Cleveland November 04, 2016
7 Epic Hiking Spots Around Cleveland That Are Completely Out Of This World
Cleveland’s Metroparks were awarded the ‘best in the country’ again this year, and we can see why! These hiking trails have everything from waterfalls to 300-million-year-old rock formations that will make you totally forget about life in the city.
1. Brandywine Falls
Probably the best-known falls around, these are the second largest in Ohio! They're a 30 minute walk from the carpark, along a boardwalk, so this one is perfect for the kids, or anyone with limited mobility. It's beautiful all year round, but like all waterfalls, it's best in spring, right after the snow has melted, and the trees are green again.
2. Upper Highland Loop Trail
Another easy walker, this 1.1 mile track takes you on a loop around the floodplains of Euclid Creek. You'll get closest to Euclid Creek's pools and small waterfalls this way. This trail is perfect in Fall, while the trees are turning. Listen to the leaves crunching underfoot while Euclid Creek babbles and flows beside you.
3. Night Owl Hike
Now for something completely different... Have you ever been tempted to go hiking at night? Well now you can, with a guided nocturnal wildlife tour of Rocky River Reservation. Take a warm coat and a flashlight, and look for barred owls, and their nocturnal friends (or prey). Being out in the forest in the dark is a totally surreal experience that will remind you of your favorite fairytales.
4. Blue Hen Falls
Playing second fiddle to the bigger Brandywine Falls, Blue Hen Falls is nonetheless a gorgeous sight. The overhanging rock makes this feel like a shelter for magical creatures. For something a very cool, check this one out in winter - sometimes the waterfall freezes suspended. A 1.6 mile hike gets you to the falls with little hassle.
5. Buttermilk Falls
Yes, this is another waterfall, but let's be real: is it possible to have too many waterfalls? Buttermilk Falls is another mile down the track from Blue Hen Falls. It's a bit more of a hike than the easy walk to Blue Hen Falls, so make sure you have some good shoes for this one.
6. Ritchie Ledges Walk
This one hour walk makes you feel a little bit like you're in Middle Earth. Even the National Parks Service calls it "the rock garden of a giant"! Lose yourself winding through and between towering sandstone ledges and yellow birch forests. There's also a gorgeous natural lookout along the way, with views over the treetops of forest as far as you can see.
7. Lucky Stone Loop Trail
This one is the hardest on the list (although there are easier sections), and comes in at about 1.5 miles of moderate to difficult terrain. The hike itself is beautiful, and there's a reward for conquering the first difficult part: on a clear day, you can see tiny Cleveland, about 20 miles away on the horizon.
Do you prefer a difficult hike, or a pleasant walk through the wilderness? Where’s your go-to hiking trail in Cleveland? Let us know in the comments!