature, however, is the abundance of parkland. Willoughby Hills is the only Northeastern Ohio community that hosts lands of three different park agencies within its boundaries. The Cleveland Metroparks Chagrin North reservation, starting at the city’s southern border with Mayfield Village and Gates Mills, stretches about 2.5 miles to the north into the Manakiki Golf Course, a classic public-access 18 hole course designed by Donald Ross. The Lake Metroparks has a fisherman’s access at the Chagrin River where it is crossed by the Pleasant Valley Road Bridge which is included on the Ohio list of historic places because of its construction and historical significance. Finally, the Hach-Otis Nature Preserve is an 81 acre forested tract with two trails that overlook the Chagrin River. All totaled, the city is host to more than six miles of hiking trails on preserved lands.
Past, Present, and Future
Willoughby Hills has grown from a small intersection of two major highways; U.S. Route 6 (Chardon Road) and Ohio Route 91 ( S.O.M. Center Road), to a thriving little city with a nice hometown feel. Ironically, the city now also hosts the intersection of two major interstate highways; I-90 and I-271, permitting easy access to Cleveland, Pennsylvania, or Columbus. In the future, the city plans to exploit its abundance of parkland by connecting them with bicycle and hiking trails to further enhance its recreational offerings.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Willoughby Hills offers a nice little array of boutique-style restaurants. From a classic sports bar to a fresh, made-to-order, Italian eatery, to a 24-flavor frozen custard stand, one can find just about anything to please the palette.
What to do here
In Willoughby Hills, you can catch a fish or hike a park trail, shop an outlet mall or test-drive a new car, enjoy an elegant dinner or just a hot dog and a cone, all within minutes from Cleveland, Akron, and Pennsylvania