I am always looking for fun things to do on my weekends, and Cuyahoga National Park is on my list of favorite places to visit. If you live anywhere near the Cleveland, Ohio area (I am about 2 hours from the park), I recommend you adding this national park to your list of places to visit. There are a lot of things to see and trails to hike here, but let me break down what you should try to accomplish if you are only there for one day.
Blue Hen Falls
This short trail (0.5 miles) is super easy and takes you to an overlook of Blue Hen Falls. You can climb down into the falls area and explore the (usually muddy) surroundings.
This address will take you to the parking area:
2001 Boston Mills Road, Brecksville OH 44141
This waterfall doesn’t seem to be on many maps, but the trail is still well worn and I have seen others hike there. Once you are done exploring Blue Hen Falls, continue on the same trail past the Blue Hen Falls area. In about 0.6 miles you’ll come to Buttermilk Falls.
This waterfall is my favorite in Cuyahoga because it typically has less people at it and its a pretty calm spot. You will have to cross over the creek a couple times to get there, so make sure you wear water proof shoes.
You’ll use the same parking lot for Buttermilk Falls that you use for Blue Hen Falls.
Of course you have to stop at Brandywine Falls. This waterfall is the best known in the park, and arguably one of the most impressive in the state of Ohio. You can either take a 1.5 mile hike to get to the waterfall (via the Brandywine Gorge Trail) or you can drive to the boardwalk and pick the faster option.
You can find the boardwalk area and parking lot at:
8176 Brandywine Road in Sagamore Hills Township
The Ritchie Ledges
This is actually my favorite part of the entire park… it feels a little like a fairy tale world (and there is a lot of moss, which I might be slightly obsessed with). The total hike takes about 2.2 miles, and it takes you along sandstone cliffs and persistent trees that grow out of tiny cracks in the stones. There are many areas that you can navigate into the small ledge cracks and stand between huge, steep cliffs. Go here, you won’t regret it.
Park here: 701 Kendall Park Road, Peninsula OH, 44264
Again, there is more to see at this beautiful park. But if you only have one day, I would start with these 4 places. So grab your (water proof) hiking boots and maybe some string cheese and a cracker or two, and hit those trails.