Cuyahoga Valley National Park is an interesting place. It is different from other National Parks in that it is right in the center of an urban area. To drive to different sections of the park you have to drive through regular city streets. It’s nice to have a natural refuge among the hustle and bustle of the city.
There is a lot to see in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Our first stop was to the Brecksville Train Station. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs the entire length of the park and is still operational today. The tracks run parallel to the Cuyahoga River and there is a pretty awesome bridge that crosses the river near the Brecksville Station. There is a trail that runs parallel to both the river and train tracks. It is called the Towpath Trail and stretches the entire length of the park.
Cuyahoga Valley has quite a few waterfalls. I love waterfalls, so I wanted to squeeze a few of them into our visit. I went to Bridalveil Falls first, which is in the northern section of the park. The trail to the falls is short and fairly easy. Unfortunately, the waterfall was basically dried up when I was there. It’s not a very powerful waterfall to begin with, so visiting in the spring is the best time to go see it because that’s when the water is flowing at its strongest after the snow melts. I was there in August and by that point most of the water had evaporated. There is a cute bridge that goes across the top of the falls. It was still a nice hike even without the water.
I wanted to see some flowing water, so I decided to try my luck at Brandywine falls, which is one of the parks most popular attractions. This was a really nice hike. It’s a 1.5 mile loop that goes through the woods down to the waterfall, and also goes through a field past the Brandywine Inn. The waterfall actually had water running down it, so that was a plus. It was really pretty. The Brandywine Inn is adorable and has beautiful gardens and wild flowers growing outside of it. I would definitely recommend this trail.
Then I went to see what is probably the parks most popular attraction, The Ledges. The trail is a 2 mile loop. I’d rate it as moderate because there are a decent amount of stairs and uphill climbing involved. It’s a great trail though. The Ledges are really tall rock walls that you can walk around inside of. It makes you feel tiny. There is also a bat cave along that trail that is open seasonally. It was closed while we were there because there were lots of babies being born at that time. The main ledges are in the first part of the trail. Then you climb up the hill for a bit and come a really nice view of the valley from the top. This is another trail that I would definitely say you have to check out if you’re going to Cuyahoga Valley.
My last stop for the day was Everett Covered bridge. I’ve always loved Covered Bridges so couldn’t pass this one up. This is a really short trail. It has its own parking lot and the walk to the bridge from the parking lot is probably three minutes. I loved it.
If you are ever in the Cleveland area and are looking for an escape from the city, definitely check out Cuyahoga Valley. Have you ever been? What was your favorite part of the park?