Brandywine Falls is a 65-foot waterfall carved by Brandywine Creek in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, making it one of the park’s most treasured sites.
Visitors can take the boardwalk and staircase that leads to the waterfall’s gorge to see the waterfall as it cascades, as wells as close look at the Berea Sandstone that is unique to the area and has been used as a construction material used in buildings and canal locks. The moisture from the falls give life to a variety of moss and eastern hemlocks along the gorge, as well as red maple trees which flame with color in the fall months.
Early settlers in the valley used the falls for their power, with the first saw mill being built George Wallace in 1814. Later, grist and wool mills were created, as the Village of Brandywine grew around the places of work becoming one of the earliest communities to emerge in the Cuyahoga Valley. Today, the village is gone except for the James Wallace house, built by George’s son, which is bed & breakfast and has been renamed The Inn at Brandywine Falls. The Inn is adjacent to Brandywine falls and features six rooms for visitors, many with sitting areas, and most with well-appointed private baths. Each guest accommodation is distinct in Ohio historic decor and ambiance.
Hiking the Trail
The 1.5-mile Brandywine Gorge Trail lets you explore the woodlands around the waterfall which include spring vernal pools that are breeding spot for the area’s native salamanders. Visitors enjoy watching the speed and power of the falls change with the weather. When there is less water, the bridal-veil pattern of the rocks becomes more pronounced; and after storms, water comes down like a torrent over the falls. During the winter, ice becomes the attraction. The Brandywine Gorge Trail starts near the bed.
Canal Exploration Center
At Canal Exploration Center, visitors can participate in interactive maps and games which explain why the area needed canals, and the important changes that they brought to immigration, jobs, communications, and home life. You’ll meet people who lived or worked along the Ohio & Erie Canal, and listen to John Malvin, a free African-American, who will recall his experiences as a canal boat captain.