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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cuyahoga Valley National Park


April 4, 2012

Originally, we were supposed to do a road trip from WI to the Smoky Mountains. However, our car met an untimely end due to a car accident thus shortening our trip time. Instead of moping around, we bought a new car and did an impromptu road trip from WI through IL, IN, OH, and PA. This trip took us to our first national park in the eastern half of the U.S. With fewer days to work with, we figured Cuyahoga Valley National Park would be a pleasant park to visit since we were still feeling some pains from the car accident.

The weather was warm with highs in the mid 50's. We drove around the northern area of the park and saw the vista which was labeled as the "best view in northeastern Ohio." It would have looked more splendid if we had visited in the fall. The area was very beautiful with rolling hills, forests, waterfalls, and streams. We also stopped at the Canal Visitor Center but the center was closed since it was the winter season. After that, we drove down to the southern portion.

After visiting the Boston Store Visitor Center, we hiked the Stanford and Brandywine Gorge trails to Brandywine Falls. We parked the car at Stanford House and Campground and hiked the 4 mile round trip loop. The trail was listed as moderate to difficult due to steps and steep inclines but the hike was relatively easy. We didn't prepare for this hike and I ended up hiking in Converse shoes and M in Nike canvas shoes.

The biggest regret for us was not having enough time to hike other areas of the park. We were only there for one night and since the park layout was a bit confusing, visiting Brandywine Falls was best for us. For the future, we would like to hike the northern portion and bike the canal towpath.

Hiking

National Park Headquarters

Canal Visitor Center

M working the locks

"Best view in northeastern Ohio."

 Stanford Trail

Start of Stanford Trail

Stanford Trail

Stanford Trail

Stanford Trail

Stanford Trail

 Brandywine Gorge Trail

Took some stairs down to the boardwalk to view the waterfall

Brandywine Falls

Chickens behind the Inn at Brandywine Falls

Paved area behind the Inn

Brandywine Gorge Trail

Brandywine Gorge Trail

Brandywine Gorge Trail: steep in some parts with exposed rocks. The trail goes around the gorge that was created by the waterfall.

Hiking

Brandywine Creek

 Stanford Trail

Back on Stanford Trail

At the campground area

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