Friday, September 18, 2015

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

We were actually tourists today.

In northern Ohio, between Cleveland and Akron, there is Cuyahoga National Park. Who knew? It is Ohio's only National Park and as is true for all National Parks, it deserved a visit. It is a fairly new National Park as it was created in 2000 as an urban park. The urban is perhaps an exaggeration, there are a few small villages contained within the 33,000 acre, 22 mile long park.

Miko and I were going hiking. After spending days on end, cooped up in the RV, we were going to get out into nature. Become one with the woods. Cavort with the flora and fauna. Refresh our inner pagan.

First up was the Brandywine Falls Trail. Imagine my surprise when I pulled into the parking lot and found two school buses already parked there. Two busloads of middle school students. So much for communing in a quiet natural setting. It actually wasn't too bad as they had already almost finished their hike, so I didn't have to step aside for the hordes as they passed us on the trail.

Brandywine Falls is Ohio's 2nd tallest falls at 65 feet. The trail goes around the gorge. You trek down into the gorge, looking at all of the signs that say “Bridge Out Ahead – Caution”, wondering if you are going to be able to complete this trail. Evidently several years ago, the foot bridge had been washed away in a flood and never been replaced. When I got to the river, it was fairly easy to get across using the rocks. Miko wasn't quite so lucky, she picked a rather deep part of the river to cross and missed her footing and got a rather refreshing dip.
 The trail was lovely, going through the forest, climbing up to the falls. At the falls, there was a boardwalk to walk on which was pretty easy except for the 69 steps that you had to go down and up.

Three Natural Beauties

After we finished this hike, we headed over to the Ledges Trail. This was like an eastern mesa – a meadow where the edges had all eroded away. The trail went from the meadow down and around the bottom of the rocks. This was very shady and the rock formations were tall and impressive in their shapes and the moss that grew on them.  I really enjoyed this trail - quiet, cool.  Miko had a blast - this was "The Land of Chipmunks"


As I mentioned before, I am in an RV park. They have some special goings on this weekend and the park has become packed. I think they are celebrating Halloween. Every single site is taken. A lot of the new residents have decorated their trailers with that Halloween theme. Across the street from me, a trailer has colored strobe lights going and karaoke with some ten year old screaming and making noises – not even trying to sing. Lovely.

I am leaving the park tomorrow – I don't know where I'll be tomorrow night – the one place I was thinking about is full – weekends are always the hardest to find lodging – all the weekend warriors come out and try to fit in as much fun as they can before they go back to their day-to-day lives.

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