Cleveland March 28, 2018
10 Easy And Beautiful Spring Hikes Everyone In Cleveland Will Love
Now that the snow has melted, its retreat is unveiling the landscape of Greater Cleveland’s gorgeous parks once again. The season of early hiking opportunities is finally upon us, and there are countless opportunities to enjoy local parks all over the region. However, as flowers bloom and trees come back to life, a few trails, in particular, shine:
1. Bridal Veil Falls Trail, Bedford Reservation
This spectacular trail leads to a scenic overlook that allows hikers to gaze upon the majestic cascades on Deerlick Creek. As the shrubbery is once again breaking through the topsoil, this short hike is particularly lively and magical.
2. Brandywine Gorge Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Any hike in our local national park is guaranteed to be memorable, but it is especially so when the trail leads to a magnificent waterfall. Once upon a time, this enchanting 65-foot waterfall fueled the mills of the Village of Brandywine. Though the village is largely gone, hikers can still experience the wonder of the waterfall via a short mile and a half trail.
3. Hemlock Loop Trail, Brecksville Reservation
This 2.5-mile hike will take you through a number of habitats, from the floodplains of the creek to the impressive sandstone ledges that leave locals breathless. This reservation, which is the largest in the Cleveland Metroparks, includes seven distinct gorges. The verdict? This park is gorgeous all year round, but it is the most lively in the spring.
4. Whipp's Ledges, Hinckley Reservation
This dreamy path is tucked away in the southernmost Cleveland Metroparks, and its stellar beauty delights hikers of all ages. The Sharon Conglomerate ledges at this park are enhanced by a beautiful plethora of colors, a palette which mimics the surrounding landscape.
5. Peninsula and Quarry Trail, Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park
This historic site bears scars of its past incarnations, and locals will love uncovering the wonders that lie therein. This 1.5-mile trail will take you along a path that workers of the early State Quarry might have known intimately. Along the way, you'll encounter discarded millstones, building foundations, and evidence of quarrying hidden amongst the greenery. Though it is lovely to watch the local flora bloom, an early spring hike allows for the best views of these hidden wonders.
6. Gorge Trail, Gorge Metro Park
This lovely trail will get you up close and personal with exposed sandstone ledges in Summit County. The first half of the trail is an easy half-mile loop, a breathtaking stroll that is both stroller and wheelchair friendly. However, the rest of the trail (a little over a mile) is much more primitive and challenging, delighting experienced hikers with an admiration for natural splendor.
7. Tree Farm Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
This trail is nearly three miles, but its easy terrain is family friendly. On this hike, you'll pass through woodlands and a meadow, and you'll even uncover the secret splendor of Horseshoe Pond. This trail is adjacent to the Bishop family Christmas tree farm, and you'll likely notice an abundance of coniferous trees along your hike.
8. Fort Hill Trail, Rocky River Reservation
This hike through the enchanting Rocky River Reservation leads to
mesmerizing archaeological ruins
. The authentic earthworks site is perched 90 feet above the mighty Rocky River, and you'll have to climb a long staircase to reach the overlook. It's well worth the effort, though, as the spectacular views of the surrounding valley and glimpse back into our region's historic past just can't be beat.
9. Princess Ledges Loop Trail, Princess Ledges Nature Area
This dreamy park is a gem unbeknownst to even many Brunswick natives. Tucked away off well-traveled Pearl Road, this retreat is iconic for its sandstone ledges and short one-mile loop trail. In the spring, its meadows and forest floor are overflowing with breathtaking wildflowers. Its ledges, accented with verdant lichens and mosses, look over the surrounding landscape majestically.
10. Squaw Rock Loop Trail, South Chagrin Reservation
This dreamy path will lead you to the mysterious Henry Church Rock, an incredible carving that will capture your imagination. After you pass through the arboretum, you'll uncover a carving containing images of a woman, an eagle, a dog, and a serpent, among other unusual depictions. The meaning of the artwork is still unknown, but it is doubtlessly the brainchild of artist and blacksmith Henry Church, who carved the masterpiece in 1885.
It is magical to get lost in the wilderness in and around Greater Cleveland. There is so much splendor to discover, and spring is the loveliest time to get swept up in the wonder of the local landscape.
With all that hiking, you’re going to work up an appetite! To refuel, check out this
epic mac and cheese trail through Cleveland.