Hiking is one the best-loved pastimes in the at Cuyahoga Valley National Park thanks to the parks waterfalls, rolling hills, and well laid trails of crushed limestone along portions of the Ohio and Erie Canal.
In fact, the exquisite waterfalls and lush natural settings of the trails have made them a favorite of local and visiting artists and writers for years. The four best known Cuyahoga hiking trails include:
Haskell Run Trail
The Haskell Run Trail is a short loop that starts and ends near Happy Days Lodge. The trail begins near the Mater Dolorosa cemetery, a small Irish Catholic cemetery established in 1869, and winds down a wooded ravine to Haskell Run. The trail crosses over a creek twice on wooden bridges, up a ravine, and ends in the field west of Happy Days Lodge. Squirrels, frogs, salamanders, songbirds, and other animals frequent this creek valley. While hiking this trail, you can visit to the nearby Ledges Trail. Parking is located across the road from Happy Days Lodge on the north side of Rt. 303. The trailhead is located at the southeast corner of the parking lot directly adjacent to the lodge. The Haskell Run Trail is .5 miles and is a 30 minute hike.
Tree Farm Trail
The Tree Farm Trail, accessed via the Horseshoe Pond trailhead, is located off Major Road. This trail loops through gently rolling woodlands, and both begin and end at Horseshoe Pond. The trail begins at the northeast edge of the trailhead parking lot, passes through a forest of hardwoods, evergreens, and a large open field area adjacent to the Bishop family Christmas tree farm which it crosses through. Fox, deer, coyotes, and numerous songbirds are plentiful here; and Horseshoe Pond provides a fully accessible fishing pier for bass and bluegill fishing. The trail includes restroom facilities and a picnic pavilion with tables and grills. The Tree Farm Trail is 2.75 miles and is a 1.5 hour hike.
Blue Hen Falls Trail
The Blue Hen Falls Trail is a short trail leading to the most beautiful waterfall setting in Cuyahoga Valley Park. The trail heads north from the trailhead parking lot, taking hikers down an old driveway to Spring Creek, and then to an old wooden bridge. Just beyond the bridge, the Buckeye Trail splits off to the left, heading uphill to the north. To reach the Blue Hen Falls viewing area, continue to the right along the Blue Hen Falls Trail. A split-rail fence borders the trail on the right, protecting the fragile habitat around Blue Hen Falls. The trail ends at Blue Hen Falls, where Spring Creek drops fifteen feet over Berea Sandstone to a layer of Bedford Shale below. The trailhead is located off Boston Mills Road, west of Riverview Road. In addition to the small trailhead parking lot on the north side of Boston Mills Road, an overflow parking lot has been added on the south side of the road. The Blue Hen Falls Trail is .5 miles and is a 30 minute hike.
Station Road Hike
This short hike is a favorite of naturalists for its views of bald eagle and blue heron nesting sites. The hike also provides stunning views of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Brecksville Station, the historic Station Road Bridge, the Cuyahoga River, and the Ohio & Erie Canal. Hikers can begin the hike north from the trailhead, passing Brecksville Station where visitors they can board a train to experience a vintage train ride through the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Once past the station, the trail crosses the Cuyahoga River via the old Station Road Bridge.
After crossing the bridge, the trail joins the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Hikers can then head on the Towpath Trail, passing by the Brecksville feeder canal and dam. After passing under the graceful arches of the State Rt. 82 Bridge high above the trail, hikers will come onto a meadowland where they can view eagle and heron nests. Park at the Station Road Bridge Trailhead, located east of Riverview Road, south of Rt. 82. The Station Road Hike is 1 mile and is a 45 minute hike.